Sustainable Natural Stone House

They used it some 4,500 years ago as the primary building material for one of the most awe-inspiring of the world's seven wonders, the Giza plateau pyramids of Egypt. And about 2,000 years earlier in Britain they used it to build one of the world's greatest enigmas, Stonehenge. Natural stone, the timeless sustainable choice of experts is not a new idea, but it is still being avidly used as a building material today.

The experts who designed and built such potent edifices in Scotland as the Scottish Parliament, the Weston link at the National Gallery of Scotland, and the Museum of Scotland all chose natural stone as a predominant building material. Its unembellished beauty always shines through and its timeless enduring quality sustains down the ages.

A stone is "a piece of rock or hard mineral substance (other than metal), of small to moderate size," according to The Oxford English Dictionary. However, that does not tell us that there are many different types of stone, born from many different kinds of lithification, or rock making, processes, such as sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic stone.

Over the centuries stone masons have discovered which type of stone is best suited for a particular task. Some stone types like granite are best suited for pure strength, while limestone and marble work well for decorative and aesthetically pleasing uses.

Stone can of course be broken down into little pieces and become gravel. A crushing process breaks the stone down until the pieces are more or less the same predetermined size. This allows for a uniform covering for driveways and paths, for example, though gravel has many more uses. It is a satisfyingly low maintenance material that is relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

Natural stone is increasingly becoming popular as a flooring material. It works well with underfloor heating, retaining the heat and thereby making it a very cost-effective choice. It is a naturally durable type of floor covering requiring little maintenance and looking extremely elegant almost forever.

It also works well as the base of a patio, especially in a damp climate where a wooden deck can warp. It doesn't need annually painting or protecting and it will fit right in with the general landscape, which of course is where it came from originally.

Natural stone is an inspired choice for a large open fireplace surround. There's nothing quite like an open fire on a cold evening to bring out the best in people. Relaxing by an open fire as the flames lick lazily up the chimney while sipping a glass of something strong is a great time to appreciate the expert workmanship of stone in such a fireplace, and it is indeed a shame if it isn't there.

This article could go on and on about the virtues of natural stone; there's hardly a situation where it cannot be used to some extent. It is completely sympathetic to the environment, it looks great, it needs little time and effort to maintain and it is relatively inexpensive. Surely that alone is enough good reasons to love it, and certainly why it is the timeless sustainable choice of experts.

David A Robinson
Help and information about using natural stone for domestic and commercial buildings.

Article Source:


Post a Comment