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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthorJulesbarn
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Hi there,
    I am starting to prepare for rendering my cob barn in sunny Devon, and it's beginning to dawn on me how much work there is to do; filling hollws and repairing some rain ereoded areas with cob blocks etc, before dubbing out ready for the main coats of render. Having used lime (nhl's and putty) and worked with cob a lot over the years, i am happy and confident doing the job, but given my circumstances and other commitments this summer, i MAY be applying the final float coat a bit close for comfort to potential first frosts, despite adding pozzolans for a faster carbonation/set; which leads to my question..

    Given that we are already living in the barn and heating it in the cold months, we're in a sheltered location, and that i have sheets to hang from the eaves to protect the new render, do you think frost will not be a problem? I'm thinking about the passage of heat moving through the walls from inside the barn would prevent moisture freezing in the render? Im not talking mid winter with snow drifts,gales and minus god knows what, but the first frosts...and only asking 'just in case' progress is slower than I'd like this summer/autumn.

    Any thoughts muchly appreciated,

    In my experience any building project runs over budget and overtime so it is good that you are expecting this to happen.

    I can't offer any advice regarding frost proofing lime but having sheets to hang from the eaves will help a lot especially if they are joined together and fixed at ground level.

    A sheltered position is not always good for frost protection. Places with still air can get frosted where sites with air flow can escape. Also from my experience frost can be very local with damage occurring or missed within yards of each other, year after year. Which doesn't help much if you have not been there long.
    • CommentAuthorJulesbarn
    • CommentTimeJun 26th 2018
    Thanks Peter. I realise it was a pretty random question re frost risk and depends on all sorts of variable circumstances. My hope is (if I can't get the rendering done as soon as I'd like to), that the walls will be warmer as we are living in the barn (moved in 2 years ago!) and we have it nice and warm inside, which will help with the risk of frost damage to the curing lime; whereas (I'm guessing) most new builds or conversions are rendered before they are occupied and heated? You make a good point about sheltered spots and frost.

    By the way, I'm pleased to say that i managed to do the conversion for less than expected! ..and had no set time limit either. I just really needed a break from building, hence waiting two years before deciding to render the barn!

    Thanks for your reply

    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018
    Even if you avoid frost damage, the cool temperatures will slow the carbonation; essentially fat lime will just stop curing until spring I think. So I would do everything you can to get the job completed before cold weather sets in, or alternatively postpone the job until next year.
    • CommentAuthorJulesbarn
    • CommentTimeJun 27th 2018
    Yes, that is an option, and i had considered it, but then i have 3 tonnes of ready mixed render sitting outside in dumpy bags over winter which i would need to protect from frost! The supplier (Mike Wye) said they aim to get a rendering job done by sept/october adding more pozzilans the later it gets.

    I'll do my best to get it done in July and August. It's only me doing it, but will get someone on mixer duty!

    Thanks for the reply,

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