|Natural stone is the oldest, most durable building material known to mankind. Natural Stone Veneers International Inc.’s (NSVI) processing is limited to resizing the material to user-friendly dimensions that are more efficient and economical to transport and install. NSVI’s material is cut THIN allowing twice the coverage of traditional stone, greatly reducing environmental impact. Natural stone is 100% usable, can be recycled, and emits no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The natural stone products provided by NSVI are ecologically friendly for several reasons:
Responsible Land Use
Using a quarry to its fullest capacity, we have prolonged the life of these deposits. Instead of cutting a stone to four inches deep and mortaring the back of a stone into a wall, NSVI has captured the reverse side of the stone and utilized it to double the finished face feet available from the quarry deposit. This minimizes the number of acres necessary for quarries. It utilizes the full potential of each deposit.
Economies of Scale
Being light weight in comparison to its full thickness counterpart, natural thin veneer stone can be transported for 1/3rd the cost. Typically, 1000 square feet of full veneer building stone can be transported on a 24 ton load truck. Using natural thin stone veneer, there is over 3000 square feet per 24 ton load. Transportation costs and fuel savings are easily a large factor when comparing thin veneer versus full.
While the stone is going through the sawing process, water is used to cool the blades. These blades range in size from 24 inches to 42 inches in diameter. The atmosphere inside the enclosure is a mist of water and sludge created by the diamond blades removing a ¼” section from the stone to separate them. It is a harsh environment. The combination of water and sludge fall to the floor which is tapered to a drain. The drain takes the slurry out of the building to a series of retention ponds where the solids (stone) settle out of the water before the water is recycled back into the building to go through the process again. These ponds are cleaned two to three times per year where the sludge is extracted and hauled to a local landfill. Before the ponds are cleaned, the sludge is tested to be sure that it is environmentally safe. This process is done by an independent contractor. The sludge is approved by the Department of Natural Resources to be free of contamination and able to be returned to the earth with no environmental negatives.
In December 2008, NSVI received the Orion Environmental Stewardship Award, a distinction given as a result of implementing an advanced energy-reducing lighting system throughout the NSVI campus. Orion recognizes that NSVI’s “...interest in and dedication to improving the environment is sincere, material, and measurable.” One specific example is the effective reduction of 37 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year!
NSVI is beginning to do the research and development to make the sludge byproduct into a usable commodity in the future. Many ideas are being discussed at this time.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle “3R Packaging”
NSVI designed new “green-friendly” recyclable, re-usable packaging. Today, this packaging has become the standard in the stone industry. It was created to be highly durable in all climates, specifically designed to ensure maximum integrity of the stone inside, thereby minimizing waste during transportation to the jobsite.