News

News

12 Dec 2018

Natural Stone Awards 2018


On Friday 7th December, London’s Grange Tower Bridge Hotel welcomed over 360 architects, interior designers, main contractors, local authorities and natural stone firms to the 2018 Natural Stone Awards.

 

Organised by Stone Federation Great Britain, the official trade association for the natural stone industry, the biennial Natural Stone Awards celebrate the best examples of the use of natural stone in construction projects from across all sectors of the industry.

 

This year saw hundreds of projects entered across the different categories, and particularly encouraging was the 15% increase seen in entries compared to the 2016 Awards, making the judge’s task even harder.

 

Stone Federation Chief Executive, Jane Buxey commented that:


“The 2018 Natural Stone Awards have been a fantastic celebration of the very best that this industry has to offer the architectural, construction and design sectors.  The amount of projects featuring a mixture of traditional stonemasonry and CNC machinery is a good example of the intelligent approach taken by the sector to embracing innovation while maintaining the skills that form the  bed-rock of this industry.  I would like to congratulate all those involved with the winning, highly commended and commended entries for their part in the creation of these stunning projects.”


The standard of the winning, highly commended and commended projects was very high throughout the eleven categories.  The category winners were all exceptional examples of the successful use of natural stone across a wide range of applications, from the soaring, cathedral like interior of Clarges, Mayfair and the stunning use of local field stone seen on Contour House, to the transformational restoration of Halifax’s Piece Hall and the expert conservation work undertaken on Westminster Palace’s Chancellor’s Court.

 

The Awards Ceremony was compered by sports presenter Jim Rosenthal who was assisted by voice of Strictly Come Dancing and the National Lottery, Alan Dedicoat.  Stone Federation were also delighted to welcome Loyd Grossman CBE FSA as the guest speaker for the event.

 

The 2018 Natural Stone Awards enjoyed the support and sponsorship of a number of well-respected trade bodies and industry firms including BRE, Gallagher, Hardscape, Historic England, Natural Stone Specialist, Sandberg, SBID, Schluter-Systems and the Worshipful Company of Masons.

 

Guests at the Awards received a copy of the 2018 Natural Stone Awards Souvenir Brochure which can be ordered free of charge at bit.ly/StoneAwardsBrochure or accessed online at bit.ly/NSA18Ezine.

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.

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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.