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Green Building & Sustainable Development

Natural Stone Council Forms Advisory Council to Support Building Green

The Natural Stone Council (NSC), a collaborative organization representing the stone industry's business and trade associations, today announced the formation of an Advisory Council to assist the NSC Committee on Sustainability. Based on a market survey and input from the advisory council, the committee will partner with researchers and industry experts to substantiate the environmental benefits of building with natural stone. Green building is a significant development in the construction industry and the NSC feels strongly that being at the forefront of this movement will benefit the natural stone industry as a whole.

The Sustainability Advisory Council is comprised of five top green architects with an intimate knowledge of natural stone and its uses in building and landscaping - Malcolm Holzman, FAIA & Partner, Holzman Moss Architecture; Mark Rodgers, AIA & AUA, University Architect, University of Denver; Mark Kalin, FAIA, FCSI, LEED AP, President of Kalin Associates Specifications Consultants; Todd Bronk, Landscape Architect, Associate at EDAW Inc.; and Tom Liebel, AIA & LEED AP, Associate Principal, Mark, Thomas Architects.

The most widely used system for green building is Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design or LEED. LEED was established by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) just ten years ago. The system defines standards for environmentally responsible, healthier, and more profitable structures based on a point system for new construction and major renovation. Today, only natural stone that is sourced locally or qualifies as material reuse can contribute to LEED points, which is why more needs to be done to promote natural stone as a sustainable building material. The NSC has joined the USGBC as one of over 7,000 member organizations.

The Advisory Council will work to assist the Committee on Sustainability with the goal of positioning stone as the preferred material in sustainable building. The NSC will evaluate and research the findings to support and increase natural stone's contribution to LEED certification points and other green building standards. Some examples of "green" testing opportunities include life cycle assessment, life cycle cost and measuring best practices in quarrying, fabrication and reclamation activities in the stone industries operations.

"Look no further than the ancient pyramids or the Parthenon to understand that natural stone is a durable, sustainable building material," said John Mattke, chairman of NSC's Committee on Sustainability. "However, standing the test of time is not enough. Natural stone's use in environmentally-responsible building programs seems like common sense but the principles have yet to be defined. We seek to help define them under the advisement of the Advisory Council and through involvement with the USGBC."

Members of the NSC Committee on Sustainability include John Mattke of Cold Spring Granite, Kathy Spanier of Cold Spring Granite, Quade Weaver of Texastone Quarries, Dan Ouellette and Bill Eubank of Luck Stone Corp. , Alex Bachrach of Stone World Magazine, and Garen Distelhorst of Marble Institute of America.

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