Natural stone – building the future
Why choose natural stone over concrete? Our Principle Landscape Architect, Birgit Hontzsch went to Lantoom Quarry recently to find out more about the properties of natural stone and its role as a building material. The visit was organised by the Landscape Institute Cornwall, with the RIBA Cornwall Chair Jason Jarvis, a representative from the Eden Project and two members of Hydrock’s geotechnical team.
Lantoom Quarry visit with Landscape Institute Cornwall
A sustainable material Natural stone has many benefits:
- Meets physical needs through shelter and thermal mass
- Creates safe and secure places due to its solid nature and resistance to weather and fire
- Adds to a sense of belonging by helping to create a sense of place and continuity. For example in landmarks, monuments and places of worship
- Thanks to careful craftsmanship it can also generate pride of place and prestige
- Acts as a medium for creativity and a symbol of immortality
Controlling costs Use of natural stone in the 21st century requires consideration of its use in early design stages. Landscape architects should produce designs and details that have been developed with natural stone use in mind. This ensures that costs are controlled and that greatest benefits can be achieved. For example, walling stone at 100mm thickness is more difficult to cut and therefore more expensive, compared to 150mm thickness or random sizes. The price of stone is easy to measure – its value is not.
Restoring an industrial site Mindful of its past impact on the environment, Lantoom Quarry has instigated a programme of restoration. It has planted many new trees and shrubs, created new Cornish hedges and wetlands. This helps to mitigate for any hedge loss and integrates the quarry visually into the wider landscape. The quarry land will be returned to productive agricultural land after 2042.