About the Project
The project looks at the environmental impact of stone in comparison with other construction materials (concrete, steel, timber, brick) over the life of the structure (material production, construction, use, service life, maintenance, recycling/reuse of materials). There is extensive literature on the environmental impact of modern construction materials but limited data on stone houses and structures. Environmental impact will also be linked to life expectancy that varies significantly for the different materials. For example, steel-frame buildings may be designed for 100-200 years while stone buildings for several hundred or thousands of years.
Stone is not used for new construction at the present. Stone structures have however proved to be the most sustainable, resilient and long-lasting throughout the history. While their construction costs may be somewhat higher (ca. 30-50% higher), their maintenance costs and environmental impact are around 60% lower than other construction types. Stone structures also retain their economic value far better than other materials and create additional value for the locality, making them economically viable alternatives.
The project is part of a wider scheme of reintroducing stone into new construction. By combining digital technology with the well-established benefits of masonry construction (sustainability, resilience, low life-cycle costs) ’Digital Stone’ will offer the most advanced and sustainable alternative for new housing and infrastructure.
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University of Bradford