When our customers choose Australian sandstone, they’re making a conscious decision to be ecofriendly.
Contrary to popular belief, locally quarried natural sandstone is about as green as building materials get. As a building material Sandstone has one of the lowest carbon footprints compared to that of other popular building materials, it’s extracted from the ground and requires only a fraction of the embodied energy compared to producing ‘manufactured stone’ such as concrete and bricks. Another fantastic benefit of choosing Australian sandstone is that no chemicals are used in its production or processing, producing almost zero chemical waste, and due to the nature of the stone, all of the water used in production gets recycled and used again.
Possibly one of the most environmentally sustainable features of Gosford Quarries’ sandstone is the close proximity of the product to our primary target market. Our Quarries are all located within 100 kilometres of the Sydney CBD, reducing our carbon footprint via transportation. Although quarrying is a noisy process, it is in fact less so than traditional rock excavation, in which the bedrock is simply hammered into piles of rubble. Dust and vibration, too, are reduced in comparison.
Sandstone quarries leave a much smaller environmental footprint than for example mineral and aggregate quarries, because dimension stone is a specialised business, quarries are typically smaller in size and nowhere near as volume dependent. Over the past 15 years there have been significant changes in the dimension stone quarry industry. Stringent conditions apply to most extractive licences regarding environmental and OH&S issues and these quarries fall under state EPA guidelines regarding airborne and water-based discharges. All extractive licences for dimension stone quarries also carry provisions relating to reclamation either on a progressive basis or at closure.
The recyclability of natural stone is unparalleled. Nearly one hundred per cent of stone from old projects and scrap stone are recycled, either in the quarry reclamation or as fill material for new building projects. In many cases stone excavated from a building site is processed and used on the same site for landscaping, cladding and various other applications.
In recent years, councils including Sydney City Council have introduced conditions surrounding Development Approvals of recycling sandstone from large sites with substantial excavations for basements. The policy is aimed at recycling and environmental sustainability, assisting the ongoing supply of best quality sandstones for conservation of the Sydney’s significant heritage buildings. The current commercial viability of salvage-quarrying is assisted by the availability of powerful machinery and improved extraction techniques that Gosford Quarries provides. These extractions have contributed significantly to delivering successful outcomes in a wide range of heritage conservation and new-build projects, such as the ongoing conservation of Sydney Town Hall, a building of National heritage significance. Currently being restored by Gosford Quarries.