PhD on 'Restoration strategies for stone imitating renders' wins Monument Study Award
Ir. Arch. Yves Govaerts (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) has won the Monuments Study Award 2020 from WTA NL-VL with his PhD on 'Restoration strategies for stone imitating renders (1880-1940): Guidelines for characterisation, cleaning and composing repair mortars.' He finished his work under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Arch. Ann Verdonck (VUB),Prof. Dr. Arch. Michael de Bouw (UAntwerpen), and Prof. Dr. Ir. Wendy Meulebroeck (VUB B-PHOT).
B-PHOT Prof. Meulebroeck supervised Yves during the working out of the research that is described in chapter 7 of the thesis. This chapter addresses the issue of subjective colour determination on render work and presents an improved measuring protocol, based on the appearance of the render.
At the end of the 19th century, the application of innovative render finishes on façades became a popular phenomenon in Belgium. Today, these pierre-simili finishes suffer in most cases from discolouration, cracks, peeling off and other damage which has completely changed the initial perception. Since there is a lack of knowledge concerning the composition, properties and application of these plasters within the restoration/conservation issues, many questions remain unanswered. As a consequence, incorrect decisions are often made during restoration, resulting in increased damage. The aim of Yves’ PhD research was to develop a matrix of mortar samples, varying in colour and texture, and which are linked to an information sheet. This document contains useful data about the composition and application technique, but also on its physical, mechanical and ageing properties. Finally, the tool can be used on-site by professionals to conduct sustainable restoration campaigns.