Sustainable Cast Stone

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UK Cast Stone Association produces new Sustainability Statement (November 2009)

In terms of sustainability, cast stone performs well in both production and within its life cycles.  The material is highly durable, non-toxic, re-usable and requires virtually no maintenance or repair over its long lifespan.  It can also contribute to thermal mass.

The scale of its demands on raw materials will never compete with conventional building materials.  The base materials are essentially the by-products of industrial processes or are readily available.

All members of the UK Cast Stone Association (UKCSA) have an environmental management system in place and several are certified to ISO 14001.  One member is the first company in the world to achieve BES 6001 for responsible sourcing.

UKCSA members are strongly committed to environmentally responsible sourcing, primarily through the use of alternative recycled and secondary materials.  A range of cementitious solutions are used to minimise the carbon footprint of products while enhancing their performance and durability. Some UKCSA members are actively pursuing recycled aggregates including crushed glass. Alongside this, less than perfect cast stone is crushed and re-used as aggregate.

UKCSA members are also committed to improving energy efficiency in the production of cast stone, minimising waste, and preventing and reducing accidents.   Between 2006 and 2008 members’ collective waste was reduced by 10% and the accident frequency ratio fell by 31%. Energy data covering electricity, gas and oil are also monitored to enable continuous improvement measures for the future.

In terms of whole life energy consumption, cast stone costs very little to look after once it becomes part of a building. Its embodied energy becomes insignificant over time.  Furthermore the carbonisation of cast stone captures carbon dioxide from the air.

Concerns about carbon miles dog many natural materials such as stone and timber, which are sourced from all over the world. In contrast, cast stone is made and distributed within the UK, often in localised markets.  This provides a minimal carbon footprint and maintains UK employment.


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