Building stones

Siegfried Siegesmund, Ákos Török

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Citations (Scopus)


Most historic structures and many of our recent buildings have been constructed from natural stone. This chapter gives an overview of available natural stone resources and trends in building stone extraction. It documents the various uses of stone from an architectural point of view, showing historic and recent examples in more than a hundred color photos depicting construction periods from prehistoric to recent times. Besides describing the uses of stone, the chapter also provides information on the main rock-forming minerals, their properties and classification, which enables an easier identification of the various stones. Richly illustrated sections outline the main rock groups from igneous and metamorphic to sedimentary rocks, allowing the reader to understand their origin, to recognize various rock types and compare their potential use. Fabric differences, colors, shades and tints of stones and their appearance on facades are also illustrated, helping the reader to distinguish between various types of commercially sold granites and marbles. By providing detailed descriptions of most stone types with an explanation on their origin, mineralogy, fabric and their potential application, the chapter clarifies the misuse of commercial names and the improper use of stone in engineering and architectural practice. This is often derived from the misidentification of available stones and limited knowledge of stone properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStone in Architecture
Subtitle of host publicationProperties, Durability: Fifth Edition
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages85
ISBN (Electronic)9783642451553
ISBN (Print)3642451543, 9783642451546
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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    Siegesmund, S., & Török, Á. (2014). Building stones. In Stone in Architecture: Properties, Durability: Fifth Edition (pp. 11-95). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.