A study by the Wien University

A thorough study performed in 2005 at the Technical University of Wien, the Wien University of Technology, clearly demonstrates that building with natural stone is always cheaper, the older the building gets.
For as long as the building remains in life, the more evident and obvious are the benefits of using natural stone for cladding of the facades and creating pavements: this, in synthesis, is the focus of the research work.
Starting from a presumed period of use of 60 to 100 years old, four different types of facade cladding
were compared:
Natural Stone, plaster, glass, aluminum.
At the same time we were compared with four types of floorings for interior:
natural stone, ceramic tile, wood, textile lining, as well as three types of outdoor flooring: in natural stone, concrete, asphalt.
In addition to the criteria of environmental sustainability and functionality, the survey takes into account all costs of purchase, installation and maintenance; the comparison of the environmental and economic aspects of environmentally friendly building materials and related technologies, installation is done by evaluating the so-called LCA (Life cycle assesment) or the complete life cycle, from extraction of raw materials, to use in the construction and subsequent disposal and recovery.
The result for all the commissions is the same:
buildings whose facades are coated with the use of Natural Stone are not only of greater representation and prestige but also more economic and ecological than those made with aluminum coatings or glass.
The energy requirement for the production of the product used, as well as for heating and space cooling so made, is considerably lower than that required for similar constructions with aluminum facades or glass.
Also taking into account the continuous growth of energy costs, the Natural Stone provides more investor a greater gain.
Since this method of analysis are received similar conclusions also for the other two types of applications:
flooring in natural stone are cheaper than those made with wood parquet or carpet fabric.
The outdoor flooring in Natural Stone achieved a dramatically improved results both with respect to the concrete floors that those in asphalt.

Whereas a life span assumed to be equal to 100 years the Natural Stone gets even better results, both for façade cladding applications, both for internal and external flooring.

Technische Universität Wien
Institut f. Architekturwissenschaften, Abteilung Bauphysik und Bauökologie
Titolo: “Ökologische Langzeitbetrachtung von Fassaden- und Bodenkonstruktionen”
Author: G. Moser
Supervisor: A. Mahdavi
Year: 2005