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Structural aspects of stone cladding systems are described and compared. Conventional set stone, curtain wall, and backup truss systems are investigated schematically, with examples illustrating solutions to the structural problems of differential and lateral building movement in addition to the details of stone attachment. Systems differ in means of accommodation and tolerance of structure and/or cladding movement, resulting in various influences on structural design. System type and stone strength are major factors determining the adequacy of the design of stone attachment details. Comprehensive stone testing is recommended due to the variability of the material and the lack of applicable standards for the thinner stones currently in use. A testing program using standard tests and project-based modifications is described which aides the engineer in interpreting the data for the particular stone and system type under investigation. The interaction between structure and stone cladding system requires structural solutions (based on stone testing) engineered to efficiently and economically address the design's requirements.
cladding, curtain wall, stone facings, stone attachments
Chief executive officer, Office of Irwin G. Cantor PC, New York, NY