Top menu

Mark Lee

Mark Lee

Premier Award Winner 2016
A Comparative Study of the Physical Properties of Natural Hydraulic Lime and Ordinary Portland Cement Binders for the Application of External Renders

Research Abstract

The intention of this research was to identify whether Natural Hydraulic Lime (NHL) binders are a suitable alternative to Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) binders in the application of external renders by comparing a number of their performance characteristics within laboratory conditions. By examining the performance of 1:3 binder to aggregate mixes using NHL 2, NHL 3.5, NHL 5 and OPC binders this dissertation explores the potential for reducing the dominance of OPC within the UK construction industry.


A variety of tests were performed in laboratory conditions including flexural strength, depth of carbonation, compressive strength and adhesive/bond strength. Further to this the porosity, density and absorption of the samples was also established during this research. Testing was undertaken at 7, 28 and 91 day periods with a number of recommendations for further study identified.


This research has discounted NHL 2 binders as a suitable alternative to OPC binders however considering the factors highlighted in this research it has been concluded that it would be reasonable to expect NHL 3.5 and NHL 5 binders to perform sufficiently as an alternative to OPC binders in the application of external renders.

Winner's Bios

Mark Lee

Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Mark graduated in 2016 with a first class honours degree in Building Surveying from Sheffield Hallam University. 


Mark was identified as a future industry leader when named winner of the G4C Award in 2015 and the winner of the national JCT Student Essay Competition in 2013. Following these successes, in 2016, Mark was further awarded the RICS Regional Prize for Building Surveying and CIOB Certificate of Excellence for Building Surveying.


Mark is currently a member of the RICS Matrics Greater Manchester Committee and currently works as a Building Surveyor at Savills in their Manchester office.