As stone professionals, we believe that stone is as natural as building material gets, and yet it has not received much attention from the ‘green’ industry until now. A recent article published by BuildingGreen.com has finally given natural stone its due and the future looks promising.
What is considered a ‘native plant’ and how does is contribute to sustainability? Some people in the US think they’re plants that were growing on the continent before the arrival of Europeans or people from any other continents. But a broader definition accepted by others is any plant that grows naturally in an area without human interaction. Either way, a native plant is not an exotic plant that has been introduced to the area and has taken over and choked out other species, or one requires constant attention and resources to get it to grow.
Terracing has historically been the best way to deal with slopes, which can be difficult and even dangerous to maintain. Terraces have been in garden design since ancient Persia and Rome and were popular in the Italian Renaissance and with English landscape gardens. Terraces are created by building a series of retaining walls, allowing space for level beds or lawns.
The budget for natural paving stone material and installation, can be managed by creative design and careful assessment of installation options and selection/variety of natural stone materials. A qualified stone professional will have suggestions that vary in price, color, look and feel to provide the beauty and quality you desire.
What does the term “hardscape” mean? Lots of people, mostly those who haven’t had a lot of gardening experience or who have never had their own yard, are unfamiliar with the term. It actually refers to the parts of your landscape that are “hard”, or the ‘bones’ such as stone or concrete other material that make up pathways, decks, patios, retaining walls, and structures such as gazebos.
Architecture and its ability to endure a beating from storms and hurricanes such as Sandy. On the west coast, our biggest fear are earthquakes, and architecture guidelines do the best they can to ensure a buildings defense against that once in a lifetime large shaker.But on the east coast, one expects a beating from good old ‘Mother Nature’ if you live in those zones – on an annual basis. If one single event in 2012 had long-term consequences for the future of architecture it was Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast of the U.S. in late October.
One of the most important services we offer is stone consultation for stone veneer options. The stone industry loaded with a variety of stone, found both near and far. Local stone sources are important for LEED accreditation, but can present a challenge if not available in your area. No matter, the USA has a enormous supply of natural stone for building and landscape needs in beautiful durable stones such as limestone and granite.
Homes with a ‘Green’ label are worth more, according to a study conducted by researchers with UC Berkeley and UCLA. The study entitled, “Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market” found that a typical California home valued at $400,000 sells for an average of 8.7%, or $34,800, more when it has a green label. Researchers from UC Berkeley, Nils Kok and UCLA’s Matthew Kahn were able to prove the investment in an energy-efficient home will pay off during resale.
Planning for the future of the impressive Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, has been in the works for some time. The Mayor of London created the “London Legacy Development Corporation” that will be “setting and maintaining standards for quality of design, construction and urban planning, to ensure a sustainable and enduring legacy for the Park”.