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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Keeping traditional construction skills alive - in Yorkshire

5EMtnbIThe Yorkshire Lime Company is a team of skilled craftsmen specialising in the restoration of heritage and traditional buildings using only locally sourced and often recycled all-natural materials throughout Yorkshire. Adhering to the S.P.A.B approach, the company prioritises necessary repairs, utilising like-for-like local materials and relevant expertise to achieve the highest standards in their work. Their passion for the craft is evident in the dedication that they bring to all their services.

Formerly operating as Gillard’s Building Services, the Yorkshire Lime Company gained acclaim winning the Corporate Live Wire Yorkshire Prestige Award for Building Company of the Year (2020-22). Building upon the momentum of their success and reputation, the company transitioned to focus exclusively on showcasing their craftmanship on heritage buildings, undergoing a rebranding to underscore their commitment to this important sector whilst expanding their clientele.

Their skilled team, boasting a wealth of experience, ensures customer satisfaction on every project. Their expertise in heritage buildings and traditional construction techniques makes them a vital asset in preserving the rich architectural legacy for future generations. Their advocacy for the protection of historic buildings solidifies them as a crucial voice in safeguarding these irreplaceable treasures and was a pivotal component to concentrate solely in this arena.

Lee Gillard, owner of YLCO, set up as a general builder and transitioned towards specialising in traditional buildings through various obstacles and challenges, trial and error along the way. His own revelations gathered momentum through the mistakes that he was gradually perceiving being made on the sites he worked on. These initial years taught him invaluable lessons which he passed on to his team and these insights allowed YLCO to blossom into the company’s current approach and successful business model. Recognizing the detrimental effects of cement on these structures, Lee embarked on a journey of discovery, particularly in the realm of lime-based materials and completed many courses, primarily at The Scottish Lime Centre Trust. Grateful for insights from Nigel Copsey, Lee delved into the use of hot lime mortars, sparking a new direction towards building conservation.

Navigating through challenges and misinformation in the realm of Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL), Lee's mission evolved—to eliminate the use of harmful modern materials such as cement, plastic paints, and gypsum plasters from traditional buildings. This commitment is not just personal; Lee has extended efforts through advertisements and blog pages, disseminating information about the advantages of sustainable materials over their modern counterparts.

Informed by a passion for preservation, YLCO provides a wealth of information to the public, emphasising the suitability of traditional materials for homes and historical monuments. Through education and advocacy, Lee aims to shift the paradigm towards a more sustainable and harmonious approach to building practices.

The Yorkshire Lime Company distinguishes itself from its peers by exclusively using sustainable materials and adopting environmentally conscious practices. They recycle aggregates and earthen mortars during pointing work to minimize waste, primarily focusing on preserving the original fabric of buildings. While traditional methods and minimal power tool usage prevent damage to building fabric, locally sourced materials are prioritized, sourced from a nearby quarry only when the original aggregate is insufficient. The company's commitment extends to reusing materials, including lime mortars, and utilizing carbon-negative quicklime, aiming for carbon neutrality through innovative approaches like hydrogen kilns. This comprehensive approach minimizes their environmental impact, with the only significant carbon footprint attributed to vehicle fuel usage.

For further information visit facebook.com/theyorkshirelimeco