WASHINGTON, DC — Granite is considered one of the oldest, most durable and most respected of building materials. Traditionally, it is the material chosen by both architects and engineers when permanence, enduring color and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance are prime requirements. Today’s leading architects, knowing its unique qualities, are using it more extensively than ever before. Many of our most impressive buildings, commercial as well as institutional and monumental, are being faced with granite, and it’s still unequaled as a material for steps, terraces and the pavings of plazas and public spaces.

Technological developments have revolutionized quarrying and fabrication methods, reducing costs and leading to new applications. Attractive new finishes, new construction techniques and new jointing methods have been introduced. For example, granite is being employed on steel frames to provide preformed wall units which require no additional masonry back-up.

In keeping with architectural progress and changing demands, The National Building Granite Quarries Association (NBGQA) has revised the recommended specifications for granite as follows. It is common practice in the industry to classify architectural granite as either of two types:

  • Building granite: granite used either structurally or as a veneer for exterior or interior wall facings, steps, paving, copings or other building features.
  • Masonry granite: granite used in larger blocks for retaining walls, bridge piers, abutments, arch stones and similar purposes.
  • Inquiries regarding any proposed use of granite, whether conventional or innovative, are invited by membership companies of the association.