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Bungaroosh Construction: Our experience and repair/maintenance advice.

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

What is bungaroosh (Bungeroosh)?

Bungaroosh (Bungeroosh, bungaroush, bungarouche, bungarooge, bunglarooge, bunglarouge).

Bungaroosh is a historic traditional building material used circa 1750 – 1900 and found almost exclusively in Brighton, Hove, Worthing & Lewes. It is almost always finished with render externally and often requires expert knowledge and experience to identify its existence.

It commonly comprises random brick, stone, flints, pebbles, sand and wood shuttered in a hydraulic lime render. Bungaroosh was often constructed using formwork comprising timber shuttering with the Bungaroosh slurry being poured into the formwork.

Some of the best known Bungaroosh Regency buildings in Brighton & Hove include: Adelaide Crescent, Palmeira Square, Brunswick Square, Regency Square, Sussex Square, Lewes Crescent & Marine Parade. There are also large areas of housing in the Hanover, St. Peter’s & North Laine, Queens Park, East Brighton, Regency, Preston Park, Goldsmid, Central Hove, Westbourne, Brunswick & Adelaide wards that are of Bungaroosh construction (not an exhaustive list).

Known Issues

Bungaroosh must be maintained and repair using conservation-friendly techniques and traditional (lime-based) materials. Unfortunately, this is often not the case which can cause significant issues with both structural movement and dampness. The material is prone to natural deterioration over time. However, if repaired and maintained in the correct way, the material can be incredibly durable - as evidenced by the large number of buildings still standing in Sussex, hundreds of years after their original construction.

Our experience

We regularly encounter dampness with Bungaroosh construction. A level of dampness can be tolerated (and is often expected) if traditional lime-based ‘breathable’ materials remain which allow natural evaporation of moisture within the walls. However, where modern hard cement-based plasters/mortars/renders are used, we regularly see issues with dampness being trapped within the wall structures.

Our experience is that many of the supposed structural concerns with Bungaroosh are often overstated and over-exaggerated. The most common structural issues we do observe is where Bungaroosh construction adjoins traditional brick walls; there can be a lack of suitable bonding leading to differential movement of the different materials. There can also be issues with lateral restraint in Bungaroosh construction generally which needs to be carefully examined and repaired in the correct way. Due to the natural deterioration of the material, it will require more frequent periodic planned maintenance and monitoring.

We have extensive experience inspecting and reporting on Bungaroosh construction and provide expert advice on how to properly repair and maintain this type of construction to ensure longevity and help protect your home. We would always recommend instructing a Building Survey on this type of property before buying a home of Bungaroosh construction.

Will Bungaroosh construction affect saleability or mortgageability?

Our experience is that the existence of Bungaroosh construction should not affect saleability or mortgageability of your home. There are large numbers of housing containing Bungaroosh construction in Brighton, Hove, Lewes, Worthing and the surrounding areas. Mortgage Valuers and Lenders typically consider the construction to fall within ‘traditional’ or ‘conventional’ solid wall construction types and, therefore, this does not adversely affect mortgageability.

Maintenance Advice

Attached below is a document produced by Heritage Building Advisors (HBA) explaining in detail how best to repair and maintain Bungaroosh construction.

Heritage Building Advisors - Living with – and repairing – bungaroush
Download PDF • 141KB


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