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The stone industry has experienced little change in construction practices over the last century, save the events of the last five years. The area of acute recent activity has been the advent of new, sophisticated stone-cutting systems. The offspring of this is the production of building stone of great face size with stone thicknesses of mere centimeters in lieu of inches. The thin stone panels can become an efficient stone envelope system when joined by dedicated support and other envelope components, thus creating a stone envelope assembly with obvious advantages over conventional stone construction.
The challenge for the design professional is two-fold in considering the use of thin stone wall systems. The initial challenge is one of aesthetics and design flexibility. The latter and more demanding challenge is the appropriate selection of materials, components, and assemblies to produce an integrated building envelope system which satisfies the particular criteria of the selected project. A primary need is the proper linking of expectations and capabilities.
The performance criteria established by the design professional will require a systematic review of materials, componentry, and performance criteria including stone properties, anchorage systems, material compatibility, joint treatment, code limitations, and thermal, air, water, and moisture control systems. Additional concerns focus on limitations imposed by thin stone wall systems to the project design and construction.
thin stone truss wall systems, stone industry, stone-cutting systems, support panels
Architect, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, New York, NY