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Building Materials

Stone

History
Because stone can withstand all manner of natural forces and acts of God save the earthquake, stone structures exist around the world from many centuries before Christ. Stonehenge outside Salisbury in England is dated around 2000 B.C., the Great Pyramids in Egypt date from 2700 B.C. onwards, and Nuragi in Sardegna and Sicily, possibly the first residential constructions still in existence, date from around 1600 B.C. The structures built for centuries in wood along the Mediterranean were translated into stone in the 6th century B.C. The most important mass of such structures is the Acropolis in Greece, built from Pentelic marble, providing the basis for Classical Architecture. The Greek attitude towards creating beautiful marble finishes and glorifying man through stone sculpture attached to buildings has been copied for 2500 years.

The Gothic period saw the flowering of a different attitude to stone, one where man is sublimated to one single God and his universe of earthly and heavenly bodies. The ornate carvings and intricate undulating forms created in stone inspired Goethe to call architecture "frozen music". This detail from the Chapel de Saint Hubert in Amboise, France, is an example of such visual music.

Properties
Stone is a heavy material that requires skill to work, as opposed to brick and wood which require skill to construct. Brick is manufactured, stone is cut.

There are three basic types of rock:

Igneous rock is generated from extreme heat as in volcanic eruptions. Granite is an example of this, and it is long lasting and durable as well as beautiful.

Sedimentary rock is formed from animals and plants that have settled to the bottom of a body of water and left to solidify over many thousands of years. Limestone (composed largely or carbonate of lime) is an example of such rock, and it is often found with fossils or seashells embedded in it. This is not a strong stone, and does not hold up to the weather as well as marble when carved.

Metamorphic rock is either sedimentary or igneous rock that has been exposed to great pressure. Marble is an example of metamorphic rock.

 

 

Click Hotpoints for descriptions of terms in both text and images.

Parts of a Brick

Drywall with Ledge Stone

 

Dry Wall with Field Stone

Dry Wall Exterior Finish - South Africa

Fergus

 

Cobblestone

This is a random cobblestone wall built from local stone and used as an exterior veneer.

Cobblestone

This is a "formal" cobblestone wall from Paris Ontario, one of a unique group of about 20 buildings done in this method in Canada.

Pointed Field Stone

 

Field Stone

 

Ledge Stone

 

Ledge Stone

 

Ledge Stone

 

Ledge Stone

 

Field Stone

 

Field Stone

 

Limestone

Notice how the corners are filed.

Limestone

This example has a much rougher surface.

Limestone

 

Limestone

 

Ashlar

 

Ashlar

 

Quartz

 

Quartz

 

Stone Shingles

 

Rubble Stone

 

Definitions

 

abrevoir - joint between stones in masonry.abrevoir - "In masonry, a joint or interstice between stones, to be filled with mortar or cement.

A-block - A hollow, concrete masonry unit with one end closed and the opposite end open, having a web between, so that two cells are formed when the block is laid in a wall."

abrasion - " A surface discontinuity caused by roughening or scratching."

abrasion resistance - "The ability of a surface to resist being worn away or to maintain its original appearance when rubbed with another object."

abrasive "A hard substance for removing material by grinding, lapping, honing, and polishing. Common abrasives include silicon carbide, boron carbide, diamond, emery, garnet, quartz, tripoli, pumice, diatomite, metal shot, grit, and various sands. these are usually adhered to paper or cloth."

acidic - Igneous rocks having more than 65% silica are aid to be acidic.

aciding - The applying of acid to a surface, usually stone, to create a texture.