Events & Seminars

Natural Stone Sustainability Awards

These are the Natural Stone Sustainability Awards, launched in 2010 by Stone Federation as art of our ongoing sustainability strategy.  Its aim is to illustrate the sustainable qualities of natural stone and to recognise and reward outstanding achievement, awareness and innovation in sustainability in the natural stone industry and will act as a benchmark for achieving best practice in his sector from its extraction to all its uses.

In 2011 projects in the Forest of Dean, the Peak District National Park and at London’s Hampton Court Palace were winners in the first Natural Stone Sustainability Awards.

The Awards were created to highlight the sustainable qualities of natural stone and to recognise and reward outstanding achievement, awareness and innovation in sustainability within the industry.

Winners were announced during the Natural Stone Show in London last week after entries were judged by a panel of three leading industry experts.

Chairing the panel was Ingval Maxwell OBE who qualified as an architect in 1969 and since then has spent his entire professional career dealing with the conservation of ancient monuments and historic buildings until his retirement from Historic Scotland in 2008.

Also judging were David Richardson, Director of the Building Research Establishment’s Building Technology Group and John Bysouth, recently announced as the first recipient of the Duke of Gloucester Gold Medal for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in Stonemasonry.

The Awards were organised by Stone Federation Great Britain with sponsorship from BRE, The Natural Stone Show and Natural Stone Specialist Magazine.

The award for “Innovation” was won by masonry company Forest Pennant, which is generating its own green electriity at its site in the Forest of Dean.

An Award for “Sustainability Awareness” went to a biodiversity project at Marshalls’ Stancliffe Stone site in Matlock in Derbyshire and the “Landscape” award went to a project to resurface Base Court at Hampton Court Palace – a scheme that was also a winner in last year’s Natural Stone Awards.

The Innovation Award was for a project named “Switched On” undertaken by specialist masonry company Forest Penant at its own site in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire.

Main contractor for the project was Ossberger and consultants involved in the project included Kettle Civils, Dr. A. Hughes Atkins, The Forestry Commission and English Nature. Royal Forest Pennant Sandstone was used in the scheme.

Close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and just metres form the company’s extensive stoneworks the company is harnessing the power of the River Lyd by installing a micro hydrogen turbine to provide “green power” for the processing of its Royal Forest Pennant Sandstone.

Primarily intended to power its own processing and distribution networks the scheme allows the company to send any excess output into the National Grid. Judges describe the scheme as “a truly leading example within the stone industry of sustainability, an exemplar worthy of an Award.”

Commenting on the award Forest Pennant Managing Director Nick Horton said: “It’s our second award in two weeks, and we are thrilled. To receive this recognition by Stone Federation is testament to our efforts.

 “After extensive assessment of the entry and a visit to our site, the judges were impressed by the innovative nature of the project, not only the 80 per cent reduction in the use of mains electricity but also the many environmental and social benefits the scheme brings.

“These include the production of around 50,000 kW hours of green electricity per annum and the overall sympathetic construction and design, with minimal impact on the existing eco-system of Cannop Ponds and River Lyd; whilst working in conjunction with the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission. We are all very proud.”

The Award for “Sustainability Awareness went to Marshalls’ Stancliffe stone for a scheme at their quarry at Stoke hall in Matlock, Derbyshire.

Situated in the Peak District National Park the quarry has gained accreditation to the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark.

Judges said “The work at Stancliffe appears to be truly wonderful. This again shows true leadership within the industry and sets a standard that hopefully others will raise their game to,”

On behalf of the company Ian Manley commented: “The implementation and maintenance of a management system that considers biodiversity as part of its operational activities is not straight forward, so we are very proud of our biodiversity achievements at Marshalls and Stancliffe Stone sites.

“We are delighted to have achieved the inaugural Stone Federation award for Sustainability Awareness. Such a prestigious award only helps to drive us to continue to work towards our future biodiversity goals and to promote biodiversity within our industry.”

The “Landscape Award” for Base Court resurfacing at Hampton Court Palace was carried out for the owner, Historic Royal Palaces. The architect was Purcell Miller Triton LLP, main contractor Mansell Construction Services and principal stone contractor A.T.Knott and Sons. Stone used was Purbeck Limestone and Kentish rag.

The project entailed repaving works, the conservation of some existing parts, enhancing disabled access and improving the sub-surface infrastructure for modern services and the protection of existing archaeology.

Christopher Wren’s original design, dating back to 1699-1700 was chosen as the basis for the new design.

The scheme now blends in with its historic surroundings and its innovative use of irregularly shaped stones, without incurring material waste and ecofriendly bedding techniques spell out its sustainability awareness.

“The workmanship is stunning, particularly in the way trip hazards have been eliminated while the percolated drainage takes the strain off the sewers, making this a particularly sustainable project” said the judges.

The project architects Marc Wiese and Dante Vanoli jointly commented: “Our team sought to reinstate Wren’s original work without compromising Basecourt’s sensitive archaeology and modern public use. We are delighted that this has been achieved through sustainable material construction and traditional laying techniques.”