SP EC I F I C ATI ON
Austral black granite –
Australia’s first Ecolabelled natural stone Words by Anthony Stock Left and below: Locally quarried Austral Black granite by Melocco Stone features prominently in our built environment. The product recently gained a GECA ecolabel. Here it can be seen as external paving using exfoliated Austral Black granite in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney. Ecolabelled Austral Black granite is available in a variety of finishes.
Significantly the material has a low water absorption rate of 0.6 per cent, which compares favourably to the densest porcelain products.
Gaining an Ecolabel – the benefits
ack in 2008, the Australian Stone Advisory Association (ASAA) contacted Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) to encourage the development of a Hard Surface Standard, which would form part of their Australian Ecolabel Programme. The Australian Tile Council became involved and a committee was formed to develop the Standard: eventually GECA 40-2008 was introduced. The Standard covers a variety of hard surface materials, including natural stone. Local producers and importers/ wholesalers of high quality materials can seek accreditation for their products. In recognition of the importance of this development ASAA introduced a set of guidelines that members can submit to GECA when they seek to gain accreditation for their materials. While a growing number of European manufacturers of ceramic tiles have gained an Ecolabel for various products, the stone sector has been less enthusiastic, possibly
because manufacturers believe that, in many instances, natural stone is the only material that specifiers will nominate in certain situations, based on the product’s history and performance. Nevertheless, nowadays a great many more alternative surface finishes are available to architects, so any advantage that can be gained by achieving accreditation for a high quality natural stone product must be worthy of consideration. Melocco Stone has traded in Australia for over 100 years. Austral Black granite quarried in South Australia is one of their prime products and has been used in numerous commercial and residential projects. The fine/ medium grained black stone features subtle light flares and delicate white veining. Austral Black can be used in a variety of internal and external locations. Melocco produce the stone in a variety of finishes including polished, exfoliated, honed and gang-sawn, as slabs, tiles and panels.
Melocco Stone’s Managing Director, Ian Lamble decided that gaining GECA’s endorsement for Austral Black granite would be in the company’s long term interests. In recent times the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has formally recognised GECA Standard number 40, which basically means that any accredited natural stone (or ceramic tile) can achieve maximum points in Green Building calculators. Melocco has made a bold move, which local architects seeking to use high quality black granite should recognise and appreciate. ●
www.discoveringstonemagazine.com.au | DISCOVERING STONE #28 | 41