Innovation for sustainable design –
back to basics, post-tensioned stone
and lightweight façades

Tuesday 23 February

Using structural stone to build with can make good sense, both environmentally and economically. Post- and pre-tensioned stone has enabled designers to achieve elegant solutions and provide a low carbon alternative to concrete. And innovative designs of light-weight frames supporting thin stone cladding mean the main frame of a building can be lighter, saving materials and cutting costs throughout the build.

View the session video:

Sessions included:

  1. For too long stone has been used as a thin veneer and cladding material. Simple resilient stone was robbed of its mechanical properties. With a better understanding of the stone behaviour when reinforced, software technology and testing procedures, this naturally formed product is the ideal choice for use as a sustainable alternative to concrete. The industry needs to update its vision and build upon more than a thousand years’experience of using stone coupled with the wealth of a highly skilled workforce, to return dimensional stone to the architects lexicon. At The Stonemasonry Company we have dedicated our time and work to show that we can dig deeper to build higher using natural stone.
  2. In a presentation entitled ‘Natural and Engineered Stone facades: sustainability, buildability and aesthetics’, David Wilson, architectural consultant at Shackerley, will discuss the benefits of using engineered or natural stone materials as a ventilated façade in improving sustainability across every phase of a building’s lifecycle; from specification to operation. The presentation will consider the embedded carbon implications of stone cladding as compared to hand set stone construction, along with reduction it provides in the amount of construction materials required and waste generated, the longevity of the building envelope and maintenance requirements. It will also highlight how these sustainability benefits can be delivered while answering the aesthetic, planning and buildability goals of the project. 
  3. Climate change is making us think again about our whole way of life and the necessary changes with which we are faced affect everything. It will have come as a surprise to some to discover that the pre-industrial world was almost wholly environmentally benign, while almost everything ‘modern’ that we have learned since the industrial revolution has turned out to be damaging. Traditional building, with locally sourced natural materials, manual labour and skill did no harm and, with maintenance, updating and repurposing, could last for hundreds of years. Modern materials and construction are by comparison, energy extravagant, carbon emitting, wasteful and polluting. The clock doesn’t go back, but what can we learn from the past and re-apply to the future? 

  • I've seen how techniques and machinery have advanced in the stone trade, making life easier, more efficient and saving money on a project
    Show Visitor
  • The Natural Stone Show has been really exciting for us, we’ve met a lot of great people and had a lot of traffic on the stand, it has been a great setting for our official launch.
    Kelly Johnson
  • You can find everything!
    Show Visitor
  • The real highlight of the show has been seeing so many people come to see the new colours that we've introduced...we've pulled in incredible crowds with the new range.
    Simon Boocock
    CR Laurence of Europe