The advent of modern architecture when building the modern masterpieces you see on TV programs such as Grand Designs has fundamentally changed the way buildings are constructed. This is particularly relevant when looking at how the use of stone in construction has changed. As architecture has required more modern methods of construction, so too the use of natural stone in modern architecture has had to adapt and adopt modern methods, such as cast stone cladding, to compete alongside other innovative facade types.
To fully appreciate how the use of stone has adapted we need to go back to the early 20th century. Skilled masons and a large workforce served the building industry at quarries throughout the country. Today’s stone industry is substantially smaller, with fewer stone quarries. Block sizes depend on the quarry, which is a consideration when designing buildings, and are processed in primary saw sheds, where large blocks of stone are transformed into slices which are then cut to their final size using secondary saws. This labor intensive process is shown in the costing of the product. Making natural stone more expensive than other cladding types.
When designing and construction modern masterpieces Architects, Tradesman, Property Developers and the public now opt for cladding products such as cast stone cladding and are not picking natural stone. Cast stone technology has improved impressively in the past 10 years. This cladding type is suitable for interior and exterior applications and is much lighter in weight than its natural counterpart. Cast stone isn’t as porous as natural stone so has excellent thermal insulation properties that help reduce energy bills.
The images below are for inspirational purposes only.
With the growing popularity of cast stone products there was a demand for quicker building methods. Individual cast stone slips have been available for years but now the introduction of cast stone panels have allowed Architects and the building trade the flexibility to mix traditional materials with the durability and cost reductions of a cast product.
Cast stone panels are much lighter in weight being one-third the weight of 40 mm thick natural stone and one fifth the weight of 75 mm thick handset stone. These cast stone panels are designed to look and feel like natural stone and can be manufactured to be much thinner than natural stone panels and are much easier to install. Therefore, construction times are slashed making them the cost-effective option.