BOOK_CONTENT
From Engineering Geology, Second Edition

Building or Dimension Stone

Stone has been used as a construction material for thousands of years. One of the reasons for this was its ready availability locally. Furthermore, stone requires little energy for extraction and processing. Indeed, stone is used more or less as it is found except for the seasoning, shaping and dressing that is necessary before it is used for building purposes.

A number of factors determine whether a rock will be worked as a building stone. These include the volume of material that can be quarried; the ease with which it can be quarried; the wastage consequent upon quarrying; and the cost of transportation; as well as its appearance and physical properties (Yavuz et al., 2005). As far as volume is concerned, the life of the quarry should be at least 20 years. The amount of overburden that has to be removed also affects the economics of quarrying. Obviously, there comes a point when removal of overburden makes operations uneconomic. However, at that point, stone may be mined if conditions are favourable. Weathered rock normally represents waste therefore the ratio of fresh to weathered rock is another factor of economic importance. The ease with which a rock can be quarried depends to a large extent on geological structures, notably the geometry of joints and bedding planes, where present. Ideally, rock for building stone should be massive, certainly it must be free from closely spaced joints or other discontinuities as these control block size. The stone should be...

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