Sustainability

The Sustainability of Natural Stone

Unlike trees‚ stone does not grow at a visible speed. It is possible to say that for every tree used‚ one plants another to grow to replace it‚ but one cannot do quite the same with stone (though volcanic activity is creating new resources quite naturally). So‚ one has to address the actual meaning and purpose behind the word “sustainability”.

In the world‚ there is a vast and unimaginably huge resource of stone. The earth is made of it and the depth of usable material is immense. There are different types of stone of course and some are used as aggregate for making concrete and asphalte roads and almost everything we use for construction has to come out of the ground. Most of the exceptions are recycled materials‚ and stone that has been used for paving can often be recycled and re-used for the same purpose‚ without even being re-processed in any mechanical way. Today’s natural stone street paving will be being adapted and re-used in gardens in a century’s time just as Victorian stone paving is being re-used now.

Paving exists in a tough environment‚ much tougher than that for the sides of buildings. Whatever hard materials are used to surface the ground‚ the earth’s resources will be used to a degree‚ but by using materials that last and can be re-used again‚ the amount of the earth’s resources that is used is minimised. And not only is the amount of surface material minimised‚ but all the associated materials used when repaving is undertaken are minimised as well.

All CED’s aggregates and dimension stones are from reputable sources. The very great majority of its aggregates are British as there is a wonderful variety of these available. From a landscape viewpoint‚ the aggregates and stones used should be selected carefully to take account of the site conditions so they will have as long a useful life as possible in order to use the minimum amount of the earth’s resources. Some of the aggregates are particularly important in providing a porous yet walkable‚ even lightly trafficable‚ surface. Being free-draining is vital to SUDS.

All materials should be selected using whole-life values and accounting rather than lowest cost. Quality materials help make quality spaces which create quality environments.

You couldn’t push a lorry down the Motorway…

but

... You could push a boat down the river.


“In order that we can focus on the job we do best‚ we buy all our stone from approved suppliers such as CED‚ who have a wide range of stone which they source from reputable quarries‚ so we are happy to rely on their expertise in this area.” - Mark Gregory‚ Landform Consultants.

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