Old buildings were built in an entirely different context to that of modern society, when labour was cheap and transport costly. Therefore, local materials were used and this harmony with the landscape is much of their attraction.


Today's transport is cheap and labour costly, so that working on existing buildings requires an intelligent understanding of the materials in order to retain the quality of the building on a limited budget.


Too often, local builders will persuade clients to do what they are used to doing whether it is appropriate or not (such as cement renders which interrupt the natural passage of water vapour in solid-walled buildings).