Natural Stone is a Green Material Natural stone’s inherent characteristics make it Mother Nature’s green building product. It can be used without any additional finishes or wall coverings, has low maintenance needs, is highly durable (and recyclable!). Unlike the many cladding materials available on the market requiring extensive manufacturing energy, natural stone is extracted from the earth and processed by cutting and finishing. Since building designs may be using more materials (and/or more carbon-intensive products) to achieve lower energy use, an increasing proportion of the total energy use and carbon emissions for high-performance buildings comes from its materials and products. By taking embodied energy into account, a project team can ensure it is designing for net carbon emission reductions.
In the case of natural stone, this may consider the CO2 required in quarrying, transport to the plant, energy required for slabbing and fabrication, delivery to the site, and installation. Based upon most life-cycle analysis studies and comparisons, natural stone is consistently rated as one of the building materials having the lowest embodied energy across many metrics. “The natural stone business in general is really focused on sustainability. The stone itself is a sustainable product as it is a very long-lasting building material. The manufacturing techniques and processes we use are always improving to reduce or re-utilize waste, to reduce energy consumption and to recycle water.” — Mike Picco, President, Natural Stone InstituteClick here for more reasons.