Limestone on the ‘Don Pedro I’ facade in the Real Alcázar compound, Seville, Spain
C. Vazquez-Calvo, M. J. Varas, M. Alvarez De Buergo, R. Fort, 2010. "Limestone on the ‘Don Pedro I’ facade in the Real Alcázar compound, Seville, Spain", Limestone in the Built Environment: Present-Day Challenges for the Preservation of the Past, B. J. Smith, M. Gomez-Heras, H. A. Viles, J. Cassar
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This paper discusses the research conducted prior to restoring the ‘Don Pedro I’ facade on the Real Alcázar or royal palace at Seville, Spain. The different types of stone on the facade were located and characterized, and their state of decay mapped. Although other materials (brick, rendering, ceramics, marble) are present on the facade, its main elements are made from two types of limestone: palomera and tosca, each in a different state of conservation and exhibiting distinct behaviour. Colour parameters, real and bulk densities, compactness, open porosity, water saturation coefficient and total porosity were determined to characterize the two varieties. In addition, ultrasonic techniques were used to map the various levels of decay on the facade, stone by stone, for future interventions. The findings show that owing to its petrographical and petrophysical properties, palomera stone is of a lower quality than tosca stone, and has undergone more intense deterioration.
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Limestone is a highly successful and widely used building material, found in many important historic buildings and new monuments around the world. Whilst its success reflects its durability under a wide range of environmental conditions, there are still important questions surrounding the selection, use and conservation of building limestones. In order to make best use of new limestone today, and to conserve old limestone most effectively, we need to bring modern research methods to bear on understanding the characteristics of different limestones, what mortars to use, and how key limestones have responded to polluted atmospheres. This volume brings together recent inter-disciplinary research on these issues, illustrating the diversity of innovative techniques that are now being applied to furthering our understanding of building limestones.