HOLLIS, NH - The Natural Stone Council (NSC), a collaborative organization representing business and trade associations that promote stone under the Genuine Stone brand, recently announced the availability of its first case study in a series of research-based documents highlighting the environmental advantages of natural stone. The case study, “Application of Green Building Certification Programs to Natural Stone,” may be found on the NSC’s Web site:www.genuinestone.com/env_researchandresults.php.
With the rapid growth of the Green Building
movement, it is important to recognize the inherent environmental advantages of
natural stone. Genuine Stone is found in nature, is low maintenance and
extremely durable, reports the NSC. It may also be reused in a multitude of
applications, such as landscaping, gravel fill and as aggregate for concrete
mixtures. These characteristics may allow stone to contribute to sustainable
design projects and Green Building certifications.
study highlights the two predominant certification programs in the U.S.
currently - the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED) and the Sustainable Project Rating Tool (SPiRiT),
developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Under LEED guidelines, natural stone
may contribute to certification in several categories - Sustainable Sites (SS),
Energy and Atmosphere (EA), Materials and Resources (MR) and Innovation and
Design (ID). SPiRiT is based on LEED 2.0 and is tailored to Army-specific
needs, allowing them to create and maintain sustainable facilities.
This first case study
provides two examples of projects using natural stone that received
certification from LEED and SPiRiT respectively. ImaginOn in Charlotte,
NC, received a silver rating, the first USGBC
LEED-certified public building in Charlotte.
Stone cladding used in the project helped contributed to a LEED MR credit. A
SPiRiT bronze rating was awarded to Jefferson Hall Library and Learning Center
at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in West Point, NY.
Natural stone was a key element in the design. Stone, including more than 130
tons of granite, was quarried regionally contributing to the bronze
“The NSC has worked diligently to gather
accurate data in order to characterize the environmental impacts of natural
stone,” said John Mattke, NSC Sustainability Committee Chairman. “We are now in
a position to share what we’ve learned with the design and building communities
as evidenced by this case study and to highlight stone’s positive attributes as
a Green Building
In partnership with The University of Tennessee
(UT) Center for Clean Products, the NSC is conducting a life-cycle assessment
to credibly evaluate the environmental footprint of natural stone industry
operations. The results will allow the comparison of natural stone with
competing building materials in order to validate the environmental advantages
that stone has over other products. Information garnered from this research as
well as further qualitative investigation will be shared through a series of
best practice documents, materials fact sheets and additional case studies.
More information on the NSC’s research and results, including a link to this
case study and all other publications, may be found atwww.genuinestone.com/env_researchandresults.php.