As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, Michels Stone is pursuing innovative ways to develop products. When selecting and sorting material, the company works to utilize leftover stone that may not have fit perfectly into one of its established product categories. The team recently found a way to repurpose some smaller limestone blocks into beautiful, naturally shaped steps. Rather than converting this stone into an aggregate, Michels opted to saw the pieces into 6-inch-thick stair sections that can be installed quickly within any setting. The steps are rich with character and look as though Mother Nature set them in place millions of years ago. Available in chocolate or caramel color, the steps feature a bush hammered finish for added traction under foot. Contact one of Michels’ knowledgeable staff members for more information.
Watershed Materials is teaming up with Westlake Urban and Alpha Group to explore a solution to a problem that real estate developers often face—excavation that has to be moved off a construction site to make way for new buildings. Rather than haul off the excavation spoils and then import thousands of concrete masonry units (CMUs) for use at the project, the developers and Watershed Materials are working together to repurpose native excavation material right at the job site to create the structural masonry blocks used in the development. Truckloads of offhaul and truckloads of imported building materials could be eliminated by using the excavation to make the structural block, adaptively reusing waste to produce onsite building materials.
There are many reasons to use masonry in building. The single most commonly used reason not to use masonry is cost. Wood, steel, plastic, and glass are all cheaper cladding. Even CMU’s and brick are pricier than most other options.
But cost is always relative in construction. What seems cheap when installed can be pretty expensive if it needs replacement in the short term—and chronic maintenance of any building component is painful beyond the dollars-and-cents cost.