The Via Appia from Roman times provides evidence of the excellent eco-balance of natural stone as a surface for paths and squares

The cover sheet of the study.

The German Natural Stone Association (DNV) has presented a study on external paving, which is also available in English for the worldwide sector to download free of charge

The Via Appia from Rome to Brindisi is the best example of the extraordinary durability of natural stone: the ancient Romans started the construction in 312 A.D. and in many parts where the path is not covered, the stones are still there, as if they were just waiting to be reconditioned and used again.

The issue of durability plays an important role in the life cycle assessment which the German Natural Stone Association (DNV) has now used to compare various outdoor floor coverings.

It is the second such study. In 2019, the association had a study conducted on indoor floor coverings. At that time, natural stone was compared with ceramic tiles, carpets, PVC, laminate and parquet, this time paving stones or stone paving slabs were compared with those made of concrete and concrete clinker or asphalt pavements.

The result is similar: again, natural stone performs considerably better in the life cycle assessment than the other materials.

The individual aspects of the calculation are shown in the following tables:

The global warming potential of concrete pavers is 2.65 times higher than that of natural stone pavers.

The global warming potential of concrete pavers is 2.65 times higher than that of natural stone pavers. For concrete slabs, it is 4.07 times higher, and for clinker 4.58 times higher. Asphalt comes off a little better than concrete paving with a factor of 2.54.

GWP is short for “Global Warming Potential“. The CO² equivalent tells us how much greenhouse gas is produced and released in manufacturing and using a building material.

This calculated value becomes somewhat clearer if one considers the CO² of the materials from production through construction and maintenance of the paths. The substructure must of course be included.

Here, too, natural stone occupies the best places, because it does not have to be manufactured, but is naturally available. It only needs to be quarried and then cut into the appropriate sizes.

The table shows the ratio of the materials. Asphalt performs significantly worse here because it has to be renewed several times over a period of 50 years.

The table shows the ratio of the materials. Asphalt performs significantly worse here because it has to be renewed several times over a period of 50 years.

This graph shows the total energy consumption over a period of 100 years - here the extreme durability of natural stone is reflected again.

This graph shows the total energy consumption over a period of 100 years – here the extreme durability of natural stone is reflected again.

This chart returns to the GWP, but here the observation runs over 100 years.

This chart returns to the GWP, but here the observation runs over 100 years. The values for natural stone remain unchanged compared to the table above over a period of only 50 years.

The transportation of materials to the place of use must also be taken into account in a life cycle assessment.

The transportation of materials to the place of use must also be taken into account in a life cycle assessment. Domestic materials perform significantly better than those with long transport routes.

A pavement made of native natural stone not only has the best eco-balance of all floor coverings, but also offers colorful design.

The study also points out the aesthetic strength of natural stone: its natural colors and veins appear more vivid than uniform industrial materials.

DNV has also had this LCA translated into English so that other associations can use it.

Free download as pdf or order as printed brochure for a fee

See also:

(29.10.2021, USA: 10.29.2021)