The Manufactured Stone Sustainability Story

While natural stone may be nearly indestructible, it’s a finite resource. Manufactured stone offers a sustainable alternative.

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The UN World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Among the tenets of sustainability is the understanding that natural resources are finite and must be used responsibly.

Ebook Banner AdOne way to preserve natural resources is to replicate the properties of those materials in an environmentally sensitive manner. Cultured Stone’s manufactured stone veneer, designed to mimic the look and feel of stone, offers a sustainable alternative that meets today’s building needs without compromising the future. 

Manufactured stone veneer, available in a variety of colors and textures, are nearly indistinguishable from natural stone while reducing the consumption of a finite natural resource, the negative impact of stone quarrying, and the environmental cost of transporting heavy stone long distances. 

Sustainable Manufacturing Process 

Manufactured stone veneer is made of a mix of concrete and recycled products that result in a lighter-weight product than stone. Typically, manufactured stone veneer products look like natural stone, but weigh as little as eight to 15 pounds per square foot. Because of its lightweight, manufactured stone veneer typically does not need concrete footings for support, which reduces the carbon footprint of the building. 

Producing a lightweight concrete is a lower-emitting process than producing normal-weight concrete, which makes Cultured Stone a low-emitting product. 

Cultured Stone was the first manufacturer of stone veneer to be third-party validated for recycled content. Its stone veneer products are certified through UL Environment to have a minimum average recycled content of 60% pre-consumer stream material.

During the manufacturing process, if a piece of stone veneer doesn’t meet the standards established by Cultured Stone, it will be reground and reused in a future mix. Over time, manufactured stone veneer companies have reduced the amount of cement in the mix of materials that comprise their products because of cement’s outsized contribution to greenhouse gas emissions compared to other building materials. 

Cultured Stone’s closed-loop recycling systems allow them to reuse water during manufacturing, which proves especially important in California’s drought-prone environment. Any water wasted or used during the manufacturing process gets cleaned and reused. 

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Resilient and Durable 

The energy required to transport manufactured stone to building sites is typically less than it would be to provide natural stone because manufactured stone is lighter and can be compactly packaged in recyclable boxes for easier transportation. 

The durability and resilience of manufactured stone veneer is part of its sustainability story. The long-lasting material doesn’t rot, is resilient against pests, and doesn’t burn. Climate impacts from extreme temperatures and intense storms are minimal on manufactured stone veneer, which means their lifespan is extended. If a property owner chooses to replace the material, it can be recycled to create new manufactured stone veneer. 

Recently, Cultured Stone has been third-party verified through the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA), which certifies that its products have been fully tested against ASTM compliance standards. Certified products are long-lasting and meet all relevant building code requirements.

Manufactured stone veneer brings versatility, durability, and functionality to any space. All Cultured Stone products come standard with a 50-year warranty. 

Want to learn more about this versatile, sustainable product? Click here to download an ebook that includes best installation practices as well as beautiful examples of homes and landscapes that include manufactured stone veneer. 

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