Natural stone in green building
From the granite of the Pyramids or the marble of the Taj Mahal, to the limestone of the Empire State Building, natural stone is a key component in timeless, durable and quality design. By applying the principles of sustainability design, stone is an important part of contemporary architecture.
Natural stone contributes to enhance green building and LEED certifications. In fact, regionally manufactured and extracted natural stone materials reduce environmental impact by lowering emission of greenhouse gases during transportation, while supporting local economies.
Natural stone is an obvious choice for builders due to its enduring life cycle. Stone has proven that over the centuries, it holds up to weathering and time better than any other building material. Moreover, less energy is consumed by the initial fabrication and installation of natural stone than in manufacturing and replacing another product.
The ease of care and maintenance involved with maintaining natural stone applications is very attractive to architects and builders. Harsh chemicals are not needed to either clean or finish stone. The recyclability of natural stone is unequaled. Nearly 100% of stone from old projects is recyclable.
History of green building: the origins
Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use energy, water, and materials and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better design, construction and maintenance throughout the complete life cycle.
Around the time that the “glass box” style high rise had become the icon of the American city, a forward-thinking group of architects, environmentalists and ecologists were inspired by the growing encironmental movement. As a result of the oil embargo of 1973, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) formed a Committee on Energy, pushing their green building concept forward.
Sustainability, a growing design concept
The concepts of green building and sustainability are ideas that we hear all of the time. Sustainability is a systemic concept, relating to the continuity of economic, social, institutional and environmental aspects of human socity as well as the non-human environment.
Today, green building is one of the fastest growing building and design concepts. Architects, designers and homeowners are becoming involved with the cost-saving possibilities, energy-saving emphasis, modern look and the symbiotic relationship with nature that green building possess.
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