No Room For Movement...

Hydraulic lime mortars from Limetec have proved that there is no room for movement when it comes to protecting the design integrity of buildings.

Called on to rescue the architectural direction of a beautiful circular Sports Pavilion for Radley College in Abingdon, the limetec hydraulic lime mortar which requires no movement joints enabled the building to stay true to its intended spherical line, without compromise.

The Brief

The extensive grounds of Radley College, the famous boarding school for boys, lie to the northwest of the village. The school has around 625 pupils and was founded in 1847. The main school building is a Grade II listed structure known as the Mansion House, which was built originally for Sir John Stonhouse.

To keep with its established setting, the Sports Pavilion design by Robert Maguire and Kelvin Sampson (now JBKS Architects) comprised a mixture of modern and traditional building materials.

Its aim was to create a simple architectural statement in the heart of rural Oxfordshire, one that would complement the historical surroundings while providing students with an impressive recreational facility.

Designed with a distinctly horizontal emphasis, the scheme was nearly destroyed by the requirement to introduce vertical movement joints to the brickwork of the ground floor walls.

These needed to be at 6 metre intervals because of the circular form, which would essentially interrupt the rhythmic Garden Wall bond brickwork with vertical lines – a compromise that the architects were not prepared to make. Limetec was called on to rescue the design, with its innovative hydraulic lime mortar that requires no movement joints.

The solution

Limetec hydraulic lime mortars enabled the project to overcome the need for unwanted punctuation, and retain its original circular design proposition.

Unlike cement-based mortar, lime mortar can accommodate slight movements in the building caused by settlement or thermal shock without cracking. These innovative properties ensured that unsightly expansion joints at Radley were not necessary, and could easily be avoided.

Hydraulic lime mortar has other equally impressive qualities: it remains workable for up to 24 hours, is breathable and has long proven performance. It is also highly environmentally friendly in manufacture and use.

Up to 25 tonnes of dry material can be stored in the silo mixing station. In addition to ensuring consistency of mix and colour, and eliminating wastage, this groundbreaking technology can deliver a continuous supply of ready mixed mortar at the simple touch of a button.

As a result, architects are making use of its versatility and are realising that its properties suit many new build applications, such as the Radley College Sports Pavilion.