Gable stonework

Bath project by Bradstone

Malvern College by Haddonstone

Cast Stone News & Events

Cast Stone or Natural Stone? (October 2010)

A viable alternative

Cast stone has been a familiar and much-used alternative to carved natural stone in the UK since Georgian times. It evokes a sense of timelessness which fits in with any form of massive construction.

As well as newbuild, cast stone is regularly used on sensitive conservation and refurbishment projects where natural stone is a predominant material. Its use includes the replacement or repair of natural stonework damaged by exposure or neglect.

Costs significantly less

Cast stone stands alongside natural stone as a building material in appearance and performance, yet it’s readily available and can cost up to a third of the price.

In many ways, cast stone is far better. It can beat natural stone on strength, moisture penetration, colour and textural consistency. Stratification is never a problem and it’s free from imperfections. Cast stone can weather like natural stone and it looks much the same.

For designers concerned with truth to materials, there’s another thing that today distinguishes cast stone. Often its colour is the result of choosing an aggregate with the appropriate inherent colour. So the final product can mirror the way natural stones are coloured.

And since cast stone details are based on centuries-tested stone details, they work first time.

Solid masonry

Cast stone can also take the form of ashlar masonry. These days natural stone is too expensive for solid masonry but it’s simple and economical to use cast stone ashlar blockwork – which not only satisfies the truth to construction architectural argument but will perform in terms of bearing strength and weather in the same way as natural stone.

Concerns about carbon miles dog natural stone, which can be sourced from all over the world. In contrast, cast stone is made and distributed in the UK, often in localised markets, providing a minimal carbon footprint and maintaining UK employment.

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