Good Ideas for Designing Sustainable Stonework

In ideal circumstances, the mason is involved in the planning phase of a project, offering their experience and technical expertise to the design team. Many project though are fully designed and specified before the mason sees the plans and submits a bid. The following strategies are for architects, landscape architects, interior designers and other members of the design team who want to include sustainable stonework in their projects.

  • Specify real stone
  • Become familiar with local stone types and suppliers
  • Develop relationships with local masons
  • Learn benefits of drystone construction and lime-based mortars
  • Limit veneer and facade stone
  • Be aware of the moisture issues of applying stone to building envelope
  • Allow for thicker veneer and avoid face bedded stone
  • Use stone structurally, not just as cladding
  • Use stone for retaining walls rather than pre-cast concrete block
  • Avoid planting woody-stemmed shrubs and trees close to stonework
  • Avoid mortared flagstone unless it is protected from the elements
  • Learn the principles of historic restoration and appropriate re-purposing of older masonry buildings
  • Join the Stone Foundation


Hammerhead links
Green Stonework: Green ideas for masons and wallers.

External links
The Stone Foundation: A community of stone workers and enthusiasts committed to preserving the craft.