Show Preview: Showing how to build with stone

6 – 8 June

ExCeL, London

Many homeowners dream of including natural stone somewhere in the home. Whether it is limestone floors, granite worktops, marble in the bathroom, a sandstone patio or a slate roof, the chances are there will be natural stone somewhere.

Simply put, aesthetically there is nothing that compares to natural stone. The fact that it is resilient and improves with age as it develops a natural patina is part of its attraction.

But it can also help reduce a house’s carbon footprint! And now more than ever this is becoming increasingly important, with the Future Homes Standard (FHS) now only two years away. 

The Future Homes Standard requires all new homes to be built without gas central heating and to deliver a 75-80% reduction in carbon emissions compared with the current standards. Stone can help…

Natural Stone is simply dug out of the ground as a product ready to be sawn, shaped and polished. There is none of the high energy heating required for the production of materials such as steel and cement, where the heat is still usually produced by burning fuels that put a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere.

It is true the machines for cutting and shaping stone use electricity, but the electricity is increasingly likely to be renewable, much of it already being produced by photovoltaic cells on the roofs of the stone industry’s factories. And although stone does come to the UK from all over the world, it is transported by huge container ships, so the CO2 per tonne of freight delivered is low.

In use, the thermal mass of stone makes an ideal accompaniment to underfloor or behind tiling heating to make the most of energy from heat pumps. Underfloor heating radiates heat into a room in the same way the sun does, so a comfortable temperature can be achieved with half the heating temperature of wall mounted radiators.

With global warming, as much of a problem in the future will be cooling a building, and here again, the thermal mass of stone has its benefits by helping to keep spaces cool.

Not all stones are the same, though, and choosing the right stone for any particular use is as important as choosing the right product for any other part of your build. To get a handle on stone, there is no quicker or easier way than by visiting the Natural Stone Show at ExCeL London, from 6-8 June.

At the show, you will be able to talk to producers and suppliers of natural stone and if you want to dig a bit deeper, the associated seminar programme will offer more in-depth discussions.

You can plan your visit to the show upfront, and see which seminar sessions might be of interest to you by scanning the QR Code below, where the exhibitors are listed and the seminar programme will be posted.

If you prefer man-made quartz, sintered stone or porcelains, you can visit the Hard Surfaces exhibition that is also being held at ExCeL in conjunction with the Stone Show. 

Producers of these products are also working towards net zero to reduce their carbon footprints by using renewable electricity and incorporating recycled materials in their surfaces. The Stone Show even includes some incredible new surfaces from unlikely materials, some still in experimental stages, in its Material District feature, which visitors will find fascinating to explore.

Article supplied by the Natural Stone Show