17 Oct 2016

2016 Use of Stone in Building Course Review

Use of Stone Course - A Resounding Success

Last week saw London's Thistle Euston Hotel play host to the 2016 Use of Stone in Building Course.

We were delighted to welcome over 45 delegates from member firms, the highest attendance we have had for a number of years.

The course covered a range of topics with seminars delivered by experts within their fields. The day began with a welcome from the course Chairman, David Ellis of Sandberg, who went on to look at geology, selection and testing. FMDC's David Richardson then provided delegates with an insight into British Standards, Codes of Practice and CE Marking.


After a break for coffee, newly elected Euroroc President, Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman looked at the detailing of natural stone, including working drawings and fixings. Architect Graham Lee of Graham Lee Consultancy took the next session and spoke on masonry and architecture, including external masonry and rain screen cladding.

Lunch provided the delegates with a chance to network with other members and connect with existing contacts. It was great to hear so much positive feedback about the morning sessions during this time.

Chris Kelsey of The Marble & Granite Centre took the session after lunch, and looked at natural stone for interiors. Chris was followed by SteinTec's David Burton who gave delegates an insight into external paving with natural stone.

After a refreshment break, David Richardson of FMDC returned to give the final presentation on the ethical sourcing and sustainability of stone.

The day closed with an opportunity for delegates to ask the speakers any project specific questions they had, and many took the opportunity to have one on one discussions.

The Federation would like to thank the speakers for their part in making this event such a resounding success.

If you would be interested in attending the 2017 course, please email

"The course was successful in covering a wide variety of topics related to stone."

"Very good content and excellent speakers"

"Informative, useful and well thought out day."

Members' News

Stone Federation are a member of EuroRoc, an organisation made up of the various European Federations for the dimensional stone industry.  The aim of the group is to coordinate questions of common interest and find solutions while promoting the use of dimensional natural stone.


The Federation's EuroRoc representative, Michael Poultney of Albion Stone along with Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman, attended the latest meeting held at the Verona Stone Show in October.


There were a range of topics discussed, but shown are four discussions points that will be of particular interest to members.


1. Ethical Sourcing - There are various different degrees of controls of ethical sourcing across Europe and some is at a very local level.  It was accepted that the EU should be encouraging stones from ethical sources but there was some scepticism that a system with a high degree of certainty could be found in the short term.  It was agreed that the starting point should be to pool all the experiences from the differing methods currently being used by different, Countries, companies and organisations.

2. Geographical Protection - There was considerable support from across the EU and the robust comments from the UK were considered positive.  It is back with the European Parliament on what could be a long journey to possible implementation.  

3. Reporting Figures - There was concerns that the code numbers used for reporting production, imports and exports are not recording the dimensional stone figure accurately.  It was suggested that these should be related to the harmonised Product Standards (BS EN). Michael Poultney has been in dialogue with BGS and Eric Bignell at the Natural Stone Specialist magazine about the topic earlier in the month. Euroroc will progress the matter with the relevant authorities.

4. Silica Dust - There was a mixed response about the danger of the implementation of the dust regulations and the prospects of reducing the code.  It was agreed that the experiences from the implementation from national authorities will be requested.


With the island of Portland, from which the famous Portland limestone comes, being just off the Dorset coast from Weymouth, there could not have been a more appropriate material to use for a sculpture of the Olympic rings that has now been installed in the town that is hosting the Olympic sailing events. 

Burlington Stone has acquired the rights to quarry at Petts Quarry on Kirkstone Pass and Brathay Quarry near Ambleside following the regrettable demise of Kirkstone Quarries Ltd.

This new monument, costing £5 million, will commemorate the 55, 573 crew members of the RAF's Bobmer Command who were killed between 1939 and 1945.  The average age of those who lost their lives was just 22.

Albion Stone has recently purchased a new ‘JCB Fantini’, tractor mounted stone saw which will be used to increase efficiency in the Quarry & Mine.  This is the first machine of its type to be imported into any UK stone extraction operation. 


TV presenter, journalist and former conservative politician and Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo made a fascinating tour of local natural stone producer, Burlington Stone of Kirkby-in-Furness, shown on 26th January on BBC2 at 6.30pm, as part of series three of the BBC’s popular travel documentary, Great British Railway Journeys.


A £500,000 investment into an innovative new roof for Albion Stone’s Factory is set to save thousands of pounds a year on their electricity bills.

Albion Stone supplied over 3m³ of Jordans Basebed and Jordans Whitbed in the form of treads risers, paving and memorial stones.

Taking centre stage on The Marshalls Garden That Kids Really Want! at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May the company utilised its own indigenous natural Yorkstone block to create two striking central features in this amazing organic playground.