Yves Govaerts

Yves Govaerts

Ir. arch. Yves Govaerts (VUB, 2012) obtained a research grant in 2012 from the Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). In 2019 he defended his PhD Restoration strategies for stone imitating renders (1880-1940). Guidelines for characterisation, cleaning and composing repair mortars under the supervision of prof. dr. arch. Ann Verdonck (VUB), prof. dr. ir. arch. Michael de Bouw (UAntwerpen) en prof. dr. ir. Wendy Meulebroeck (VUB).

Yves attended several international conferences about architectural heritage, historic constructions, construction history and historic renders and published his work in national and international journals.


PhD research

Restoration strategies for stone imitating renders: Development of a tool for composing repair mortars

Date2012 - 2016
SupervisorsAnn Verdonck, Michael de Bouw and Wendy Meulebroeck
FundsAgency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT)

At the end of the 19th century, the application of innovative render finishes on façades became a popular phenomenon in Belgium. In order to create an appearance of sand stone, ingredients such as lime, mica and crunched stone had to be consequently added to white cement. Afterwards the surface was scratched or scraped to create a rough texture. To create a convincing sand stone masonry imitation, simulated joints were drawn into the wet plaster. As a result a typical 'simili-pierre' or 'stone imitation' was obtained.

Today, these pierre-simili finishes suffer in most cases from discoloration, cracks, peeling off and other damage which has completely changed the initial perception. Since there is lack of knowledge concerning the composition, properties and application of these plasters within the restoration/conservation issues, many questions remain unanswered. As a consequence, incorrect decisions are often made during restoration, resulting in increasing damage. 

The aim of this research is to develop a matrix of mortar samples, varying in colour and texture, and which are linked to an information sheet. This document will contain useful data about the composition and application technique, but also on its physical, mechanical and ageing properties. Finally, the tool can be used on site by professionals to conduct sustainable restoration campaigns.

Master’s thesis

Material-technical research of Pierre-Simili façade finishes: the Terranova rendering of ‘De Roma’ (1928, Borgerhout)

Date2011 - 2012
SupervisorsAnn Verdonck and Jonas Lindekens