The Ecologies of Stone Research Group is hosting a special session in the 6th International Conference on Structures in Architecture. Call for abstracts can be found here, and are due on February 28, 2024. Link to special sessions and conference programme can be found here.
Session Theme: Structural Stone in Architecture
Beginning in the early twentieth century, structural stone was progressively replaced by carbon-intensive materials such as steel and reinforced concrete. Today, natural stone continues to be quarried in large quantities, but primarily as an export economy for building facades, flooring and other surface uses. However, architects and engineers around the world have begun experimenting again with structural stone architecture, often citing the environmental advantages: nearly half the embodied energy and one-fourth the carbon footprint of reinforced concrete, the ability to be easily disassembled and reused in perpetuity, and its capacity to support biodiversity. Architectural structures in an unprocessed, natural material such as stone are a key step toward the decarbonizing of buildings, where buildings themselves are made from the earth; thus acting in greater concert with geological and ecological cycles.
This special session explores the state-of-the-art within structural stone applications in architecture, with a focus on connecting outward toward the broader impacts and the ecology of stone material flows. Through the sub-themes – post-tensioning and assemblage, low processing, re-use and circularity, and digital steretomy – it engages a wide range of practitioners and academics across in architecture, engineering and fabrication.