ISSUE 31 . DECEMBER 2017
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STONE
DONATONI MACCHINE REVEALS NEW PRODUCTS LATEST DATA ON NATURAL STONE IMPORTS
PROTECT AGAINST SILICOSIS
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31 STONE ART 8
Marmo+Mac 2017 continues to be a major showcase for natural stone and the machinery used for its applications.
Designer Lincoln Kayiwa creates everyday objects using granite.
Donatoni Macchine uses Marmo+Mac 2017 as a launch pad for its latest products.
Dellermay Stone and Tiling have benefited from its Intermac machine.
Silicosis is a dangerous disease that is caused by longer-term exposure to crystalline silica dust that is found in stone, rocks, sands and clays. The industry needs to pay attention to its prevention.
There has been a minor increase in the value of natural stone imports into Australia.
Slate covers the Charles House project in the Melbourne suburb of Kew.
There is much more to choose from in kitchen benchtops.
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MEET THE TEAM
Marmo+Mac in Verona, Italy helps to set the agenda for the natural stone industry. This year, the event emphasised black stones while The Italian Stone Theatre remained a highlight, according to Joe Simpsonâ€™s report from the show. Donatoni Macchine unveiled its latest products at Marmo+Mac, while Melbourne-based Dellermay Stone and Tiling finds that its Intermac machine has helped expand its business.
Vicky Cammiade Publisher
In this edition, we also take an extensive look at silicosis, a serious disease affecting a number of professionals who have worked with stone. There are devastating consequences for people who suffer from it. We examine the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics that relates to imports of natural stone. Lincoln Kayiwa draws heavily on his Finnish-Ugandan heritage; borrowing principles and aesthetic elements from the rich cultures and traditions of African and Nordic art, craft and design. He uses granite to elevate everyday objects.
Betty Tanddo Editor
We discover there are more materials that can be used for kitchen benchtops, and the Charles House project is a sophisticated showcase of slate on multi-generational housing. On a final note for this edition, Discovering Stone will be visiting The International Surface Event in Las Vegas in early 2018. We would be happy to hear from anyone from the Australian stone industry who will be attending.
Sandie Velkovska Advertising Sales Manager
Until next time,
Anthony Stock Contributing Editor
Betty Tanddo Editor, Discovering Stone Magazine
FRONT COVER IMAGE The multifunctional Dico Catchall by designer and artist Lincoln Kayiwa works as an elegant receptacle for walking sticks, umbrellas, candles, pens and many other commonly used objects. It is made in Romantica and Baltic Brown granite. The Dico Catchall can be used individually or in groups.
Philip Ashley Machinery Editor
Joe Simpson International Correspondent
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Italian drama among black stone The 2017 Marmo+Mac show impresses with its scale and global reach, according to international correspondent, Joe Simpson.
ne of the great attractions of Marmo+Mac as an exhibition is that it really is a mix of different events under one roof. Firstly, it is a hard-nosed commercial stone marketplace. In the external areas, massive stone blocks of all colours and qualities are on display and, throughout the show, these specific blocks are being sold and forward supply contracts secured.
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Marmo+Mac is also an enormous machinery showcase. Outside, you can see the real monsters of stone processing: cranes, mining trucks, saws. In short, everything needed for quarrying, slab production, lifting and transportation. The 12 halls complete the journey. Many of them display an extensive array of stone processing machinery: saws, CNC bench processors, multi axis disc cutters, polishing lines,
The Walls installation explored how cities since ancient Rome have evolved through partitioning by growth and stratification
sophisticated robots, waterjet cutters, digital chisels, drills, etc. Here you can also find replacement blades, grinding heads, drill bits and many other consumables. Then there are halls packed with quarries, stone processors and distributors, generally organised in national clusters to reveal the truly global nature of the natural stone sector. Exhibitors are drawn from every corner of the globe, from European powerhouses like Italy,
Portugal, France, Spain and Belgium, through to North and South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Turkish, Brazilian and Portuguese stands all caught the eye this year, but there were also a smaller number of notable exhibitors from South Africa, Greece, India and Pakistan. China, as one would expect, had a huge participation, but even smaller producer nations, like the UK and Canada, made their mark. The Marmo+Mac story is completed by the construction chemical companies, presenting specialist adhesives, grouts, sealants and cleaners, alongside companies showing stone substrates, hand tools, laser levels and other products designed to make life easier for the professional stone contractor. But the real drama at Marmo+Mac is provided by The Italian Stone Theatre in Hall 1. This is where talented designers collaborate with stone quarries and top-end machinery manufacturers to showcase the outer limits of what is possible with natural stone. This year The Theatre was curated by architect Vincenzo Pavan and designer Raffaello Galiotto. It had a slightly different tone and flavour to recent years, being less of a sculpture show and more an exhibition of familiar objects taken to a higher level though exceptional design, inventive stone sourcing and the application
of state-of-the-art processing. While it explored stone culture and experimentation, it did not have the visual impact of recent years. On the other hand, it probably generated more traction with the day-to-day experiences of the showâ€™s visitors. Hall 1 offered three shows in one. Territorio & Design, curated by Galiotto and Pavan, analysed topics associated with natural stone design by highlighting the special features of materials from various production and processing centres in Italy. The idea was to promote technical content based on tradition and the cultural heritage. It focused on indoor and outdoor products, and furniture using innovative technologies that exploit the full potential of stone. Macchine Virtuose, curated by Galiotto, offered companies involved in extraction and processing an opportunity to highlight the commercial and project design potential of the latest stone technologies. Finally, Soul of City, curated by Platform Architecture & Design and historian and critic of architecture Luca Molinari, saw studios working with Italian firms on projects that enhance the use of stone while, at the same time, promoting a sophisticated architectural landscape. This was the most successful area of The Italian Stone Theatre, with some eye-catching and thought-inspiring displays.
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ABOUT MARMOMAC 2017 The 52nd edition of Marmo+Mac has reached a new record with 68,000 visitors from 147 countries. Sixty-four per cent of the 1,650 participating companies were international.
UK stone producer, Albion Stone exhibited at Marmo+Mac 2017.
Seven international design studios took up the challenge to present their ideas: Amid.cero9 with Helios Automazioni; Eduardo Castillo with Elite Stone; Craig Copeland with Lavagnoli Marmi and Ca’ D’Oro; Alper Derinbogaz with Garfagnana Innovazione; June14 with Nikolaus Bagnara; Open Architecture with Pimar; and Sam Jacob Studio with Piero Zanella. Three exhibits stood out. Embrace, created by Copeland in collaboration with Marmi and marble supplier Ca’ D’Oro, was formed using three contrasting marbles; Bianco Carrara, Verde Picasso, and Fantastic Black. The primary components of Embrace were two convex, concave curving walls of marble: one in Carrara White, the other in Picasso Green. Together they defined what was both a passage and a seating area. Embrace’s form suggested many visual metaphors … walls encircling a public plaza, an ark or vessel, a
handshake, an opening and closing tulip. Both an invitation and an embrace, it was a surprisingly restful and contemplative space; a rare quality to find amid the hustle and bustle of Marmo+Mac. Copeland is an architect, sculptor and industrial designer who is associate partner at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, New York, and founding partner of Situcraft, New York. Walls, by Derinbogaz in collaboration with Garfagnana Innovazione, was formed from Bardiglio Vagli, Bardiglio Imperiale Orto di Donna, and Grigio Argentato. The installation questioned how fragmentation develops spaces at various micro and macro scales; and explored how cities since ancient Rome have evolved through partitioning by growth and stratification. Stone provided a physical metaphor as the unique figuration and colours of marble also evolve
The event, as a B2B promotional platform, plays a strategic role for the Italian stone industry which gets almost 75% of its sales form exports. In 2015, the Government included Marmo+Mac in its Made in Italy Promotion Plan. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economic Development, Ivan Scalfarotto, renewed the government’s commitment for 2018. Giovanni Mantovani, CEO and director general of event organiser, VeronaFiere said: "There was a growing interest among African countries, as well as more buyers from North and South America and consolidated attendance from Europe. At the same time, growth was seen for Asia with China and India, followed by Russia, where the market is recovering at last, with Turkey and Iran posting significant improvements. There was also good attendance from the domestic market, especially from central-southern Italy. “Our objective now is to project the Marmomac brand energetically abroad and we have already signed several agreements in Italy and China this year…” Marmo+Mac introduced several new initiatives including a new partnership in China with the Qingdao Fair, to the letter of intent signed with IMMCarrarafiere for the joint global promotion of stone districts. It also announced the strengthening of marble and construction events in South America managed by its subsidiary Veronafiere do Brasil. Marmo+Mac 2017 also welcomed the debut of the Milan Design Film Festival with a series of short films by international directors dedicated to the world of marble and natural stone. The 53rd edition of Marmomac is scheduled at VeronaFiere between 26-29 September 2018.
The real drama at Marmo+Mac 2017 was provided by The Italian Stone Theatre. This is where talented designers collaborate with stone quarries and top-end machinery manufacturers to showcase the outer limits of what is possible with natural stone.
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through fragmentation and stratification. The installation used marble as a topographic language. The sub-divisions of the marble, and its subsequent processing into thin walls, created a textured surface that simulated the complexity of a city at a micro scale. Derinbogaz, is a past winner of the International Plan Award for Innovative Architecture and the A+ Architizer Award. Currently he is teaching at ITU (Istanbul Technical University) and works at his own practice. The third installation to make an impact was Everything Flows by Sam Jacob Studio and Piero Zanella. It brought together four stones – Ombra di Caravaggio, Blu Masaccio, Perlato Angelico, and Rosso Mantegna – to create a marble pavilion that explored fundamental architectural concepts. The design has a square plan with whose interior was divided with into four equal sections. These cruciform walls were punctured with an arched opening at their intersection to form a vaulted centre space. The outer corners of the pavilion were diagonally sliced to create four
The Embrace exhibit, created by Craig Copeland in collaboration with Marmi and marble supplier Ca’ D’Oro.
openings, creating a series of distinct yet interconnected interior rooms. The varied use of marble – 3D form, flat polished surface, monochromatic and polychromatic – created variation in sensation, as if the architecture itself was taking on the geologic quality of stone. The rough exterior embraced a polished interior; as if the architecture was discovered, like a fossil, within the body of the rock.
Jacob was co-curator of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014. He is professor of architecture at UIC, Chicago and visiting professor at Yale School of Architecture. Out on the exhibition floor, Marmo+Mac witnessed the usual arms race between competing companies and producer nations, all seeking to offer the most memorable displays. Alongside the expected show of strength from Italian producers, there were remarkable group displays from Portugal, India and Brazil. However, bragging rights must go to Turkey, which had a huge village of carefully curated and colour matched stands, with a shared graphic identity and clean looks. Unfortunately, compared with the rest of the show, the Turkish hall did not seem that busy.
The new blacks
Everything Flows by Sam Jacob Studio and Piero Zanella brought together four stones: Ombra di Caravaggio, Blu Masaccio, Perlato Angelico, and Rosso Mantegna.
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It is always hard to pick out design trends at natural stone shows, because quarries and processor, by dint of geography, tend to be restricted in the types of stone they can show. What’s more, there is really little new under the sun in terms of surface finish, formats and forms. However, that being said, there was a discernible emphasis on true black stones, from textured basalts through to luxurious marbles such as Nero
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Marquina, Negro Abanilla, Alcantara Black and Black Emperador. This was also true of the engineered and sintered stone producers. Of course, where there is black, there is usually white. White marble has long been the mainstay of stone shows as it is the preferred material of so many architects, interior designers, developers and home owners. So it was little surprise to see strong displays of Bianco Carrara, Calacatta, Thassos, Volakas and other white marbles. But when it came to white, it is clear that not all whites are equal, with several producers billing themselves as home to the purest, whitest stones. Frankly, some of these stones are so pure and brilliant, that it is hard to make the case for specifying them in place of a pure white composite alternative. Perhaps the best presentation of white stones was Mermeren’s Sivec display, which showed the subtle graduations of whiteness within one branded range (http://www. mermeren.com). The whiteness of Bianco Sivec marble, its homogenous form, and the micro-granular structure – as well as the worldwide scarcity of snow white marble – makes this an in-demand stone, specified for major high end projects including hotels, commercial buildings, and luxury villas. When it comes to white Calacatta marble, Turkey was again to the fore. Ermer (http://www.calacatta-marble. com) was one supplier among many to catch the eye. It provides online stock checking; a great sales tool for this in-demand, rare commodity. Dramatic granites provided some of the show’s most impressive displays. Jyothi Granite (http:// www.jyothiexports.com) deserves a mention. This Indian operation processes a variety of colours including Black Pearl, Black Galaxy, Absolute Black, Steel Grey, Shikori Brown, Colonial White, River White and Colonial Gold. The company’s stand really capitalised on a portfolio of 18 varieties of granites, which offer great colours, quality and finish.
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Alveo (top) is designed by Raffaello Galiotto in collaboration with Industrie using Verde Picasso by Ca’D’Oro. The shaped and organic aspect of the Alveo centrepiece is achieved through numerically controlled machining using a diamond disc.
Natural stone supplier, Italmarble Pocai had a shared stand with Landi-Tremme.
Henraux, based in Carrara, Italy, is one of the industry’s longest-running firms.
Limestone experts Farpedra (http://www.farpedra. com) had an exceptional display. Farpedra produces approximately 20,000m³ of ornamental limestone annually, in both blocks and cut sheets. It has its own quarries in the Portuguese limestone region, and offers Moleanos Gascogne Beige, Moleanos Gascogne Azul, Beige Ataíja, Blue Ataíja, White Rosal do Mar and Traditional Mocha. Stunning. When it comes to granites, Brazil is a leader in purity and colour. Sincocimo (http://www.sindicatodaindustria. com.br/sincocimorj/) underlined this with a powerful display of bold, clean granites.
The Turkish pavilion had a large village of carefully curated and colour matched stands, with a shared graphic identity and clean looks.
Calamini Urbano (http://www. calamini.it) showcased many surface finishes on its stand featuring Pietra Serena and Pietra Extruda di Firenzuolo in all its majesty. The peculiarities of Pietra Serena
di Firenzuola makes this material unique for architectural and interior design projects. Calamini Urbano preserves ancient stone processing techniques, offering a portfolio that includes finishes such as chassis
frame or saw wired, polished, brushed, Bocciardato, stretched straight with diagonal line, frosted, flamed, flamed antique, antique aged and aged. Other stand out factories included Nero Marmoles (http://www. neromarmoles.com) for its on-trend black marbles from Spain; Egyptâ€™s First Marble (http://www.first-marble. com) for its value-added decor pieces; and Al Safa Marble (http://www. safamar.ae) for a very adaptable beige palette of high quality stones. Al Safa manufactures kitchen worktops, shop fronts, staircases, wall cladding, paving, and custom furniture, and holds stock of over 300 different types of natural stone slabs and tiles. Lastly, a word for Cameleon Granite (www.camgranite.co.za) the South African granite specialist in such exotic variants as Impala and Zimbabwe. It offers a superb range of granites in attractive finishes, both smooth and textured. â–
Taking on tomorrow’s challenges, today International correspondent, Joe Simpson sees first-hand the latest offerings from Donatoni Macchine at Marmo+Mac 2017.
n July 2017, Italian stone machinery company Donatoni Macchine (Donatoni) took another leap forward towards becoming a complete solutions provider for stone processing equipment when it acquired Montresor, the Villafranca di Verona-based leader in the design, marketing and installation of edgepolishing machines. Coming on the heels of Donatoni’s partnership with the Beisse-controlled Intermac, this move provides yet another element of vertical integration in the stone market. It combines Donatoni’s technologically advanced bridge saws with Intermac’s computer numerically controlled (CNC) workstations and waterjet tools, and now Montresor’s edge polishers. The company announced the deal during Marmo+Mac 2017. The theme of the Donatoni/Intermac/Montresor presence at that event was ‘Think Forward’, emphasising the newlyformed group’s ability to create digital factories through the integrated solutions it will provide in the future. The 1,300sqm of exhibition area featured an array of 14 machines, with 80 experts on hand to answer any questions. Donatoni says the combination of the three marques makes for automation that is sophisticated but easy to use. The creation of the intelligent factory, the implementation of automated solutions to maximise process optimisation, and the provision of 360-degree customer care were the ambitious goals pursued by the partnership between Intermac and
Donatoni. The addition of Montresor will see these objectives further engaged. As well as expanding the company’s already extensive portfolio of stone processing technologies, the acquisition is in line with Donatoni’s key philosophy of providing its customers with cutting edge stone processing technology that is easy to use, guarantees the customer the best yields and is fully supported by category-leading aftersales service and technical support. The company says the end result should be “higher output, better quality and lower costs”.
The three partners The acquisition follows on from the partnership Donatoni formed with Intermac in 2015. That integration has been regarded as a big success by the stone industry. The combined Intermac and Donatoni marketed their products vigorously, offering very competitive prices. As a result, Donatoni’s turnover is estimated to have increased by 50%, with the company’s Jet becoming the world’s best-selling five-axis bridge saw (according to Biesse). Donatoni was established in 1959 in Domegliara, near Verona, Italy and is known worldwide as one of the
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prime companies involved in stone manufacturing. Thanks to the quality and reliability of its products, Donatoni is present in most worldwide markets, a connection it maintains through an efficient commercial network and a constant presence at major world exhibitions such as Marmo+Mac. As well as Australia, the company has a presence in Europe, the United States, South America and Northern Africa. It also caters to the Middle Eastern and Asian markets. Donatoni specialises in the construction of bridge saws, while Intermac is known for CNC work centres and waterjet cutting tools for stone. As Donatoni and Intermac use the same computer operating systems, their digital tools can accomplish a wide range of work using the same file. For customers, this creates a much simpler workflow, helping the partnered companies to deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction. The company sees its real strength resting in these relationships it builds with customers. According to the company’s area manager, Luca Donatoni: Donatoni’s Cyberstone CR1 facilitates any kind of processing, from cutting, shaping, turning and polishing right through to sculpture.
The Echo 725 CNC is an interpolated five-axis CNC bridge saw. It comes in two versions.
“I think what really helps us to stand apart is that we prioritise service and technical support ahead of sales. Whether we are working through an overseas subsidiary or a third-party agent, we always make sure that the service network is in place before any machines are sold and shipped. “Our customers rely on our machines for their profitability, so we take great pride in offering the best possible customer care and technical support. This is not an add on for us, rather it is a core value, and the bedrock of our success…” Donatoni also explains why Marmo+Mac 2017 has been so successful for the business. He says, “Two years ago, the exhibition was a great platform for announcing the joint venture with Intermac. Last year, we were able to show the significant synergy between the two companies in terms of equipment and ethos. This year, Montresor provided the missing piece of the jigsaw…We now have a portfolio of machines that is very adaptable and suitable for every type of manufacturing.”
Montresor With a product offer aimed at those working marble, granite, porcelain and synthetic/advanced materials, Montresor & C. s.r.l. satisfies the requirements of more retail-oriented clients as well as those of larger companies with a stronger focus on highly technological solutions. Donatoni explains that one goal in acquiring Montresor was to continue to build stronger customer relationships: “The recent Montresor acquisition is further proof of our complete customer dedication. Montresor has always placed itself at the forefront of innovation, offering superb quality and the ability to meet the
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demands of a constantly evolving market. These values are shared with Intermac and Donatoni Macchine, and provide the basis of an operation that aims to position the company as the only choice for those looking for complete and integrated solutions for the stone industry.”
Industrial Revolution 4.0 In line with this customer focus, industry observers see stone processing as being one of the main areas where “Industrial Revolution 4.0” (i4.0) thinking is going to create big benefits within the next five years. Putting together these three aspects of processing creates a potential industrial “suite”, which could meet almost all the needs of many in the natural and synthetic stone processing industry. As KPMG noted in its “Beyond the Hype” report into the development of i4.0 capabilities: “If the true value of i4.0 comes from the transformative performance improvement it unlocks, then manufacturers will need to start focusing on scaling up their initiatives to achieve enterprise scale. To be clear, we are not suggesting that all humans be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence. Nor are we (necessarily) advocating for massive investment into new technologies. Rather, we believe that organisations need to drive their i4.0 strategy at an enterprise scale — cutting across divisional lines and bringing together people, processes and capabilities from across the organisation to achieve transformational change.” Biesee, in announcing the acquisition by Intermac, stated: “Both acquisitions, whilst having no impact on the financial structure of the Biesse Group, are highly strategic and will enable Intermac to increase its 4.0 solution product offer in glass and stone, ensuring that it is the go-to partner for the design and manufacture of special automated and integrated turnkey plant.” The raw ingredients of this kind of integration are certainly available. Intermac’s distinctive technology
The Quadrix DV 1100 (pictured here and below) is an interpolated five-axis cutting and working centre.
solutions include the Intermac Windows Numerical Control that transforms a common PC into an actual numerical controller, plus the company’s five-axis operating units with HSD electrospindle, which allow the processing of components with complex geometries. (Three-axis machining centres move a part in two directions (X and Y), and the tool moves up and down (Z). Five-axis machining centres can rotate on two additional rotary axes (A and B), which help the cutting tool approach the part from all directions.) The Intermac Windows Numerical Control was part of The Italian Stone Theatre display at Marmo+Mac. Its technology for cutting and finishing sintered materials is also available on the Genius and Busetti F10 ranges.
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Tools on show Donatoni showed off a range of new equipment at Marmo+Mac such as the Cyberstone which uses a “collaborative” robot to automate and integrate production while meeting the specific requirements of the stone sector. Stylish and powerful, Cyberstone CR1 facilitates any kind of processing, from cutting, shaping, turning and polishing right through to sculpture. The Echo 725 CNC is an interpolated five-axis CNC bridge saw, with Z axis stroke of 500mm, rotating blade head swivelling from -5 to +365 degrees and tilting from 0 to 90 degrees. It can perform orthogonal cuts up to 250mm, and is the ideal machine for performing oblique, circular and elliptical cuts,
The Zenit CNC can drill, execute rectilinear and curved cuts using diamond tools, and engrave.
two-dimensional and three-dimensional digging and carving of blocks. The Echo 725 CNC allows users to obtain accurately shaped products and high productivity thanks to the X and Y axes sliding on linear recirculating ball guides in oil bath. Brushless motors and high precision gearboxes are used for each axis drives. What is more, the “Tools” or “Top” versions can use diamond tools such as milling wheels, drill cores or horizontal blades. Two versions are available. The Echo Belt is a slab moving system with a rubber conveyor belt that reduces downtime caused by loading,
unloading and programming. The Echo Twin, which generated a lot of interest at the show, is an automated system that exchanges slabs by moving the two tables in and out of the cutting area, effectively doubling production by reducing downtime, and also saving space factory space with its compact footprint. Another new machine that was well received was the Quadrix DV 1100. This is an interpolated fiveaxis cutting and working centre with Z axis stroke of 1000mm, rotating blade head swivelling from -5 to +545 degrees and tilting from 0 to 90 degrees. It can perform orthogonal cuts up to 410mm thickness; as well as oblique, circular, elliptical cuts, two-dimensional and threedimensional digging and carving of blocks.
Cut & Jet
The Zenit is a polishing and calibrating mono-head CNC machine with automatic tools changer and three interpolated axes. Although it can calibrate, polish, grind and brush, it is much more than just a polishing and calibrating machine. Through the innovative system developed by Donatoni, this CNC machine is equipped with a double pressure control system, via a ball screw for high-precision calibrations, and a pneumatic pressure system for polishing works. The Zenit CNC guarantees extremely accurate work. It can drill, execute rectilinear and curved cuts using diamond tools, and engrave. The Zenit is equipped with 10 position tool storage for ISO 40 cones that can hold 300mm abrasives plates for polishing and calibrating. The electro spindle has an automatic tool changer. Montresor showed off its Luna 7+4, Vela 7+2 and Lola 10+8 ranges. ■
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First choice in sandstone Gosford Quarries have more than earned their leading position in the industry as sandstone specialists with over 100 years’ experience. Gosford Quarries is one of the most frequently specified sandstone products in Australia, and is available in a wide range of colours and finishes. It now has four distribution centres: near Gosford on the NSW Central Coast; north of Sydney at Terrey Hills, NSW; south-east of Melbourne at Clayton South, VIC; and a Stonehouse Creations centre at Beaudesert, QLD, about 60km inland from the Gold Coast. The Terrey Hills location is where the former showroom at Ataramon moved.
History Today’s Gosford Quarries is made up of two separate companies that
decided to merge in 2014. The original company that would become Gosford Quarries was established over 95 years ago in 1922. The Hawkesbury Sandstones Co., as it was known then, operated out of Gosford, NSW, and relied for much of its sales on a product known as Gosford Grey sandstone. The company enjoyed success through the 1930s and up until the start of World War II under the directorship of Henry Parry, a councillor of Gosford. It then continued to be successful after the war, with Gosford Quarries sandstone finding its way into many public and private buildings, as well as public
Gosford Quarries’ sandstone is part of the Sydney Hilton.
statues and memorials. The original Gosford quarry managed to produce 250,000 cubic feet (7080 cubic metres) of sandstone a year through the 1950s. The initial quarry ended up closing in 1974, largely because operating a quarry right in the heart of the thriving region of Gosford was no longer really feasible. Meanwhile, on a parallel track, another quarry business was developing, known as Sarkis Bros. Antonios Sarkis, the father of the Sarkis brothers, had founded a quarry in Lebanon in the 1970s. On coming to Australia, four of his children – John, George, Issa and Kozhaya Sarkis – set
about getting into the business in 1993. They began small, selling bush rock to nurseries, then found their way into the sandstone business in what was a very competitive market. Hard work and perseverance saw them succeed, and by 2014 they were large enough to merge with the longestablished Gosford Quarries, taking on its name. Gosford Quarries currently operates nine quarries, most of which are within 100km of Sydney.
Changing times The company that has emerged from the merger combines reliability and a long history of customer service, with some of the most up-to-date techniques which apply to the stone business. From a design point of view, the Gosford Quarries works to assist clients by enhancing their designs and ideas, sometimes even creating new ideas and designs for their consideration. The company also
offers a complimentary service to help improve the profitability of a project, without compromising quality or the project’s aesthetic integrity. Technically, Gosford Quarries continuously tests the stone to confirm the accuracy and currency of the geotechnical results, with these results made readily available to all customers. This rigorous testing means the company can stand by every recommendation it makes. A continual investment in capital equipment has allowed the company to consistently improve its environmental standards. Given its increased size due to the merger, Gosford Quarries enjoys greater efficiencies in production which have resulted in reduced wastage. This has helped substantially in lessening the environmental impact of its operations. Gosford Quarries has also moved ahead with operations aimed at salvaging stone from excavation sites
which would otherwise have been destroyed.
Future of sandstone Gosford Quarries sandstone continues to be relied on for many landmark projects across Australia. These have included the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Sydney Town Hall, Sydney GPO, the Australian War Memorial, Westfield Tower, Sydney Hilton, St Mary’s Cathedral, the Parliament of Victoria and the ANZ Gothic Bank in Melbourne. One reason for this popularity is that the company’s heritage and restoration unit offers “continuity of product”. This involves providing matching stone to that which was used even decades ago, which means that building and monument maintainers can be confident they can refresh the stone they used in the past without compromising the integrity and aesthetics of the original design. ■
Bluestone Nature’s gift
Office: New 61-63office Williams Rd,production Coburg VIC facility Australia 3058 and Telephone: 61 3 9354 5513 Facsimile: 61 3 9350 at 410-422 Francis Street, Brooklyn 30125262 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 03 9314 4700 Facsimile: 03 9314 0140 Website: www.vicbluestone.com Email: email@example.com Quarry: 1475 Princes Highway, Lara VIC Australia 3212 Website: www.vicbluestone.com Quarry: 1475 Princes Highway,facility Lara VIC Australia 3212 New office and production from mid-2014 at 410-422 Francis Street, Brooklyn 3012
High-tech machinery delivers for stone maker Intermac machines have made all the difference to the success of Dellermay Stone and Tiling.
t is no secret to those in the building industry that while the major companies get most of the press and attention, it’s really an industry made up of a collection of small to medium businesses that, collectively, make putting up buildings possible. One of those companies is located in Derrimut (VIC), Dellermay Stone and Tiling, a family business that has grown steadily over the past 12 years, going from being (literally) a “backyard business”, to a significant company in building and construction. For example, Dellermay has contributed to major building projects, such as the luxury CBUS residential tower at 35 Spring Street, Melbourne, and the twin-tower development, designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects, on Melbourne’s Fulton Lane, which provides 804 residential units. One of the secrets of the company’s growth has been its use of high-tech methods and machinery for the preparation of the stonework it makes. In particular, the company has adopted the Intermac Master 33 CNC (computer numerically controlled) processing centre.
moved on from that to become a sub-contractor for a major Victoriabased builder, and this work eventually led him to form his own stone business in 2005, Bezerra Stone, operating out of the back yard of his house. The company was successful enough that neighbours began to complain about the noise. The fledgling company leased a small factory in Williamstown North, in Melbourne’s industrial west area, and changed its name to Dellermay Stone and Tiling. At the time, Bezerra purchased a bridge saw and multitool inline cutting and polishing which it still has today. According to Carlos Bezerra’s son, Hugo, who is general manager of Dellermay, while the company’s
success seems assured these days, in the beginning it was a question of taking some chances and big career choices. Hugo Bezerra had trained as an architect, but had not found that work as inspiring as he had hoped, while the stone business seemed to offer much more. He explains, “After the backyard shed we thought of going in different directions, but Eurico [Hugo’s brother, who studied commerce] didn’t want to be an accountant, and I didn’t see myself as an architect. I was drawing Officeworks buildings. I spent most of my time cutting and pasting. It wasn’t what I thought architecture would lead me to. I found my hands were moving, but my brain wasn’t. We both liked the stone business, so we decided to give it a shot.”
Origins The story of Dellermay begins with the arrival of its founder, Carlos Bezerra, in Australia from Portugal. While trained as a boiler-maker and welder, Bezerra rapidly found a place in the construction industry, working for Grocon and specialising in building stone finishes (one of the highlights for him was his work on the ANZ Gothic Revival bank building in Melbourne). He
CNC operator David Silva (left) and Dellermay director, Hugo Bezerra.
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Benchtops make up 40% of Dellermay’s business.
It was a gamble that paid off well. The risk was that Dellermay did not have an extensive manufacturing record, which made some businesses cautious in accepting their bids. However, the business caught a break when construction company Hickory Group gave them a contract on a major project. The initial problems the company faced are common in all construction. The business’s first four years were spent working for only a few big companies, which meant Dellermay followed their highs and lows. As Hugo Bezerra explains it: “We learnt a lot about quality back then. We also learnt a lot about producing quality at a fair price. You find in the construction industry that it’s a ‘race to the bottom’ in terms of pricing, so it’s essential that you can produce an item that’s priced well, and that also allows you to get into the high end of the market, where quality means a lot more.” Within two years it was evident the space it was working in could not accommodate the company’s growth, so Dellermay began plans to move north to Derrimut. Dellermay took three years to complete building the current factory on the site.
Stone technology One of the key drivers to the rapid expansion of Dellermay was its adoption of the latest technologies. Dellermay’s work is mostly in high-rise
residential apartments. They can handle all of the stonework and tiling including the public spaces of the buildings. They use granite, marble and engineered stone. They have also begun to use a lot of porcelain, which often replaces glass splashbacks, as well as tiles on some surfaces. Hugo Bezerra explains, “A lot of people depend on us so we’ve diversified over the last few years.” In meeting the varying demands of this work Dellermay has come to rely on its Intermac Master 33. “When we moved out to Derrimut we thought about the equipment we needed so we looked around for a machine to profile our stone tops and also replace most of our hand-finishing,” he says. “Dust from stone processing has always been something we care about. The health of our people is very important to us. Getting the hand finishing onto a machine was a top priority, so we needed a machine that would give us a good output while reducing our labour costs and solving our dust issues. “I’d read a lot about the Master series machines so we called Intermac, who gave us a really good deal. Now most of our benchtops come off the Master 33 ready for dispatch with little if any hand finishing. “If I’d known the difference the Intermac makes I’d have bought it sooner. Benchtops are 40% of our business, so a lot of work goes through that machine. It’s a great
help with health and safety and you really do have to make the investment to minimise the dust.” As the company continues to expand, it is quite likely going to acquire more Intermac machinery. “We have some Chinese machines we bought when we were starting up but we wouldn’t go there again. There’s a lot of difference between those and the Italian machines – especially our Intermac,” Hugo Bezerra says. It’s not just the machine itself that is so important. Downtime is the enemy of every manufacturing company, and Intermac helps to minimise any problems that do occur. Hugo Bezerra sums up his experience with Intermac: “The service is quick, the techs are very competent and the machine runs very, very well.” It is evident that the Intermac Master 33 delivers the output and quality Dellermay expects from a top machinery supplier.
Dellermay’s future Hugo thinks that the current apartment boom will slow down, so Dellermay is going into the residential housing market. A move to glass splashbacks and shower screens is also likely, as the company wants to offer a more complete service to clients. They’ve not ruled anything out as they continue to grow and new opportunities arise. Hugo Bererra admits that another Intermac machine as well as some glass processing machines could be needed sooner rather than later. All of which will require (of course) a new and larger factory, probably by mid-2019. All this success still seems to surprise the Bezerra family a little. As Hugo Bezerra describes it, “We wanted to create something small together — but it just grew and grew.” Their many clients have confidence in Dellermay’s ability to deliver quality at a fair price and Hugo, Eurico and Carlos have confidence that the machinery Dellermay uses will continue to help them meet their client’s deadlines and quality standards. ■
www.discoveringstonemagazine.com.au | DISCOVERING STONE #31 | 25
Dedicated to the promotion of the Australian stone industry at home and overseas. ASAA seeks to develop standards of excellence in performance and product supply, and to facilitate greater co-operation between the various sectors and competing entities of our industry. TM
Australian Processors & Suppliers of Stone Apex Stone Pty Ltd CDK Stone Australia Dellermay Pty Ltd Paz Stone Stone Culture Stoneplus NSW Tillett Natural Stone Industries V-B Granite (Aust) Pty Ltd W K Marble & Granite Quarriers of Australian Stone Absolute Stone (WA) + Dimension Stone Group Australia AustralAsian Granite BAM Stone Cairns Marble Australia Capricorn Sandstone Quarries Gosford Quarries Granites of Australia Kanmantoo Bluestone Melocco Stone Victorian Bluestone Quarries
Stone Fixers, Landscapers, Geologists, Building Contractors, Sculptors, Educators Adelaide Stone Construction Ceramic Tile Systems Consolidated Building Services David Mark Tatler Geos Mining GroutPro Australia Marble Renewal Medusa Stone Provence Stone Masonry Stone Concept Holdings Techtile Consulting Tilecorp Pty Ltd Suppliers of Machinery/Equipment
Wholesalers/Importers, Resellers of Stone Aristocrats Marble & Granite Biesse Group Australia CAVE Cinajus Pty Ltd Cosentino Australia De Fazio Tiles & Stone Decor8 Tiles Europe Imports Ocean + Merchant Pacifico Stone Project Stone Australia RMS Natural Stone SAI Sandstone Solutions – Sealers for Tile & Stone Vercon Pty Ltd
CDK Stone Australia Manufacturers of Adhesives, Grouts, Sealants & Waterproof Membranes Ardex Australia Bostik Australia Construction Technologies Australia Euro Abrasives Laticrete Pty Ltd Parex Group Solutions – Sealers for Tile & Stone
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Government Agencies, Professional Service Providers, Associations Austrade – The Australian Trade Commission Bellmont Façade Engineering Building Diagnostics Asia Pacific (BDAP) Industry Capability Network Limited International Conservation Services Intertile Research Pty Ltd Italian Chamber of Commerce & Industry Jackson Teece Chesterman Willis Marble Institute of America (MIA) Materialswise Safe Environments Stone Initiatives & Materials Testing Group
seminars | standards of excellence | architectural awards Visit www.asaa.com.au to download a FREE version of ASAA’s new guide to ‘Sealing and maintaining natural stone’.
2016 Sealer Selection Guide available for FREE DOWNLOAD from www.asaa.com.au
Refer to ASAA news page in this issue of Discovering Stone for upcoming seminars and the AGM.
Sealing and maintaining
l NaturNae sto
BAM Stone bluestone
Sealer selection guide 2016
any of the calls the Australian Stone Advisory Association (ASAA) receives relate to problems which arise after the stone has been installed. A considerable proportion of those calls relate to sealing, cleaning and maintenance. We decided to produce a basic Sealer Selection Guide in response to requests by contributors and readers of Discovering Stone. We have attempted to make the ‘Guide’ as relevant as possible by focusing on use of three popular products, in specific locations and asking leading suppliers to nominate appropriate sealers. However, our guide can only provide readers with basic information. There will always be variables which have to be taken into consideration. Our guide cannot possibly address every possible situation or environment. Nevertheless, it does provide a valuable reference point and an insight into the available products from some of our leading suppliers. More than 50 companies in Australia are actively engaged in producing or distributing sealers for natural stone. Our guide largely features materials which have been tried and tested in the marketplace. Understanding the limitations of sealers is also important. Sealers are designed to improve the natural stain resistance properties of stone – they will not provide 100 per cent protection against all stains in all situations. As an example, an impregnating sealer will not prevent marble or limestone being etched by acidic solutions such as wine or soft drinks; impregnating sealers are designed to reduce the absorption of stains and cannot provide complete protection to the exposed surface. Surface sealers (such as acrylics and polyurethanes) provide excellent surface protection by forming an impermeable barrier. The drawback of this feature is that any moisture below the sealed layer cannot escape and peeling of the coating may follow. Participating companies can provide project specific advice, some also recommend approved applicators. We urge readers to seek precise advice before commencing the installation process. Our guide which is designed to encourage users to identify the right sealer and maintenance programme. ASAA CEO, Anthony Stock
Melocco Stone, Snowy River Pearl
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Our Guide has been emailed to over 7000 specifiers and members of the stone and tile industries. Recipients also received a copy of the Australian Stone Advisory Associations’ guide to ‘Sealing and maintaining natural stone’. Both of these documents are also available for free download from the Archived Articles segment/ page of www.infotile.com and the homepage of www.asaa.com.au. Links to both documents will appear in editions of the ‘Tile+Stone eNews’ in March, April and May.
TM © Australian Stone Advisory Association
CDK Stone Calacatta benchtop and splashback
Cairns Marble & Granite, Pilbara Cream
www.asaa.com.au | Sealing and Maintaining Natural Stone
Australian Stone Advisory Association Ltd
CONTENTS OF THE ASAA MANUAL
DS27_Sealer guide 2015.indd 1
23/03/15 2:27 PM
Geology of Stone Standards & Specifications Design Manual Stone Selection ASAA members enjoy a 50 per cent Stone Testing saving when they purchase the I ASAA Natural Stone Design Manual. Granite To join or order a manual call Limestone 0431 388 127 or email Marble & Onyx firstname.lastname@example.org Sandstone Travertine Over 400 copies sold to specifiers Slate Wet are as Basalt The manual exceeds 390 pages. Each section Installation has been carefully peer reviewed. Horizontal Surfaces Vertical Surfaces AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD Wet Areas To place an order call 0431 388 127 Natural Stone Tiles during business hours or send an – fixing methods email to email@example.com. Residential Stone Countertops Capping & Sills Cost: Stone Furniture ASAA Members $132 horizon exterior tal surfaces – Architects $132 (includes GST) stone pav Stone Faced Veneer/Pre-cast ing Non-Members $264 Concrete Allow 24 hours confirmation before download. Cleaning & Maintenance Digital version is licensed to the purchaser. Restoration/Refinishing We accept Mastercard & VISA Slip Resistance of Stone Active Australian Quarries ALTERNATIVELY ORDER THE CD VERSION Allow $22 for registered mail and handling Images of Natural Stones of Australia Glossary of Stone Industry Terms Modelled on the Marble Institute of America Dimension Stone Design Manual, the ASAA Natural Stone Appendix (Production Table, Design Manual comprehensively covers geology, stone selection, installation, care, maintenance and MOHS Scale, Applicable ASTM restoration. Contains references to applicable standards and test methods, an extensive glossary, list of Standards & Tests) quarries, prime suppliers of stone and related allied products. ACROBAT READER REQUIRED
PRODUCED AND PUBLISHED
© This copyrighted work is jointly owned by the Marble Institute of America Inc. and the Australian Stone Advisory Association Ltd and may not be reproduced, transmitted and otherwise disseminated without the express written consent of the Marble Institute of America Inc. and the Australian Stone Advisory Association Ltd.
1.0 STO NE
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Silicosis on the rise The increasing incidence of silicosis demands the attention of the industry and stricter preventative measures are needed.
edical experts in Australia have stepped up their efforts to draw attention to the risk of silicosis for tradespersons working with engineered quartz (EQ) and other types of man-made stone. Some research has put general exposure as being around 6.4% of all Australian workers, and high levels of exposure at 3.3%. Those most at risk are industry professionals who are involved in tasks such as stone cutting, sandblasting, mining, rock drilling, quarrying, brick cutting, glass making, tunnelling, foundry work, ceramic manufacturing and various construction activities.
What is silicosis? Silicosis is a disease of the lungs. It is caused by longerterm exposure to crystalline silica dust that is found in stone, rocks, sands and clays. The dust particles become embedded in the alveolar sacs and ducts of the lungs, which is where the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide happens. Mucus and coughing cannot dislodge the particles, so the body reacts instead by forming a protective layer of collagen around them, which then results in fibrosis, and leads to nodular lesions. These inhibit the ability of the lungs to function. The primary symptom is shortness of breath, which will continue to develop even after exposure to silica dust has been eliminated. Other symptoms include persistent coughing, fatigue, loss of appetite and chest pain. Silicosis can also increase the risk of other serious conditions including tuberculosis and other chest infections; pulmonary hypertension; heart failure; arthritis; kidney disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. In most cases, exposure for 10 to 20 years is required to cause the condition, but it can develop after just 5 to 10 years of exposure or, in rare cases, after only a few months of heavy exposure. In general, the medical profession identifies four basic types of silicosis: chronic, which develops over a period of more than ten years; accelerated, which develops between five and ten years; complicated, which is standard silicosis where the fibrosis produces scarring; and acute, where exposure of very high concentrations of silica can produce symptoms in less than a year. Diagnosis is usually done via X-ray, which can confirm the presence of nodules on the lungs. Computed tomography (CT) scans and lung function testing using a spirometer can provide a more detailed analysis once the diagnosis has been made.
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Treatment There is no actual treatment for silicosis, but there are some techniques that will lessen its impact, and improve quality of life. In general, however, it leads to a sharply reduced lifespan, with heart failure a common cause of mortality. Cough suppressants, antibiotics to prevent or cure lung infection, chest physiotherapy, and oxygen tanks can help to ease some symptoms. Lung transplants can also work, though these carry significant risks themselves.
The role of engineered quartz It is thought that working with EQ can bring on accelerated silicosis, with tradespeople beginning to suffer from symptoms between five and ten years after the initial exposure. An expert in the field, Dr Ryan Hoy, who is a respiratory physician and senior research fellow with the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, has worked to sound the alarm about silicosis in order to alert GPs that is becoming a more common diagnosis. Speaking on a podcast, Dr Hoy stated: “[We are seeing] cases of a very severe, aggressive form of silicosis in quite young people. Artificial stone benchtops [contain] very high levels of silica dust … [we are seeing cases of silicosis] after 5 years of exposure. Usually, it shows after 10 or 15 years of exposure. The severity is so great, some of these workers have required lung transplantation. EQ has higher levels of silica than most other forms of stone. Sandstone and quartzite contain more than 70%, concrete and mortar up to 70%, shale around 50%, slate up to 40%, brick and granite up to 30%, ironstone up to 15%, basalt and dolerite up to 5%, and limestone, chalk and marble up to 2%. However, the latter can contain silica layers. EQ can go all the way up to 90% of silica content. Exposure to high levels of silica dust usually occurs in the process of dry cutting and finishing slabs of EQ. This is typically done with a standard circular saw fitted with a special blade.
Silicosis Australian epidemiology In looking at recent action on silicosis, it is best to start with testimony given by external experts at the NSW’s Parliament’s “First Review of the Dust Diseases and Lifetime Care and Support Schemes”, conducted by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice. Evidence was delivered on 28 June 2017. While the main concern of
the Committee was an expansion of the types of lung disease in workers which deserved compensation, this also involved describing in greater detail the increase of silicosis due to work with EQ. The two major contributors to this discussion were: • Susan Miles, Respiratory and Sleep Physician, NSW Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease Special Interest Group, Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand; and • Anthony Johnson, Respiratory and Sleep Physician, NSW Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease Special Interest Group, Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Dr Miles, in describing the prevalence of the disease, pointed to some gaps between the reporting of the disease and feeding this information back to preventative agencies: “In terms of prevention of occupational lung disease, the Dust Diseases Authority deals with compensation; it does not contribute to the prevention of dust diseases, nor feedback its findings to existing prevention processes. This seems to be a missed opportunity for prevention. Recently there have been several cases of silicosis diagnosed in New South Wales from the engineered stone products industry — that is, the manufacture of Caesarstone — which have arisen despite existing legislation. One of these patients is currently awaiting a lung transplant.” Subsequently, the Chair of the Committee asked: “You have said there is not a role for the Dust Diseases Authority to provide educational awareness to inform the public or workforce that there is exposure being picked up. That is the first I have heard about the engineered,
man-made stone products with a silica problem. Is the industry being informed in order to improve the work conditions and stop exposure?” This gave rise to the following discussion: Dr Johnson: It is a huge problem. I am aware of five or six cases in the last 12 months in New South Wales. Committee: Of silicosis? Dr Johnson: Silicosis from the manufactured stone industry. It is a huge problem. Committee: This is bench tops? Dr Johnson: Yes. Committee: Is it pots and paving? Dr Johnson: No, it is Caesarstone manufacturers. A lot of them are small-scale places and when you talk to the people, the dust suppression is non-existent or inadequate. (We should note that “Caesarstone” is meant to represent all forms of EQ. The brand name “Caesarstone” is sometimes used in this sense as it is the best known, and has a high market share.)
Responsibility and prevention In some recent cases, legal representation for sufferers of silicosis brought on by exposure to silica dust resulting from the production of EQ has sought to lay all or part of the blame on the manufacturers of EQ, such as Caesarstone. However, in other cases, legal representation sees responsibility as resting clearly with the masonry companies that cut and fit EQ. In an article published on news.com.au, Theodora Ahilas, national practice leader and principal of the asbestos and dust diseases
✓ ✗ Using an Alpha wet saw with the appropriate blade to cut a sink hole. Note that there is no dust spray at all.
Everything here is wrong. Using an angle grinder to cut a sink hole, with no protection. Note the dust spray.
www.discoveringstonemagazine.com.au | DISCOVERING STONE #31 | 29
The big machinery. A wet bridge saw cutting a slab of engineered quartz.
Polishing is just as hazardous as cutting. Here a wet-feed angle grinder is used to bevel the edge of a slab of engineered quartz.
department at the legal firm Maurice Blackburn, noted that the nature of clients presenting with forms of silicosis had changed. She said her clients now were “people between 40 and 50 years of age who have been working hard doing renovation type work or commercial work. Building kitchens, bathrooms … or wherever the man-made stone is used.” One of her clients profiled in the article, Cameron Harper, who is only 27 years old, but already suffering from silicosis, is very clear where he sees the responsibility resting: “When I changed companies in 2015, there [was] a lack of care. I was there for a year, and I didn’t have the proper PPE [personal protective equipment], so I got acute silicosis from extremely large levels of dust exposure.” Dr Hoy, who is also quoted in this article, agrees. “All occupational lung diseases are preventable by eliminating the cause at the workplace. Employers need to ensure that all possible measures are in place to minimise dust exposure when cutting and grinding artificial stone.” He notes that these measures need to be comprehensive. “Use of face masks alone is not sufficient to protect workers.”
document from WorkSafe, entitled “Stonemasons – preventing crystalline silica exposure”. The measures it suggests are as follows:
Protections required Best practice suggests that health surveillance for silicosis should be provided for workers who are involved in high-risk occupations. Australia’s WorkSafe standards currently mandate a maximum exposure to silica dust of 100 micrograms per cubic metre of air. This is similar to the previous standard in the US, but as of September 2017 this standard is now 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air, in most cases. The levels need to be monitored if there is more than 25 micrograms of silica dust per cubic metre. The single most essential safety measure that all professionals working with EQ must take is to simply never use dry cutting of slabs. Cutting should always be wet, as this dramatically reduces exposure to silica dust. This and other measures are laid out in a helpful
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What is a solution to the problem? The risk to health associated with exposure to crystalline silica can be eliminated or reduced by: • using wet methods (including tools with water suppression) • where wet methods aren’t practicable, using local exhaust ventilation (LEV) (eg. a booth, extraction hood or tools fitted with extraction) • undertaking work as close as possible to the extraction point and using a turntable or bench with wheels so that the operator can rotate the work piece and direct the dust towards the extraction point • using a portable HEPA filtered (Dust Class H) vacuum cleaner (positioned next to where the dust is generated) for dusty off site installation work • pre-cutting materials to minimise dust during off-site installation work • where wet methods and LEV aren’t practical, using respirators (fitted with at least a P1 filter) Controlling exposure during clean up: • use a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filtered) (Dust Class H) vacuum cleaner or wet methods to clean dusty floors or surfaces. Do not dry sweep or use compressed air. • vacuum dusty work clothes before leaving the work area or dust them off by hand next to the extraction system while wearing a respirator • launder dusty work clothes at the workplace to avoid taking them home. If using a commercial laundry, dampen the clothes and place them in a sealed, labelled plastic bag and inform the laundry that the clothes are contaminated with crystalline silica. More information at: https://www.safeworkaustralia. gov.au. ■ Additional reporting from Joe Simpson
A marble and granite kitchen from Queensland company, KNS Marble. Karl Bartosek from KNS is suing ten engineered quartz distributors for diseases he says he contracted from dry cutting quartz for worktops.
Court case puts silicosis in the spotlight Australian stonemason, Karl Bartosek of KNS Marble (www.knsmarble. com.au) in Queensland is suing ten engineered quartz distributors for diseases he says he contracted from dry cutting quartz for worktops. Bartosek claims that working the high silica content materials has left him debilitated with disease. His compensation claim is based on the allegation that these suppliers did not warn him about the health risks. He has developed rheumatoid arthritis and silicosis, for which he now has to take daily medication. He links his illnesses to long-term exposure to the respirable crystalline silica (RCS) in quartz dust that he breathed when cutting the products dry. His action follows similar court cases in the USA, where some quartz manufacturers have even made compensation provisions in their annual reports. Bartosek told the Gold Coast Bulletin (GCB) he had had to employ more people to cover his workload as the arthritis and lung disease became more debilitating. “Everything from kicking the football and teaching my son how to surf has been affected. I used to coach my young fella in football,” he said. “I can no longer do
that and other everyday stuff, you know. It’s a struggle.” The case is being handled by Roger Singh from Shine Lawyers, a firm that has handled asbestosis cases in the past. Singh believes this is the first case to link rheumatoid arthritis to the impact of handling engineered stone but does not think that this will be an isolated incident. “Karl’s case is just the tip of the iceberg and it’s very likely we will see more workers from the stonemasonry industry coming forward with arthritis and silicosis,” said Singh. Bartosek himself is urging all stonemasons to get tested for rheumatoid arthritis as well as silicosis. “It would be good if anybody is starting to get these things (symptoms) to go see a doctor. The practices of cutting dry should be changed to cutting wet,” he told the GCB. “No-one ever told me about the dangers of getting these diseases from the dust and (I want to) warn people you can get sick from it. It isn’t good. A lot of companies still do cut dry.” He goes on to say that he noticed soreness and the shortness of breath about two to three years ago. “Walking was a struggle, that sort of thing. I had some tests done and it progressed
from there. Every day I inject myself with an immune suppressant. I had the flu for about six months last year,” he said. The dust produced during the cutting process when working with engineered stone is claimed to be more toxic than in natural stone and can lead to the development of the potentially deadly silicosis. “Engineered stone is only about 12 to 14 years old and it has a lot more silica in it than natural stone and marbles. It can be cheaper because it’s man-made,” said Bartosek. There is no doubt that this is an important test case, with implications far beyond Australia. For instance, the eight-hour exposure level to silica dust in America is being cut to 0.05mg of RSC per cubic metre of air — half the limit in the UK — from September 2017. This move comes as US-based engineered quartz manufacturers are starting to take precautions to try to protect themselves against class actions by employees and former employees who are suffering from silicosis. Karl Bartosek can be contacted on (07) 5568 0615 or email: karl@ knsmarble.com.au. ■ Story from Joe Simpson
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Natural stone imports 2016-2017 Peter Halliday looks at the latest statistical data and finds there has been a minor downturn in natural stone imports.
he value of natural stone imported into Australia has risen continuously over the last four financial years, reaching AUD269,946,564 in 2016-2017 (1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017) according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The increase was the smallest over the last four years, being only 1.2 per cent above the 2015-2016 figure. A summary of the value of natural stone imports over the previous six financial years the can be seen in Fig.1. The ABS do not record the quantity of worked or finished stone materials imported to Australia, and as this broad category makes
up 94 per cent of the total import value, it is gives no definitive guide as to the overall quantity of stone imported. The ABS do however, record the quantity and value of all raw or crude stone classifications imported to Australia. Due to the absence of quantity measurement on the clear majority of imports, we can only estimate the overall volume of natural stone being sold into the Australian market. Any increase in value does not necessarily equate to an increase in quantity of natural stone imported. The value is affected by competition, the type of stones being imported and
the prevailing foreign exchange rate at the time of payment. Fig.2 illustrates the changing foreign exchange rate for the Australian Dollar against the US Dollar and the Euro. Against a background of four years of significant annual falls against the US Dollar and a more regular cycle of rise and fall against the Euro, in the 2016-2017 financial year, the Australian Dollar increased by 3.7 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively against these two major trading currencies. As the small increase in the total value of natural stone imports was less than the improvement in foreign exchange rate,
Fig.1 Natural Stone Historical Import Value
DECLARED DESTINATION STATE Financial Year
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Total Declared Customs Value (AUD)
% Change on Previous Financial Year
Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
Fig.2 Australian Dollar Exchange Rate 2012-2017
Data Source: Reserve Bank of Australia
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MARKETS Fig.3 Declared Customs Value of Natural Stone Imports, 2016-2017 Financial Year
Country of Origin
DECLARED DESTINATION STATE ACT
Customs Value (AUD)
% of Grand Total
China (excluding SARs and Taiwan)
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
Korea, Republic of
Myanmar, Republic of
Uganda United Arab Emirates United Kingdom
United States of America Viet Nam
State Share of National Total
Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
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Figure 5. Total Natural Stone Imports - Recorded Quantity and Value
FINANCIAL YEAR HTISC Code 2515120003 2515200004 2516110005 2516120006 2516201009 2516202010 2516900036 2517100011 6801000001 6802100002 6802210003 6802230005 6802290004 6802290006 6802910007 6802920008 6802930009 6802990010 6803000011 Total Value (AUD)
2016-2017 Quantity Unit of Measure (UOM) Kilograms Kilograms Kilograms Kilograms Kilograms Kilograms Kilograms Kilograms Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded Not recorded
Total Customs Value (AUD)
Total Quantity 430,898 742,520 1,601,777 1,442,340 756,278 327,800 6,488,268 152,557,784 -
1,105,982 144,062 595,415 566,576 197,719 171,736 2,274,762 10,752,629 30,990,129 2,882,610 11,867,154 12,249,156 1,669,438 9,651,929 83,348,195 17,590,198 49,435,233 25,636,210 11,235,867
208,496.16 54,178.62 1,370,840.92 597,503.30 612,689.15 283,355.46 4,715,212.19 50,018,411.19 -
Total Customs Value (AUD)
242,485 8,884 534,829 300,215 158,662 139,700 1,946,461 5,288,923 32,082,337 4,212,434 13,138,985 15,925,917 1,549,364 10,704,991 71,908,072 21,245,997 46,493,730 30,703,997 12,732,839 269,946,564
Total Customs Value (AUD)
110,271 5,172 2,860,595 665,245 595,829 381,066 5,085,276 14,127,635 24,663,329
126,219 10,387 476,043 688,602 141,043 162,495 2,160,710 1,826,506 3,824,345 12,279,258 16,375,590 1,261,722 9,134,494 57,727,610 17,847,786 38,554,287 25,755,400 11,020,545 7,314,815 207,638,772
2013-2014 Total Quantity 172,947 26,377 32,890,540 570,663 705,878 182,942 3,917,919 34,191,900 -
Total Customs Value (AUD) 203,917 14,167 854,876 349,509 182,094 95,018 1,458,528 2,052,717 23,802,138 2,625,019 8,414,111 7,137,016 737,717 6,985,470 53,625,482 16,536,640 38,072,428 21,826,824 9,349,408 195,248,572
Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
an assumption could be made that the quantity of natural stone imported to Australia in the last financial year declined slightly. Fig.3 shows the 2016-2017 total value of natural stone imports across all HTISC (Harmonized Tariff Item Statistical Code) categories breaking down the data by the country of origin and the declared final destination state. The largest value of imports originated in China in 2016-2017, representing 43.3 per cent of the total import value. Stone from Italy and Turkey made up another 16.1 and 16.0 per cent of the total value respectively. The majority of natural stone imported in 2016-2017 was destined for New South Wales (38 per cent of the total value) followed by Victoria (33 per cent). Queensland was the third largest destination state by value at 13.4 per cent followed by Western Australia at 11.7 per cent. A table showing the country of origin and declared final destination state can be seen in Fig.4. Raw or crudely finished stone is imported in a roughly quarried format before working or processing into finished articles in Australia, ready for consumer use. The import quantity and value is heavily influenced by commercial projects. The value of “crude or roughly trimmed” stone imported in 2016-2017 was AUD16,545,053. This represents only six per cent of the total value. A breakdown of imports of natural stone over the last four financial years into the various HTISC Codes can be found in Fig.5. The only categories that
Australian Customs records a measure of quantity against are the raw or crude natural stone import codes (numbers beginning in 25). All but one are measured in kilograms. HTISC 2514000001 (Slate, roughly cut or sawn) is measured in square metres. The total import value figures collected includes all the major international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) classifications describing natural stone in either a raw, crude or worked, finished form.
The 10-digit level of the classification system — HTISC — describes stone in broad categories such as “crude or roughly trimmed” stone, pebbles and gravel (codes beginning with 25) as well as the biggest grouping, “worked” stone (codes beginning with 68), then breaks them down into common types. A table of classification descriptions can be found in Fig.6. ■ Peter Halliday is the managing director at Decor8 Tiles
Figure 6. Harmonized Tariff Item Statistical Code (HTISC) Descriptions
Quartzite, whether or not roughly trimmed or merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a rectangular (incl. square) shape (excl. quartzite in shapes identifiable as road or paving sets, flagstones or curbstones (HS 6801)) Slate (incl. powder & waste), whether or not roughly trimmed or merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a rectangular (incl. square) shape (excl. mosaic cubes; slate cut into shapes other than rectangular; worked slate) Crude or roughly trimmed marble and travertine, of an apparent specific gravity of 2.5 or more Marble and travertine, of an apparent specific gravity of 2.5 or more, merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a rectangular (incl. square) shape (excl. crude or roughly trimmed marble and travertine) Ecaussine and other calcareous monumental or building stone (excl. marble & travertine), of an apparent specific gravity of 2.5 or more, and alabaster, whether or not roughly trimmed or merely cut into blocks or slabs of a rectangular shape Crude or roughly trimmed granite Granite, merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a rectangular (incl. square) shape (excl. crude or roughly trimmed granite) Crude or roughly trimmed sandstone Sandstone, merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a rectangular (incl. square) shape (excl. crude or roughly trimmed sandstone) Porphyry, basalt and other monumental or building stone (excl. granite and sandstone), whether or not roughly trimmed or merely cut, by sawing or otherwise, into blocks or slabs of a rectangular (incl. square) shape Pebbles, gravel, broken or crushed stone, of a kind commonly used for concrete aggregates, for road metalling or for railway or other ballast, shingle and flint, whether or not heat-treated Setts, curbstones and flagstones of natural stone (except slate) Tiles, cubes and similar articles of natural stone, the largest surface area of which is capable of being enclosed in a square the side of which is less than 7 cm; artificially coloured granules, chippings and powder Marble, travertine and alabaster, simply cut or sawn, with a flat or even surface Granite, simply cut or sawn, with a flat or even surface Calcareous stone, (excl. marble, travertine and alabaster), simply cut or sawn, with a flat or even surface Stone (excl. calcareous or granite), simply cut or sawn, with a flat or even surface Marble, travertine and alabaster (excl. simply cut or sawn with a flat or even surface) Calcareous stone (excl. marble, travertine and alabaster, and simply cut or sawn with a flat or even surface) Granite, (excl. simply cut or sawn with a flat or even surface) Stone, (excl. calcareous or granite, and simply cut or sawn having a flat or even surface) Worked slate and articles of slate or of agglomerated slate
2514000001 2515110002 2515120003 2515200004 2516110005 2516120006 2516201009 2516202010 2516900036 2517100011 6801000001 6802100002 6802210003 6802230005 6802290004 6802290006 6802910007 6802920008 6802930009 6802990010 6803000011
Data Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics
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International market for natural stone The Internazionale Marmi e Macchine Carrara publishes an annual report on the current status and outlook for international stone trade.
anuela Gussoni, the head of the research office at IMM (Internazionale Marmi e Macchine) Carrara reported that “2015 was another golden year for the international trade of natural stone. The international market of stone products generated a trade flow of EUR25.7 billion, showing an increase of 12.4 per cent on 2014.” This figure was achieved in a climate of relatively low global economic growth calculated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at 3.1 per cent versus the 3.4 per cent achieved in 2014. For the fifth consecutive year, growth slowed in developing countries which comprise 70 per cent of total global growth. In contrast, advanced economies exhibited a gradual recovery. Among the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), India recorded a seven per cent increase in GDP. In the fourth quarter of 2015, growth slowed in the United States but remained steady in Europe.
TABLE 1. INTERNATIONAL TRADE OF STONE MATERIALS (IMPORTS-EXPORTS) Value (euro)
AUV (euro per ton)
Source: Global Trade Atlas, processing by IMM. NB: “AUV” stands for “average unit value”. Marble, granite and other stones are taken into account TABLE 2. MARKET SHARE (FIRST 10 COUNTRIES 2013-2015) COUNTRIES
World exports (ml euro)
The trade-flow figure of EUR27.7 billion for natural stone equates to an increase of 12.4 per cent. (Refer to Table 1.) It should be noted that the quantities of stone traded declined by almost 10 per cent. However, the average unit value of natural stone products increased to EUR330 per ton exported in 2015. This represents an increase of 24.4 per cent on 2014 figures. Close examination of Table 2 reveals that China is the prime beneficiary. According to the China Natural Stone Materials Association, there are 2,866 large and medium size companies with an annual turnover in excess of RMB20 billion. In 2014 the total output of these companies was: Marble – 300 million square metres Granite – 590 million square metres In 2015 China exported 10.7 million tons of stone material, with an approximate value of EUR6.4 billion euro. Volume declined by 8 per cent compared to 2014, but rose in value by 38 per cent. The average unit value of exported Chinese stone product rose by 50 per cent, to a figure of approximately EUR600 per ton.
Source: Global Trade Atlas, processing by IMM. NB: the table shows the first 10 countries in terms of export value in 2015. They account for 92% of the world export value in 2015
Construction market In 2015, global construction climbed to EUR7 billion, 2.6 per cent higher than the figure recorded in 2014. This figure is marginally smaller than the growth recorded in the international economy of 3.1 per cent. The largest growth for investment in construction (4.4 per cent) was recorded in the countries in the Persian Gulf. This represented a value of EUR229 billion. Construction growth in Oceania, the Far and Middle East (including China) and Africa recorded combined growth of 4 per cent which equated to approximately EUR3,400 billion. North America achieved growth of 3.5 per cent, with a value of EUR1,300 billion, which equalled the value
In Latin America, Brazil continues to falter with a 3.8 per cent reduction in its GDP and a continued recession.
recorded in Western Europe, where growth was significantly lower at 0.7 per cent. Specifically, growth was strong in the United States and Mexico. In the US it is anticipated that growth in construction will exceed 5 per cent. In the key remaining areas, Eastern Europe and Latin America, growth equalled 370 billion respectively. However, both regions are in decline – a fall of 2.1 per cent in construction development was recorded in Eastern Europe and 3.3 per cent in Latin America. Russia experienced a 3.7 per cent decline in GDP and a 9 per cent fall in the value of construction.
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TABLE 3. CHINESE EXPORTS OF NATURAL STONE IN THE FIRST THREE MARKETS (FIRST THREE MARKETS, VALUE IN EURO) World
TABLE 6. LUXURY MARKETS FOR ITALIAN EXPORTS OF ORNAMENTAL STONE, FIRST 10 MARKETS COUNTRY
Average unit value of exports – euro per ton
Source: China Customs, processing by IMM
TABLE 4. INTERNATIONAL DEMAND FOR STONE PRODUCTS 2015, FIRST FIVE COUNTRIES (VALUE IN EURO) 2013
Source: ISTAT, processing by IMM research department
Source: Global Trade Atlas, processing by IMM. NB: the table shows the first 5 countries in terms of world import value in 2015. They account for 58% of the world import value in 2015.
Most of the demand came from the United States which is now China’s second best export market; South Korea is its number one market. Noticeably, Italy and Turkey have experienced a downturn in global exports of natural stone. Italy’s share fell by 13.5 per cent in 2014 and a further 12.4 per cent in 2015. The Turkish share fell by 12.1 per cent and 11.2 per cent respectively. Table 4 reveals that the United States is the largest importer of natural stone. In 2015, it overtook China with a 24.1 per cent increase in value to EUR2.4 billion euro. A decline in construction spurred a further fall in demand in Japan, where the value of imports declined from EUR597 million in 2014 to EUR574 million in 2017. It is anticipated that the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will reverse that trend. Demand increased in Korea up by 21 per cent and India increased by 46 per cent in 2015. The European Union which comprises 28 countries experienced a 5.1 per cent decline, with a value of EUR2.4 billion euro. China and Italy were the EU’s prime suppliers.
High demand in Australia Table 5 highlights the high growth
TABLE 5. INTERNATIONAL DEMAND FOR ORNAMENTAL STONE, HIGH-GROWTH MARKETS 2015 COUNTRY
Growth % 2015/2013
products to the rest of the world which represents an increase of 2.6 per cent in quantity and 9.8 per cent in value. Exports of finished granite also rose from EUR534.6 million in 2014 to EUR562 million in 2015, a 5.1 per cent increase. The main demand for stone produced in Italy comes from the United States. The decline in the value of the Euro against the US Dollar is a contributing factor. Australia ranks fifth (table 6) for demand of Italian ornamental stone.
Source: Global Trade Atlas, processing by IMM
markets for ornamental stone in 2015. Demand in Malaysia was substantial, and strong growth was recorded in Egypt, Mexico and India. Australia experienced a 35.1 per cent increase, representing a growth rate of 36.3 per cent.
Italy’s performance In 2015, Italy exported almost 4 million tons of high quality natural stone, which exceeded EUR2 billion. This is largely due to a continued boom in demand for finished marble products. In the same year, Italy exported 915,000 tons of finished marble
In conclusion Significantly, the United States became the largest market for natural stone around the world in 2015. For the first time, it rose above China with imports of primarily finished products to a value of EUR2.4 billion. The recyclable attributes of natural stone are coming to the fore, particularly in relation to properly treated marble waste which once cut from a slab can become a pair of sunglasses, while a flake can be turned into an item of jewellery. The total global value of marble traded in 2015 was EUR10.3 billion. This reflects the recognition of marble as a highly fashionable surface finish on walls, floors and bench tops. ■ From Anthony Stock
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Highly functional granite art
Everyday objects d’art get a practical granite makeover, writes international correspondent Joe Simpson.
arble may have been the classical sculptor’s medium of choice for centuries, but granite is equally suited to this enduring and timeless art form, as Lincoln Kayiwa shows in his latest contemporary sculptural designs. These art-meets-function creations, with their modern, minimalist aesthetic, are intended to offers years of use and enjoyment. Each item is a numbered limited edition piece; a completely unique work of art. The durability of granite makes it ideal for heavily used surfaces, such as worktops. In creating these avantgarde household objects, Kayiwa combined traditional handcraft with mechanisation to create a range of timeless products; from mortar and pestle to furniture. All are created using an exclusive selection of rare Finnish granite types, including Amadeus, Brown Hill, Moss Granite and Lappia Green. A key feature of Kayiwa’s granite collection is that the pieces are easy to move. Honed finger grooves are placed strategically to allow the user to grip objects and lift them off surfaces.
The silhouettes throughout the granite collection are a play on geometry, proportion and precision, with contrasts of various shades and types of polished and honed granite. The SM Mortar and Pestle is a fresh take on a kitchen essential. This totem pole-shaped pentaptych is not only great for grinding spices or making pesto, but is also a nutcracker. The reaming end of the SM+ Citrus Reamer stays elevated off the surface where it stands to aid hygiene. Used individually or in groups, the Dico Catchall is an elegant receptacle for walking sticks, umbrellas, candles, pens and more. Achingly tactile, the Betty Rolling Pin is also very practical. The user need not exert as much pressure to achieve results because the weight and smooth stone surface make flattening dough as easy as pie. The Nzela Coffee Table is an ingenious flat-pack construction featuring three snap-fit elements. It uses gravity alone to stay together and thus does not require any tools, fixtures or fittings for assembly. Simple, yet sturdy enough for daily use, this series of coffee tables would prove a practical and beautiful addition to any living space.
Finally, the Eemeli Board Set is a combination of reversible trivet, cutting board and serving board. Each object features a different granite type and unique, natural grain. Its high-strength surface construction is food-safe and easy to clean. With a witty yet elegant disregard for convention, Kayiwa’s pieces are exquisite sculptures while also offering functional solutions for everyday needs. The designer draws heavily on his Finnish-Ugandan heritage; borrowing principles and aesthetic elements from the rich cultures and traditions of African and Nordic art, craft and design. ■
Top: The Eemeli Board Set is a combination of reversible trivet, cutting board and serving board. 38 | DISCOVERING STONE #31 | www.discoveringstonemagazine.com.au
Above: The Nzela Coffee Table is a flat-pack construction featuring three snap-fit elements.
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Slate dominates the exterior of Charles House located in Kew (VIC). Austin Maynard Architects take a modest material and discover a new expressive vocabulary while maintaining the material’s essence and integrity.
Slate stars in multi-gen housing project Charles House is an adaptable multi-generational home, clad with patterns of slate, writes Joe Simpson.
he Charles House project addresses some of the more pressing issues regarding multi-generational housing: affordability, childcare and aged-care. Melbourne firm Austin Maynard Architects (AMA) worked from a brief that called for a dwelling that the client’s family could live in for over 25 years. It needed to adapt to the requirements of children, and to accommodate housing the family’s grandparents in the future. In addition to these central requirements, the client also wanted a house that offered practicality, low maintenance, and a garden that combined light and water features. It also needed to meld the outdoor and indoor areas. In developing their solution, AMA chose slate as one of the main materials for construction. It delivered in many different ways. The house was to be located in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Kew, and
the architects drew some inspiration from that environment which has many historic residences. According to AMA: “We loved the lichen covered slate roofs on many of these old Edwardian, Federation and Victorian homes, and were keen to respond to, and connect with, this rich material history, without copying or creating a pastiche of the past. “Whilst some neighbouring buildings compete for attention and status, our challenge was to create a home that didn’t dominate the street and was embedded in gardens. We aimed to create a home that didn’t have a tall defensive fence, but instead offered openness and life to the street.” Aside from inspiration, some of the architects’ choices were also determined by a covenant – administered by local building regulators – which demanded that any new home built on the site be clad in stone.
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Each of the patterns used on the various façades on Charles House were recommended by Slate Roof Service.
Upstairs, the children’s bedrooms open up to each other, onto hallways, as well as the living area.
Slate roof specialists To help bring its vision into being, AMA called on the services of Slate Roof Service. The company had built up a strong reputation through years of caring for some of Melbourne’s best-known buildings, including the Victorian Parliament and Carlton Garden’s Exhibition Building. AMA also found that they were very willing to engage in the task of using slate not only for the roof, but to clad the vertical walls of Charles House as well. One of the resulting beauties of Charles House is that the skill and detail usually lost to the sky up on the roof can be appreciated close up. Each of the patterns used on the various façades were recommended by the contractors, from their years of experience working with slate.
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One path to understanding the design of Charles House is to see it as designed to reflect what needs to be open, what needs to be closed, and what would benefit from being able to move between these two states. To begin with, building in an environment that varies from established older houses to somewhat less-designed “McMansion” type dwellings, the architects wanted to create a building for living that referenced the former and provided a contrast to the latter. This approach began with breaking the house up into a series of four linked, angular “forms”. Here, again, the importance of using slate is evident, as AMA says all the forms were “given their own personality by using different slate patterns”. Two of those forms are linked by bridges and ponds that flow out to the garden. The external slate cladding even finds its way into the forms that make up the house, where it “flows through inside in certain areas, which reinforces the separation further”. The result is that Charles House takes a relatively large scale of 380sqm, and breaks it down into a series of more “personal” spaces, which can then be adapted to meet the changing needs of the family, and its multiple generations. As AMA describes it: “The ground floor layout of Charles offers flexibility of space and function. A music/ living room, can become a student den or a granny flat/ apartment, with its own bathroom and direct (wheelchair-friendly) garden access. This is a truly adaptable space that can either extend the families living areas, or be closed off to be its own independent zone. For now this space is for the family to share music, to read and to rest. In a few years it will become a home to grandparents.” The upper levels of the house are more adapted to the private lives of the younger generation: “Upstairs, the kid’s bedrooms open up to
One of the bathrooms in Charles House.
each other, onto hallways and the living area, as well as the study. All spaces can be opened up or isolated according to ages/functions/uses. As the children grow and change, their spaces can adapt to suit their level of engagement with their home and their family.” Not to neglect the parents, they are accorded their own space, separate from, but linked to the rest of the house: “The parent’s room, with walk-in-robe and ensuite, is separated visually and physically, as it is accessed via a bridge.”
Sustainability From an environmental perspective, the dwelling’s sustainability features include double stud walls, impressive insulation, solar array, water collection, double glazing, and adjustable sun shading. The building follows the southern boundary, so that it is bathed in sunlight. Windows are all double glazed and have a range
of protective measures – awnings, external blinds and adjustable louvres — that are designed to optimise passive solar gain in winter, while minimising solar gain in summer. Together, this significantly reduces the demand for mechanical heating and cooling. The ponds offer further passive evaporative cooling. Solar panels with micro-inverters cover parts of the new roof, while water tanks provide ample water for the gardens and the toilets.
Outside Externally, the house plan rethinks the suburban backyard. The garden runs from the street to a school sports field at the rear of the site, creating a continuous green strip. The clients asked for a garden they could use, that would interest the children in plants and provide a setting for long term engagement between the inhabitants of the house and the landscape they live in.
The living areas are located on the ground floor of Charles House.
An eclectic combination of native and indigenous plants, as well as a mix of ornamental and edible planting, runs along the length of the house and responds to the clients’ requirements, including a soccer pitch, outdoor areas for dining and play, vegetable and herb gardens and two large fish ponds. The outdoor areas are visible from many perspectives within the building. Careful attention was paid to materials, topography, rock, water and planting to allow the outdoor space to be experienced in many ways, and at many points, both visually and sensorially; encouraging connection between the interior and exterior spaces throughout the year. ■ Photography by Peter Bennetts
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The parents and children’s rooms are connected via a bridge.
Architect: Austin Maynard Architects Project team: Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin, Kathryne Houchin Builder: Overend Constructions Engineer: Hive Consultants Garden furniture: Tait Landscape designers: Bush Projects Slate contractors: Slate Roof Service Company Site Area: 720sqm Floor Area: 348sqm
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Photo 1. Marble benchtops by CDK Stone.
Options for benchtops grow for buyers The market for kitchen benchtops is getting bigger with more materials to choose from.
hoosing the “correct” material for kitchen benchtops can be a difficult exercise. On one hand there is the beauty of natural stone products such as marble and granite, on the other the durability and (usually) lower cost of manmade products such as engineered quartz. The three major stresses that kitchen countertops face are: scratching/cutting; staining from substances such as red wine; and high heat. To that list you can add the need for maintenance, and, of course, cost.
Marble There is little doubt that marble remains one of the most beautiful surfaces to use on countertops. A recent trend that has emerged is the use of light-coloured Calacatta marble, which has come to replace the better-known Carrara marble in many homes. The two differ in that Carrara marble tends to have very fine, consistent veins of a contrasting colour to the overall white, while
Calacatta marble has wider, thicker and more dramatic veins of colour in the white (see photo 1). Both types of marble originate in the Apuan Alps located in north-central Italy. However, all that beauty comes at a cost — if not financially, then in terms of practicality. Marble is highly porous, which means when it is untreated it will stain easily and irreparably. It is also a relatively soft stone, which means scratches can easily mar its gleaming surface. On the plus side, however, it is very heat resistant. Techniques for sealing marble have improved remarkably over the past decade, and some owners of marble countertops claim that they are not very worried overmuch by substances such as red wine or coffee, and more concerned about substances such as turmeric and other spices. Costs in Australia vary widely for marble, starting as low as $800 a square metre, and running up to well over $2000 a square metre for finished work.
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While granite lacks some of the drama and beauty of marble, it ticks many of the boxes that marble does not. It is scratch resistant, requires very little maintenance, is stain resistant and inert when in contact with most household chemicals. It’s also heat resistant (unless you are planning on doing the odd bit of spot welding on the kitchen counter). While many granites can be used without sealing, it has become a generally accepted practice to seal these surfaces every two years or so. Costs for granite are now comparable with marble, running from around $700 to $1600 for finished work.
Man-made alternatives Engineered quartz (EQ) surfaces have been around for some time, made by companies such as the well-known Caesarstone, but new types have been steadily emerging over the past five years. Photo 2. A kitchen benchtop in Eternal Charcoal Soapstone from Cosentino’s Silestone range.
index Asahi Diamond Industrial
Australian Stone Advisory Association26-27 Photo 3. Kitchen benchtop in Rugged Concrete by Caesarstone.
Biesse Group Australia
Champion Building One of these is Dekton, made by Cosentino. This relies on a process that is similar to that used in standard EQ manufacturing, but with the application of high compression to cause “sintering” of the particles in the raw material. Sintering produces some of the same effects that melting products at high temperatures does, with the atoms of the material diffusing across boundaries to form a solid bond. The result is a material with exceptionally low porosity, high ultraviolet resistance, high heat resistance, and so forth. It can be used outdoors as easily as indoors, and comes in a wide variety of thicknesses and in large formats. There are versions of this material that closely mimic natural stone. That is not to dismiss standard EQ, which continues to provide a convenient, and often less expensive, alternative to natural stone. Caesarstone, among others, offers a very wide range of styles and colours. Photo 2 showcases a kitchen benchtop in Eternal Charcoal Soapstone from Cosentino’s Silestone range. Its blue-grey finish with powerful grey highlights is inspired by the popular “soap stone”. Photo 3 illustrates Rugged Concrete by Caesarstone, a surface finish that could not be imagined a few short years ago.
Tile Manufacturers of ceramic tile are becoming proficient in producing porcelain tiles in slim slabs and panels. The durability of these materials, their light weight and low
porosity ensure that slim panels and slabs are increasingly used on benchtops and back splashes, where the installer benefits by virtue of the fact that a slim panel/slab weighs considerably less than a 20, 30 or 40 mm slab of granite or marble. In fact, manufacturers of ceramic tile in the form of porcelain, were the first to introduce hard wearing slim 3-7 mm tiles and panels, in the form of Laminam. This is a very versatile material, made by the company of the same name. Grouped into five series inspired by elements like cement, marble, wood, iron and solid colours that blend historical allure with contemporary idiom, the 1620mm x 3240mm series offers a total of 31 surfaces for obtaining highly evocative atmospheres.
China Xiamen International Stone Fair
Cinajus47 Environex7 Hanson/Kanmantoo Bluestone
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The future The next generation of benchtop materials will ensure that home owners are the real winners. Slimmer benchtops will provide opportunities to fashion cantilevered tops which can extend into adjoining spaces, or deliver island benchtops which can provide a home for wine racks. All of the brands mentioned will continue to refine their products and consumers will be the beneficiaries. Dekton, CDK Stone’s Neolith and Laminam all market extremely convincing imitations of Calacatta marble. But in spite of that, natural stones like Calacatta will in essence remain inimitable and home owners will still crave the real thing.■ From Anthony Stock
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Specialty flooring retailer, J&S Designer Flooring will exhibit at the 2018 TISE show in Las Vegas.
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New look for TISE The next International Surface Event (TISE) will be held from 30 January to 1 February 2018 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. It is regarded as the largest North American show serving the floor covering, stone and tile industries. It comprises the SURFACES, StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas and Tile Expo events. TISE, in conjunction with its Marmomac partners, has also rebranded the StonExpo/Marmomac portion of the event with a new logo.
China event grows its worldwide audience The 18th Xiamen Stone Fair will be held on March 6-9, 2018 at Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center, China. There will be 180,000sqm of floor space and over 2,000 exhibitors from 56 countries expected, up from 2017. Four different areas will help the visitors to find target products quickly: Domestic Stone, International Stone, Machinery and Tools and Outdoor. China Xiamen International Stone Fair was founded in 2001. Making full use of rich stone resources in the Fujian Province and the advantage of having a port in Xiamen, the fair has become one of the largest professional stone exhibition in the world. The event has also made Xiamen a major international destination for the stone industry. According to recent statistics from the Xiamen Haicang Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, it
In 2017 TISE floor space increased to feature 34,000sqft of exhibits and over 800 brands, drawing a 7% growth in attendance over 2016. Attendees experienced technical installation demonstrations in the Installation Showcase, viewed product demonstrations and technology from Best of Product and Event Winners, discovered trends in the Speed Trending Breakfast and the Trends Hub, heard first-hand techniques and knowledge from industry experts and influencers in the IGNITE Education program, and attended a presentation from architect Art Gensler Jr, founder of Gensler. ■
has inspected 2.5965 million tons of imported stones to the value of USD477 million in the first seven months of 2017. This represents an increase of 30.12% and 32.25% respectively. The fair will also host the 9th World Stone Congress in 2018. It will be expanded to include the Global Master Architects Forum, Launch Out @ Xiamen Stone Fair, and the Stone Design Forum Education Sessions.. ■
An exhibit from the Xiamen Stone Fair.
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