Three years ago, two leading German natural stone companies (one founded in 1877 and one in 1882) combined their years of experience to become a single entity, VeroStone GbmH. The merger provided an opportunity for the new business to offer an expanded product portfolio, including Jura limestone, Shell limestone and sandstone. As a wholly owned subsidiary of the VeroTec GmbH, VeroStone represents part of the “Competence Centre for Base Materials” of the Sto Group. The company is stationed in the Bavaria region of South Germany and owns six Jura limestone quarries and three Shell limestone quarries in the Eichstaett and Kirchheim area.
On a monthly basis, VeroStone produces approximately 10,000 square meters of Jura limestone and 800 square meters of Shell limestone. The percentage of exports to the U.S. is between 5 to 10%, while the German market is at about 40% and the European market at about 25%.
The history of the stone
Formed approximately 140 million years ago, Jura limestone originates from the lagoons of the shallow sea of the Upper Jurassic period. The stone is characterized by warm shades of color and fossilized deposits of ancient ammonites that make each piece one of a kind. Its durability allows Jura limestone to be used as flooring in the most demanding areas such as shopping malls and airports. The hardness and density of the stone allows it to be polished to a mirror finish. One geological characteristic of Jura limestone is its vast reservoirs with consistent quality, meaning the largest-scale projects can be realized.
Among the stone varieties of Jura limestone produced by the company are: VeroStone® Jura Beige, a hard dense material mainly used for interior floors and stairs that can be polished, sandblasted, brushed or antiqued; VeroStone Jura Gold, taken from the upper layers of the quarry the stone shows a quiet, yet uniformly rich color and has excellent weathering characteristics; VeroStone Jura Blue, an exclusive material, which is not so readily available, that radiates a cool and modern look that particularly stands out with a honed or polished surface; VeroStone Jura Melange, quarried from the boundary layers between the beige and blue variations; VeroStone Jura Cream, extracted from the medium levels of the quarry, the stone displays a quiet and uniform color shade and is suitable for exterior facades and interior floors; VeroStone Jura Noce, which possesses a dark, brownish color tone – ranging from light slightly grayish brown to a dark nut brown; and VeroStone Jura Travertine, quarried from the same layers as the Jura Cream, but is cut against the layer that causes the stone to show darker veining.
The Shell limestone quarried by VeroStone dates back even farther than Jura limestone. The material was formed about 240 million years ago through the deposits of shells, skeletons and calcareous remains of animals in the primal Franconian Sea, which harden to create a sedimentary rock. The three varieties of Shell limestone offered by VeroStone include VeroStone® Fossil Smoke, Fossil Smoke Travertin and Fossil Ocean Blue.
Also among the company’s stone collections are its sandstone products. Marianna Grey is a very hard sandstone (similar to Greywacke), which is suitable for interior and exterior use, as well as cut-to-size material for facades and floors, and for terraces and garden paths. It can also be used for window sills and stairs, wall claddings and copings. Stones with irregular form or split surface are perfect for gardening and landscaping. The selection of surfaces and finishes leave a lot of scope for the creativity of architects and builders, according to VeroStone. The second sandstone variety available from the company is VeroStone Desert Red.
Currently, VeroStone employs 90 to 100 workers. The quarries are closed during the winter season because it is not possible to quarry blocks when the temperatures are below zero. The raw material for the year-round production is secured during the summer quarry season.
The factory is located near the company’s head office in Eichstaett. The 9,800-square-meter facility sits on approximately 15,000 square meters of property. At the factory, gangsaws, polishing lines, CAD bridgesaw, various drilling machines and machines for specialty work, including edge processing, are in full operation. VeroStone primarily fabricates tiles and cut-to-size slabs for wall cladding. The stone materials are available in various surface finishes, including honed, polished, sandblasted, bushhammered, stippled and brushed.
Among some of the company’s recently completed projects are the Scandic Continental Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden; the Silvester home in Vienna, Austria; the Jurabloc, which is an indoor climbing hall near Eichstaett, Germany; Byrom Point Student Accommodation in Liverpool, England; GB Datev IT Campus 111 in Nuremberg, Germany; and the Täby Centre in Stockholm, Sweden.
Looking ahead to the future, VeroStone intends to maintain flexibility and creativity to meet and adapt to the challenges and opportunities that arise in the market. Additionally, the company is determined to stay in touch with customers and continuously improve its performance. Since receiving the ISO 50001 Certification for Energy Management, VeroStone is now working on the ISO 9001 Certification for Quality management systems.