Natural Stone – The most sustainable building material

September 10, 2013   |   By

Natural Stone has been the building material of choice, based on aesthetics and durability for centuries. In today’s eco aware world, its popularity is also driven by the fact it’s the most sustainable building material. Limestone, sandstone, marble, granite, travertine or slate– it’s enduring popularity for those in architecture, construction, conservation & restoration, interior design and landscaping.

Swaddywell Quarry Sustainabilty

There is no fixed specification, the general consensus that for a building to be sustainable it needs to use materials that, improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and pollution, conserve natural resources such as water and wood, are non-toxic, use renewable energies and have a long life-span. Natural stone is typically one of these materials.

Unlike man-made products, such as cast stone and concrete, natural stone is a completely natural product, extracted from the ground and processed (usually locally) using low energy machinery into – Building stone, Architectural stone, Fireplaces, Staircases, Coping,  kitchen worktops, wall and floor tiles, cladding and much more.

Manufacturing concrete building materials involves high energy transformation in fuel-burning kilns, which pump vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. Before polluting chemicals are added with resins to bind it all together. None of these practices are needed in natural stone production, time and nature have done all the work to make it a highly durable, low maintenance building product with high thermal mass … without mentioning its unquestionable beauty .

Evidence showing natural building stones eco-credentials  is increasing. Two recent reports (Embodied Carbon in Natural Building Stone in Scotland – by Historic Scotland and Inventory of Carbon & Energy – by University of Bath ) conclude that the CO2 equivalent of stone is lower than any other major building material.