(August 2010) Glass Facades have a markedly poorer environmental performance than natural stone as shown by a study commissioned by the German Natural Stone Organization. For one thing, heating and air-conditioning costs are much higher in glass-front-houses. Conversely this means that building in stone enjoy reduced energy costs. But also the manufacturing of the material requires considerably more energy in the case of glass as compared to the production of stone slabs or blocks. In other ecological partitions stone also finished with higher marks. A compendium of the study can be accessed on-line (German).

Economic growth trend in the USA. We reported drastic negative growth for stone imports in the USA for 2009 in our July edition. Trade journal Stone Business is now publishing figures from April 2010 showing strong growth relative to the month before. This is in keeping with our observation that trade fairs are reporting good investment by US businesses in the past three quarters.

France’s Départements are now available as a stone puzzle 5 m x 5m in size, 15 cm thick and weighing in at more than 6 t (French 12). The work of art can be viewed in the Museum of Maussane-les-Alpilles. Architect Bernard Souveton and his wife solicited the assistance of around 70 companies from around the country to cut and provide stone slabs according to specifications which then were given the name of the Département from whence they came.

„Stone Project“ is the name given to an art initiative by the Edinburgh College of Art. Its aim is to promote the artistic deployment of stone and the College is collecting information on its website ranging from geo-scientific information to trade skills to film material.

Dreamwall Marble Glass by the US-based Gardener Glass Products Company is comprised of Photos of thin stone slices behind glass.

It is part of the Stone branch’s strategy to refer to the value and beauty of stone in the eyes of the Ancient European civilisations. But according to „Colourful Gods“ this is a myth. Berlin’s Pergamon Museum reveals that marble was the material of choice by contemporary sculptors but the sculptures were then painted. This was also true of the temples.

Home-owners, fearful of leaving their key under the mat lest it be found by burglars now can solicit help from Poland: a real stone hollowed and with a with a lid provides a safe hiding-place and is inconspicuous. It can be deposited anywhere on the property.

Mailboxes and doorbell labelling made of stone are available from the Belgian based Marbrerie Louis Company.

Video of the month: skating in the quarry as a PR event by Red Bull.