Conservation and Repair of Plasters and Renders, Online and Workshop Based with David Odgers

BCM online/onsite

Ref: BCW11562


About this course

Learn basic skills in the conservation and replication of traditional internal and external plaster based on lime and gypsum but also including earth mortars and cob.
Rendered and plastered masonry, timber-framed buildings with rendered infill panels and plastered earth buildings form a very important part of our heritage. Through lectures, demonstration and personal experience, you will learn about the properties of these materials and how to apply and repair them.
You will be learning using a combination of remote online and onsite workshop learning at the College. You will be given access to the online part of the course from the 7th February 2022 and will have the opportunity to meet the tutors and other students in a remote Zoom session at 6pm on Thursday 10th February 2022. The online part of the course will take approximately 10 hours and must be completed prior to attending the practical workshop and classroom sessions at the College from 28th February to 2nd March 2022.

Course Description

This online and workshop based course is designed for architects, surveyors, practitioners and anybody who is responsible for the care and maintenance of historic plaster. You will learn about the history of lime plaster, gypsum laster and earthen materials (such as cob) including the tools and techniques needed to apply and repair them. You will have an opportunity to use all of these materials including the application of ordinary flat plaster and running a moulding. You will also learn about deterioration of plaster, render and coband, and how it can be repaired, including information on specification and analysis.

By the end of the course, you will have knowledge and experience of:
• a wide range of materials from earthen plaster to early cement stucco
• properties and preparation of various types of plaster and including cob
• methods of application used for rendering and plastering
• practical application of plaster to lath and solid masonry
• setting up and running a mould in situ
• symptoms and causes of the deterioration of plasters and renders
• techniques for the conservation and repair of plasters and renders

As part of the workshop based sessions, there will be an evening session for students presentations based on assignments completed in the online sessions.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

Please remember to bring work clothes/overalls and shoes/boots for practical sessions.  A torch and umbrella may be useful on the short walk to the Auditorium and Ruinette.


Is it possible to book only the online or onsite part of the course?
The course is only available as a joint online and onsite course and both elements must be completed.

Can I book accommodation for the onsite part of the course?
Yes, to book accommodation or find out about accommodation prices please call 01243 818300 (option 2) or email

What technologies are used to deliver the online part of the course?
We use CANVAS, a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), for all your course materials. This is a system for delivering learning materials via the Internet. It offers you flexible access to all the course content, which is available to you for the duration of the course.

Do the course videos have subtitles for hearing impaired people?
Yes, all of our course videos have the option to display closed captions in English.

How do I access the online course?
You will receive your login details by email before the course start date.

What computer set-up will I need for the online element of the course?
You can watch our courses on all computers and devices – Mac, PC, Mobile and Tablet – with an Internet connection and a modern internet browser (see "What Web Browser do you recommend" below). You will need an email account to sign up for a course and an up-to-date web browser. Some of the course resources are presented as PDF files, which will require a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.

What web browser do you recommend?
PC users - Firefox ver. 54, Chrome ver. 58 or Edge ver. 14 or newer are recommended. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer 11 (or older) are not supported.
Mac users - Safari and Firefox are recommended.

We do not recommend using any Internet service provider's proprietary browser, as certain functions may be restricted. We regularly upgrade the site to add features and improve the quality of your experience. Please be sure to keep your browser updated. If you need to upgrade your browser, go to your browser manufacturer's website and download the most recent version.

Phones and tablets - All courses are built on a responsive platform, allowing for access on most smartphones and tablets.

What do I do if I experience technical issues?
If you have checked the technical requirements above and are using a suitable browser but the problem persists, email with the details of your problem (including a screenshot if useful) for advice.

I’ve lost my login details, what do I do?
If you have deleted your login information please contact


David Odgers

BCM Course Leader

David is Director of Odgers Conservation Consultants who provide support, advice and training for clients, architects, surveyors, local authorities and others involved in the conservation of historic structures.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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