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Have you heard of Bungaroosh?

A composite building material made from a mix of local waste materials and hydraulic lime, it originates in ancient practices similar to those used by the Romans to construct the Pantheon.


Bungaroosh became a staple in Brighton and Hove during the 19th century, not only because it was cost-effective—helping to avoid high brick taxes—but also due to its accessibility from local sources.  It comprises brick and stone, shuttered in a lime render. Bungaroosh pre-dated cement-based concrete products follow similar principles: formwork is erected, and a slurry is poured into the shape created. This construction method utilised readily available materials, which minimised transportation and costs. Bungaroosh is an excellent example of a low-impact building using locally sourced materials.

Over the years, Bungaroosh has unfairly received a lot of bad press. However, structures built using bungaroosh have lasted over 150 - 200 years and have not been touched since construction. While bungaroosh is porous, like most lime products, it is highly durable and will dry out quickly when allowed to breathe. Most issues occur when modern construction materials are added to bungaroosh. Often, they don't mix well, complicating repairs and maintenance. These factors contribute to its unfair reputation as a problematic building material.

Here at Kind, we want to celebrate Bungaroosh. It's a unique, low-impact building material with roots deeply embedded in historic Brighton architecture. A prime example of early recycling efforts, it is also a historic example of how utilising abundant local materials in construction can create durable, low-impact buildings.

It's time we appreciate these traditional methods and their relevance to today's need to reduce the environmental impact of our construction industry.

Do you have Bungaroosh, or would you like to know more?

We are hosting a talk by Neil England, the founder of Heritage Building Advisors, established 14 years ago and renowned for winning numerous West Sussex Heritage and RIBA awards. With 45 years of experience, Neil has a storied career as a consultant and owner of a prominent ornamental fibrous plaster restoration company. As a Building Heritage Surveyor, he has contributed to hundreds of historic building restoration projects, earning high regard among his peers.

Click here to learn more about the talk

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