9 Fantastic Uses of Builders’ Lime Hardly Anyone Knows About

| 1/21/2016 4:16:00 PM

Tags: natural building, lime, Atulya K Bingham, Turkey,


“Lime? What kinda lime? Whatcha gonna do with it?” I was sitting in a hardware store staring at a tower of dusty white bags. “You’re whitewashing your house, right?” The store owner grinned at me from beneath a large black moustache. “Erm, no. I’m building with it. I’m constructing a house without concrete, and I’m making the foundations with sacks full of limecrete.”

The store owner shook his head gravely. “Oh no no no,” he said. “You can’t build without cement, dear.”

Sigh. Unfortunately, this is still the opinion of far too many builders and architects, even those living in Turkey, a country visibly crammed with ancient buildings that have stood for thousands of years on foundations of lime.

After a long discussion in the hardware store, I finally managed to buy a tractor load of hydraulic lime. Four years later, I have one sack left. In the end I didn’t put it in the foundations at all, but I did use it plenty of other places. And the more I work with this wonderful white substance, the more I fall in love with it.


2/13/2016 11:47:56 PM

Where is a good resource book or website, to inform us how best to use it? LOVE lime. Tried a bit on a strawbale experiment, and it really was nice to work with--nicer than cement, by far. But, needs protected from wet climate weather, by deep overhangs of the roof.

2/12/2016 12:14:53 PM

I was considering installing poured concrete kitchen counters. Would this be a suitable substitute?

1/26/2016 9:19:24 AM

Good stuff, lime is amazing. I'm not sure how the myth started, but lime is not carbon neutral. Carbon is driven from the lime when it is cooked and the carbon is reabsorbed when the lime carbonates at the close of the lime cycle. But, the carbon released from the fuel used to cook the lime, which is still quite a bit, is still released into the atmosphere and it not reabsorbed. Burning lime with wood, which you can do yourself, is more carbon neutral I suppose, since the carbon could be reabsorbed by plants again. The whole concept of carbon neutrality is a little shaky anyway. I imagine lime is better than portland cement though. Consider trying to burn your own with wood. It is pretty easy if you have good limestone, or some shells, and the quality is higher than bag lime. If you haven't read Building With Lime by Holmes and Wingate, check it out for sure. They, like all those traditional lime guys, are lime putty snobs and would never use bag lime because it is inferior and partially carbonated. I just posted some videos on my youtube channel on burning your own lime in a simple mud kiln, chick it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e54ISzGasdo

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!