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International Conference

Towards the next generation of sustainable masonry systems: Mortars, renders, plasters and other challenges

11 and 12 November 2024
Funchal, Madeira, Portugal


The SUBLime Conference on the next generation of sustainable masonry systems will be held on 11 and 12 November 2024.

This conference is held within the scope of the SUBLime Network.

SUBLime (Sustainable Building Lime Applications via Circular Economy and Biomimetic Approaches) aims to train researchers in multiple scientific and engineering fields for a better understanding and development of sustainable innovation solutions for mortars, renders and plasters in new construction and conservation of the built heritage.

This conference will be a key platform for dissemination of the SUBLime’s results, and everyone is invited to participate. This is also a great opportunity to discuss and share on-going research on sustainable masonry systems and other challenges.

Conference topics

This conference focuses on a wide variety of topics that contribute towards a more sustainable future in the world of masonry construction systems (both load-bearing and non-load-bearing). The following sub-topics have been identified:

  • Mortars: fresh properties, hardened properties and delayed effects.
  • New testing techniques: from material level to structural level.
  • Lime-cement blended mortars for masonry.
  • New mortar solutions towards improved performance.
  • Performance-based design of masonry mortars and masonry systems.
  • Self-healing in mortar/masonry systems.
  • Innovative solutions for service life enhancement in masonry systems.
  • Circularity in masonry components.
  • Life-cycle analysis of raw materials and systems.
  • Numerical simulation of mortar and masonry systems: multi-physics and multi-scale approaches.
  • Resistance to earthquakes and extreme events.
  • Climate change and adaptation.
  • Conservation, repair and strengthening of the built heritage.
  • Prefabrication and modular construction.
  • Robotics and digitalization in masonry.
  • Inspection, maintenance, operation.
  • Digital twins and BIM.
  • Case studies of practical design/construction.
  • Codes and standards.

Special sessions


Preliminary Programme

We are delighted to present the preliminary programme for the upcoming conference, designed to offer a comprehensive and enriching experience for all attendees. Attendees can look forward to a series of high-quality sessions featuring the latest research and developments in the field. These sessions will provide valuable insights and foster stimulating discussions among participants.

We are honoured to host an array of distinguished keynote speakers, leaders in their respective fields. Their presentations will offer in depth overviews into critical topics and emerging trends, ensuring that attendees gain a broad understanding of future directions.

A stimulating roundtable discussion focused on the importance of lime in new applications for the construction industry is planned. This session will bring together industry experts to explore innovative uses of lime and lime potential to revolutionize construction practices.

Beyond the formal sessions, we have planned a great social programme for participants. This includes a tour through beautiful sites in Madeira Island, allowing you to enjoy the stunning landscapes and rich culture of this beautiful location.

Join us for an unforgettable conference that combines cutting-edge knowledge with the charm and beauty of Madeira Island. Stay tuned for more details and the full programme release!

Keynote Speakers


Future readiness of lime-based building materials: from heritage to innovation
Prof. emeritus Koenraad Van Balen, – KU Leuven

Construction materials that last more than 500 years, will last 500 years or more if applied today.  Learning from the past and particularly from cultural heritage as a knowledge depository and inspiring solution database has driven us not only to develop preservation strategies but also to develop innovative sustainable and lasting construction materials.  In depth research of lime mortar-based constructions integrating todays scientific insights and tools, helped understanding processes of carbonation and their influence on behaviour of masonry; It helped questioning he paradigms that “modern” building materials developed in the beginning of the X20th century has developed its insights on.

Engineer-Architect Koenraad Van Balen, additional degree in conservation and a PhD in Engineering. Now an emeritus professor at the Civil Engineering department, he was the former director of the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation.  He was member of the research Council of KU Leuven, initiators of the KU Leuven Institute for Cultural heritage.  Former Secretary-General of ISCARSAH, member of ICOMOS Belgium, Monumentenwacht Flanders, WTA, RILEM and member of the Council of Europa Nostra. He is jury member for the European Heritage Awards and panel member of the European Heritage Label. He is involved in various World Heritage Sites. He is strongly involved in the European Institute of Technology (EIT) Culture and Creativity.


Sustainable mortars and plasters from an industrial point of view
Dr. Tina Oertel – Sievert Baustoffe SE & Co. KG

Sustainability has many facets. We will give insight into the development of sustainable mortars and renders using recycled limestone which attributes to the demand to increasingly replace raw materials from natural resources by recycled materials. Furthermore, we will present newly developed renders with improved thermal insulation properties as a necessity to keep heating energy in our buildings. All along the way, synergies are used by combining findings from university research projects, improvements of the raw materials industry und progress in the dry-mix mortar industry.

Tina Oertel, born in 1985 in Germany, is Senior Team Leader in the Research and Development Department of Sievert Baustoffe SE & Co. KG. She is leading two research groups with a focus on renders for inside and outside application, e.g. thermal insulation mortars and reinforcing mortars for ETHIC systems.  Furthermore, she is a member of the DIN standardization committee for plasters. Tina’s passion for building materials emanates from her studies of civil engineering at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and the Finger-Institute for Building Materials Science. She did her PhD along with the international graduate school of the Elite Network of Bavaria focussing on ’The Influence of Amorphous, Sub-Micrometer Silica Particles Ultra-High Performance Concrete’.


Functionalization of lime mortars and plasters: A biomimetic approach
Prof. Carlos Rodríguez-Navarro – University of Granada

Lime mortars and plasters have been used as building materials since the origins of pyrotechnology in the Levant ca. 12,000-14,000 years ago, and currently are experiencing a revival as compatible and sustainable materials in heritage conservation and modern construction. Extensive research has recently explored ways to improve their properties, particularly using Nature as an inspiration. Such a biomimetic approach is enabling the functionalization of lime mortars and plasters via different strategies that are reviewed here and include accelerated setting via enzymatic-like catalyzed carbonation, increased toughness via inter- and intracrystalline additive incorporation, modification of surface wettability and enhanced self-cleaning ability via surface microtexturing and photoactive nanoparticle incorporation, anti-biofouling capacity, increased radiative cooling, or self-healing properties.

Carlos Rodriguez-Navarro, a geologist by training, is a full professor in the Department of Mineralogy and Petrology at the University of Granada (Spain), having joined the university in 1999. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Getty Conservation Institute (J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles), from 1995 until 1999. His research interest focuses on heritage weathering and conservation, as well as on mineral formation and dissolution. He has published more than a hundred papers and several patents on topics ranging from salt damage, nanoscale processes during chemical weathering, bacterial mineralization, lime mortars functionalization, and mineral carbon capture and sequestration. He is a fellow of the Mineralogical Society of Spain and Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Mineralogy.


Masonry systems: past, present and future
Prof. Jan Kubica – Silesian University of Technology

The presentation will be covering construction and material systems used in masonry construction, both in European countries and in a broader geographical context, including other continents. The development and changes of masonry systems in historical terms will be shown, depending on the climatic conditions in given areas and the development of societies and the level of their economy. With reference to the current state, i.e. the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the material and construction solutions most commonly adopted in various countries with variable climatic requirements and various dominant loads, including seismic ones, will be presented. An attempt will also be made, as far as it is currently possible, to outline the directions of development of masonry structures in the coming decades, taking into account the circular economy, CO2 reduction and the maximum use of natural and recycled raw materials.

Full professor of structural engineering and the Head of the Department of Structural Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice with more than 30 years of experience in experimental techniques, advanced numerical modelling of masonry, concrete (including precast and prestressed concrete) and composite structures. Author or co-author of more than 200 publications. Member of many international and national bodies including five Polish Standard Committees (since 1994). His current scientific interests include modern cement-based and lime-based materials, methacrylate glues for steel strengthening, not-metallic reinforcement and graphene using in building materials applications, as well as geopolymers and the use of ANN. 

Pre-conference Tour

Before the conference (on Sunday 10th of November), we will be organizing a Tour through beautiful sites in Madeira Island. This will be an opportunity to experience the stunning landscapes and rich culture of Madeira, as well as to start exchanges of experiences between participants. Below you can find a more detailed description of the Tour. The Tour has a maximum number of spots available, so early registration is recommended to secure your place. To register for the Tour, you must select that option during the registration process. The Tour has a nominal fee (co-payment) of 20€.

The Tour:

Around 09h00 departure from the Hotel up way on the hill by bus with some opportunities to enjoy incredible views at Funchal’s Ecological Park, at an altitude of 1129 metres. Pico Alto viewpoint offers a panoramic view over the capital of Madeira, its bay and the Atlantic.

We will go directly to Vereda dos Balcões for a short trail (1.5 km long train + 1.5 km return), that takes you to enjoy the views from the Balcões viewpoint. The Vereda dos Balcões trail will be an opportunity to come across indigenous and endemic species, offering different shades of green to the Laurissilva forest. At the end of Vereda dos Balcões, you will arrive at the Balcões viewpoint, where you can take a glimpse at a magnificent scenery.

Continuing our tour, we will go to Santana and Quinta do Furão, where we will have lunch. Quinta do Furão stands on a cliff top at Achada do Gramacho in Santana, on the northeast coast of the Island of Madeira.

After lunch we will stop at Santana for a short break and some typical pictures next to Casinhas de Santana, an icon for the peculiar beauty of their architectural style. With a triangular shape and covered in thatch, they are the greater symbol of this municipality on the north coast of the island of Madeira.

We will return to Funchal with a panoramic view of some Island views. We will finish our tour on a historic winery. Visit accompanied by a brand ambassador, who will walk you through the different areas of the Wine Lodge, share secrets of Madeira wine production and offer a wine tasting at the end of the visit.


Special accommodation rates

Stay at the prestigious 5-star Pestana Casino Park in Funchal, designed by renowned architect Óscar Niemeyer. You can take advantage of a special accommodation rate at the Hotel, and enjoy its luxurious amenities including an infinity pool, spa, and panoramic restaurants. Special rates for conference attendees are:

  • Single room: €126.50
  • Double room: €137.50

Book your accommodation at the discounted price through the registration platform.


The Pestana Casino Park is a 5-star hotel in Funchal, Madeira, surrounded by 15,000 m² of private gardens. Designed by world-renowned master architect Óscar Niemeyer, this hotel is adjacent to the Funchal bay cruise port. Plus, it is only 5 minutes on foot from the city centre and the epicentre of the city’s social and cultural life. Its privileged location on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean makes it one of the most famous hotels on the island of Madeira. It features an infinity swimming pool, gardens with peaceful alcoves, a private car park available for a fee, a Spa where you can schedule a massage and/or Magic Spa treatment, and an indoor swimming pool (25º) with water jets, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna and gym. You can enjoy the restaurants and bars with panoramic views, as well as the tennis court.


The conference will be held at the city of Funchal in Madeira (Portugal), at Hotel Pestana Casino Park, which is very convenient and well equipped for conferences in terms of facilities, transportation, proximity to other hotels and to the city centre. Funchal is one of the region’s oldest municipalities and it became a city in 1508. The city of Funchal has many leisure activities on offer, you can visit the magnificent monuments, museums and gardens, shop, explore its Portuguese-style cobbled streets or simply have a pleasant time sitting on a terrace. The temperate in November ranges between 17 and 21ºC. The island of Madeira is located to the southwest of mainland Portugal, in the Atlantic Ocean. The conference takes place in the island’s capital, Funchal. The Municipality of Funchal extends over a large hill, arranged in an amphitheatre, from the coast up to Pico do Areeiro, situated at 1818 m above sea level. The island is full of attractions, including beautiful hiking trails, breath-taking viewpoints and a wide range of excursions. It also has a long history, with charming villages, museums and art galleries. Madeira is very well-connected and easily accessible, with daily short flights from Lisbon and Porto, and more than 60 direct connections to European cities.


Local Organising Committee
  • Paulo B. Lourenço, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Miguel Azenha, University of Minho, Portugal
  • João M. Pereira, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Carlos Navarro-Rodriguez, University of Granada, Spain
  • Eddy Koenders, TU Darmstadt, Germany
  • Guang Ye, TU Delft, Netherlands
  • Jan Kubica, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
  • João M. Pereira, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Miguel Azenha, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Nele De Belie, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Paulo B. Lourenço, University of Minho, Portugal
  • Rodolphe Nicole, EuLA, Belgium
  • Ulrike Peter, Lhoist, Belgium
  • Ana Velosa, Portugal
  • Andrea Penna, Italy
  • Antonella Saisi, Italy
  • Antonio Caballero Gonzalez, Belgium
  • Arun Menon, India
  • Aurélie Isebaert, Netherlands
  • Bahman Ghiassi, United Kingdom
  • Carlos Navarro-Rodriguez, Spain
  • Carolin Graef, Germany
  • Claudio Mazzotti, Italy
  • Daniel Quiun, Peru
  • David Wilson, United Kingdom
  • Eddy Koenders, Germany
  • Encarnacion Ruiz-Agudo, Spain
  • Erik Schlangen, Netherlands
  • Fernando F.S. Pinho, Portugal
  • Fernando Peña, Mexico
  • Francesca da Porto, Italy
  • Gabriele Milani, Italy
  • Graça Vasconcelos, Portugal
  • Guang Ye, Netherlands
  • Guilherme Parsekian, Brazil
  • Hipolito Campos de Sousa, Portugal
  • Humberto Varum, Portugal
  • Ioanna Papayianni, Greece
  • Jan Kubica, Poland
  • Jan Valek, Czech Republic
  • Jason Ingham, New Zealand
  • João Gomes Ferreira, Portugal
  • João M. Pereira, Portugal
  • John Hughes, United Kingdom
  • José Granja, Portugal
  • José Ignacio Alvarez, Spain
  • Katrin Beyer, Switzerland
  • Luca Pelà, Spain
  • Marcin Gorski, Poland
  • Maria Rosa Valluzzi, Italy
  • Maria Stefanidou, Greece
  • Marius Moşoarcă, Romania
  • Mark Masia, Australia
  • Miguel Azenha, Portugal
  • Nele De Belie, Belgium
  • Neven Ukrainczyk, Germany
  • Paula Carey, United Kingdom 
  • Paulina Faria, Portugal
  • Paulo B. Lourenço, Portugal
  • Pete Walker, United Kingdom
  • Rafael Aguilar, Peru
  • Rafael de Lara, Portugal
  • Rita Bento, Portugal
  • Rosário Veiga, Portugal
  • Sagrario Martínez Ramírez, Spain
  • Sara Pavia, Ireland
  • Sergio Lagomarsino, Italy
  • Tina Oertel, Germany
  • Ulrike Peter, Belgium
  • Veerle Cnudde, Belgium
  • Violeta Bokan Bosiljkov, Slovenia
  • Wael El-Dakhakhni, Canada

Dates and Submission


Abstract Submission

The abstract submission deadline is February 23rd 2024! → CLOSED
Please submit your abstract using the following link:

Extended Abstract Submission

All accepted extended abstract will be published in a Book of Abstracts that will be made available to the conference participants. Note that these will not be indexed.
The extended abstract submission deadline is May 7th 2024!
Please submit your extended abstract using the following link:
The template for the extended abstract can be downloaded here.

Please note at least one author should be registered so that the extended abstract can be considered for the Book of Abstracts.

Full Paper Submission

All accepted full papers will be published by MATEC Web of Conferences. Each paper will have an individual DOI and will be open access. Note that these papers will be indexed.
The full paper submission deadline is May 7th 2024!
Please submit your full paper using the following link:
The template for the full paper can be downloaded here.

Full papers need to be prepared following the instruction provided by MATEC. Please follow the instructions provided in the template. Additionally, a few extra resources can be seen below:

Please note at least one author should be registered so that the paper can be considered for publication.


Within the SUBLime Conference on the next generation of sustainable masonry systems, authors will have the possibility of:

  • publish a full paper (indexed)
  • publish an extended abstract (not indexed)

The indexed paper will be published by MATEC Web of Conferences, with each paper being assigned an individual DOI.


A special issue of selected conference papers is planned to be published in the Journal Construction and Building Materials (Elsevier, Special Issue). The Organizing Committee will select a set of articles, which must be subsequently submitted by the authors, with extended content, for review and possible publication


 Early bird
(until July 8th 2024)
(after July 8th 2024)
PhD students325€400€
  • The registration fee includes coffee breaks, lunches, conference dinner and publication of the paper.
  • The individual registration for the conference dinner (accompanying persons) has a cost of 75€.
  • Publication of a paper in the Proceedings requires a unique registration associated with the paper, i.e. each registered participant is eligible for publication of one paper.
  • Presenting authors need to register by 31st of July 2024 to ensure that the paper is included in the proceedings.
  • Please be aware that the conference registration will close on October 28th, 2024.


  • Refund requests until July 31st, 2024. The registration fee will be refunded with an administrative fee of 50 euros.
  • Requests for reimbursement after July 31st, 2024. There will be no reimbursement, the registration may be used by another participant from the same institution.

For inquiries about registration, reservations and payments please contact:
Maria João Coelho
Tel: +351 222 043 571


Lhoist - Lusical

Institutional Support


This Conference is organised by the SUBLime consortium. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955986.