From an overall sustainability perspective, natural stone has a lower environmental footprint than precast concrete. This is due to the minimal resources used to quarry, fabricate, finish, and transport natural stone.
Knowing what to look for when sourcing natural stone is one of the reasons Enzo Giambattista, a natural stone consultant with Enmar Consulting in Ontario, Canada, was called upon to collaborate at the early design phase with Gehry Partners on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial project in Washington, D.C.
Sintered surface is sometimes marketed as sustainable because it contains natural materials. But as you will see from the manufacturing process described below, the use of an energy intensive manufacturing process gives sintered surface a much larger environmental footprint than natural stone.