NEW ERA OF STONE
Construction of a building in Lyon, a picture
Recently, an inconspicuous, though 12 metres long, stone object has been placed in Store Street in London’s city centre. It is a display introduced as a part of the New Stone Age exposition in the Building Centre in London. It is a protype of a fragment of a new type of stone floor construction. This element is several centimetres thick and has very interesting parameters for today.
According to the designer, this construction is, in comparison with classic concrete structures, cheaper, lighter, and easier to install. Also, the carbon footprint is 85% lower than standard ferro-concrete solutions.
The presentation and the whole exhibition are the result of the work of three people. They decided not only to promote stone as a decorative element in architecture but also to go back to its roots and to propose stone as a construction material. They are the architect Amin Taha, stonemason Pierre Bidaud, and engineer Steve Webb. As Amin Taha said about stone – it is a wonderful and forgotten material for construction.
These three artists together opened the New Stone Age exhibition in the Building Centre in London. The goal of the exhibition was to show how stone can, as a traditional primary material, that has been used for centuries create shelter, cause a revolution in the construction business. An architect, engineer, and a stonemason started together to fulfil their mission.
Recently, they participated on a construction of a six-floor residential and office building 15 Clerkenwell Close built from monolithic stone blocks. The building has a load-bearing frame from massive slabs of limestone imported directly from the quarry. The traces from quarrying are still visible on its surface. The stones are stacked one over another and make up columns and beams. On some of the surfaces, there are visible lines that were drilled out of the rock, others are smooth, and some have rough structure of sedimentary seam. The construction was finished in 2017.
The building got on the front pages of newspapers because one of the councillors from the townhall in Islington, where the building is found claimed the building was incompatible with the historical buildings in the area. He tried to push through its demolition referring to alleged violation of construction permit. Taha finally won the case last year. He was motivated to win – there are private flats and his own studio in the building.
What actually happened was that the adversity of destiny did not put the innovators away, but actually whipped them up. It was well visible on the construction. Right at the beginning, the visitors could admire a model of a thirty-floor skyscraper made entirely from stone. It looks like several Clerkenwell Close buildings put one on top of another. The difference is that the stone columns gradually taper from bottom to the top.
This project is now only a studio model. An extensive technical report, which documents the construction not only from economic point of view but also from the point of view of carbon footprint, is a part of the documentation. The authors claim that the stone used for the foundations, construction, and floors would be 75% cheaper than steel and concrete construction. The carbon footprint would be 95% lower. The main cause of the savings is the fact that concrete and steel should be fire-proof, insulated, and finally covered in the outside housing. The stone exoskeleton can, on the other hand, be left uncovered.
Source: Kurier kamieniarski
Author: Kurier Kamieniarski | Published: 13.07.2020