Some thatched roofs break down for unexplained reasons. A "test bed"test exists which should help to explain the reasons for poor durability in thatched roofs about 100 Courte Paille restaurants in France, identical architecturally, and all with thatched roofs. Also in the U.K. in the National Trust village of Kingston Lacey, there are 120 thatched properties of which the thatch was surveyed 10 years ago. It is proposed to determine the durability of the thatch on these French and English roofs, to obtain information on the source of the thatching material and on its physical and chemical characteristics. Among physical characteristics will be length, solidity of stems, leafiness and composition of stems as determined by photomicrography. Among chemical characteristics will be the content of nitrogen, salt, silica, wax, liquid and calcium. Evidence of the possible effect of local air pollution will also be recorded. It is important at the present time, when there is the prospect of a considerable revival in the use of thatch as a roofing material, with all its environmental and energy conservation advantages, to ensure that such a revival should not be hampered by the use of low quality thatching materials. The project aims to correlate durability of thatch on the "test bed" roofs with a number of criteria. This will enable thatchers to procure roofing material which will not deqrade prematurely.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
OX11 9DJ Aston Tirrold - Didcot
95430 Butry Sur Oise