ST. LOUIS, MO -- Global Granite & Marble has launched a new division, Global Architectural Products (GAP), said Elliot Uchitelle, managing partner of the St. Louis-based importer and supplier of natural stone.

According to Uchitelle, there is demand within the architecture and design community for detailed information about natural stone during the material specification process. GAP will provide architects, design-build firms, masons, general contractors and custom homebuilders with details such as stone type, coloration, performance, appearance and longevity early in the design phase. Global Granite & Marble will then carry its clients through the entire construction process -- from drawing, specification and pricing through to installation and natural stone maintenance training.

“By making this qualified information available early on to the professionals we serve, their budgets are met and disappointments are diminished,” said Uchitelle. He added that Global Granite & Marble is one of only two or three importers of stone in the country offering such a service to commercial designers, builders and architects.

Sam Koontz, a 15-year veteran of both the imported stone and ceramic tile industry, has joined Global Granite & Marble as head of the new division. Before moving to St. Louis, Koontz was director of architectural sales and fulfillment for 12 years for Arizona Tile in Phoenix, AZ.

Alex Habr, a Global Granite & Marble engineer, is integral to the expertise being offered to the commercial market through GAP. Traveling all over the world from his home base in Lebanon, Habr oversees material production and shipment and provides shop drawings and cut tickets for all of Global Granite & Marble's commercial work.

Target markets for the new service include St. Louis, MO; Louisville, KY; Kansas City, KS; Memphis, TN; Cincinnati, OH and Indianapolis, IN.