How is Stone Sustainable?

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With project owners, designers and contractors demonstrating an increased commitment to constructing sustainable structures, the sentiment regarding the use of eco-friendly building materials has shifted from “nice to have” to “must have.” Stone, one of the most durable materials used for any application, ranks high as the premier solution.

How is stone eco-friendly?

Natural stone is among the healthiest of building materials. What does that mean? Well, stone has one ingredient, and that’s stone. Unlike alternative products, natural stone maintains a much lower environmental footprint because it isn’t ground into a powder and combined with other resins, polymers, pigments or chemicals to create a new product.

As addressed in a recent article in Building Stone Magazine, with natural stone, only quarrying, fabricating, finishing and transporting are required. No additional materials or chemicals are necessary to create natural stone. With no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), natural stone emits no harmful gases, making it a healthy material and an ideal choice for green building projects.

Third-party standards

Thanks to the building community’s increasing commitment to constructing sustainable structures, material certification is becoming more important to reassure consumers that best practices are being followed. When designers specify certified stone, they can be certain it aligns with the sustainability goals of their project. Certified stone has been approved and vetted by a third-party and is one of the many materials designers can select with confidence that the source is sustainable.

Additional third-party verified standards, including Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and Health Product Declarations (HPD), are becoming increasingly more widespread, helping project teams clearly identify stone that is being produced in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner. Stay tuned for our soon to be released industry-wide HPD’s and EPD’s.

The built environment’s most rigorous performance standard and the cornerstone of the Living Building Challenge™, the Materials Red List identifies the “worst in class” materials, chemicals, and elements known to pose serious risks to human health and the greater ecosystem. Any project seeking certification under the Living Building Challenge must be free of Red List chemicals and materials. Declare™ supports the Living Building Challenge by providing a transparent materials database from which project teams can select to meet this requirement. Coldspring has disclosed all components of our dimensional stone (granite and limestone) on the Declare product database and these products have been designated Red List Free. The Declare label has been added to our product offering to assist project teams in determining how best to source local products that support regional economies.

To learn more about how natural stone helps design teams achieve sustainability goals, visit our sustainability resources online or download our free e-book “Specifying Sustainable Stone: A Guide to Helping Owners Get What They Want.

An environmentally responsible stone producer

Developing and maintaining a sustainable operation is a Coldspring core value that not only affects how we do business but also shapes our corporate culture. This is why the company is recognized as one of the world’s most environmentally responsible stone producers.

Stone is a natural resource. However, depending on how it is quarried, processed, transported and used has a significant bearing on the environmental impact for any particular use. Coldspring’s foundry and other non-stone operations also benefit from sustainable practices that maximize the utilization of our resources while minimizing energy use. We will share how natural stone is sustainably sourced by Coldspring in our second post in this series.

When compared to many other products such as concrete or composites, natural stone is, without a doubt, the optimal sustainable material. In addition to being eco-friendly, natural stone is highly durable, requires minimal processing and is locally available in many markets. While Coldspring is known as one of the largest natural stone manufacturers and suppliers in North America, we are firmly committed to being one of the greenest stone manufacturers in the world.

Reach out to a Coldspring sales representative for help in meeting your sustainability goals.

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