Unfired earth construction is an ancient practice with obscure origins. In this short course, learn more about how this material was traditionally used in Scotland's vernacular buildings.
What you will learn
Examine the use of unfired earth, turf and clays in a wide range of Scottish vernacular (built according to local traditions and resources) structures. Earth is a very versatile material, which was often used in walls, floors, and coatings, as well as for canal and bridge construction.
Study the geology and mineralogy of building clays and associated earth or turf products. Find out how they work together with other vernacular materials like timber and thatch.
Get an overview of the fundamental physical properties of unfired earth, its weathering and decay processes, and the effect of man-made wear or damage. Get a through understanding of current conservation principles, and the means and methods.
By the end of the course, you will have learned everything from repair and restoration techniques using traditional and modern tools and how to survey a site through to specification, procurement and on-site installation.
Origins of the material and Scottish traditions
Unfired earth in construction
Decay mechanisms and conservation issues
Repair and conservation
Short courses offer the opportunity to learn about building conservation through lectures, workshops and site visits.
It's one thing to hear about lime mortar in a lecture, but it's an entirely different experience to be able to point it out on a building, and have a go at mixing it.
A great introduction to the key issues, materials, skills and techniques that all conservators – from homeowners to industry professionals – have to come to grips with when looking at traditional buildings.
"One of the key things I learned was the importance of maintaining and sustaining traditional skills as a viable career option going into the future. We cannot conserve our past effectively without the proper understanding of those past traditional skills."
Attending has enabled me to share ideas and to network with professionals and like-minded people in the field.
Got a question?
Should you have an enquiry about our courses or other learning opportunities held at the Engine Shed, our team is here to help.
The Engine Shed has been supported by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to create Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre. It enables us to encourage understanding of traditional building materials and skills among the public and professionals and raise standards in conservation for traditional buildings.