Eight Associates collaborated with Amin Taha’s architecture studio Groupwork and the structural engineer Webb Yates in the design of a conceptual 30-storey stone office block that would be cheaper and more sustainable than concrete or steel equivalents.
The research found that large commercial buildings could be built more cheaply and with less of an environmental impact using stone rather than concrete or steel. By specifying quarried stone to be used within the building, the embodied carbon would be solely caused through the extraction, transportation, and installation of the stone. Additional processes such as polishing, etc, would also result in a higher embodied carbon. A building constructed primarily from quarried stone would result in a carbon reduction when compared to a concrete frame (approx. 60% reduction) or steel frame (approx. 80% reduction).
Furthermore, the analysis showed the specification of cross-laminated timber (CLT) could result in a much more favourable embodied carbon, due to the nature of timber sequestering carbon throughout its lifetime as a tree. The specification of CLT floors in place of stone floors would offset the embodied carbon of the entire stone structure (stone exoskeleton, core walls, and floors).
The stone skyscraper research project forms part of an exhibition called New Stone Age at the Building Centre in London.