New products follow quarry extension at Denfind
Denfind Stone in Scotland is helping to improve skills and develop a range of new products to continue the revival of the use of sandstone from the quarry.
Denfind Stone in Angus has continued a tradition of innovation through investment in a new production facility for walling stone, paving, and finished dimensional sandstone products.
It is also creating new products, including natural stone slips that can be fixed on to the façade of a building or a wall.
It is working to deliver a 40mm natural stone pre-assembled option that can be used up to 3m high without mechanical fixings. After that, mechanical fixings are required – and Denfind is working on that.
The project has been part funded by BE-ST, formerly the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.
Denfind is working with the University of Aberdeen to deliver the relevant testing.
Denfind owner and director Brian Binnie says: “We are passionate about the geological heritage of our stone and by developing products that were 400million years in the making, we play our part in ensuring that this traditional industry thrives in the world of modern architecture and building.
“There’s no doubt that natural stone is aesthetically better, more durable and fundamentally kinder to the environment than creating manufactured stone substitutes.
“We believe there are many more products and solutions for which Angus sandstone is the answer and we have built in a culture of innovation and working with like-minded partners to ensure that we secure a long-term future for our stone and our industry.”
Denfind Stone started in 2004 when Brian and Alison Binnie recognised that a disused Angus sandstone quarry on their farm had the potential to meet the growing demand for local, high quality, natural, sustainable and aesthetically sympathetic stone products.
The supply of Angus sandstone has been secured with planning permission to extend the quarry. This makes accessible more than 500,000 tonnes of natural sandstone to supply the market for decades to come.
Consequently, Angus sandstone in historic and conservation projects can now be replenished from the same source and new projects can begin their own journey of longevity with a recognised quality natural product.
Angus Sandstone is naturally flat-bedded. It is ideal for cladding, particularly as 40mm slips, which are a cost-effective solution in a Scottish product with the everlasting appeal that only natural stone can achieve.
The 40mm thick stone slips can be fixed on to the façade of a building or a wall. They are cut from Angus sandstone and give the same appearance as 100mm and 140mm thick stone.
They can be applied to either block or a cement board using an adhesive and can be finished by pointing with mortar or left for a dry stone wall effect.
Brian Binnie: “We will continue to innovate with new product lines and work with the architectural and building industry to ensure natural sandstone products are recognised for their quality, durability and aesthetic appeal.”
Following on from the 40mm slips, there is a knowledge transfer project, funded by Innovate UK, to develop a natural stone pre-assembled cladding system that will incorporate mechanical fixings to allow installation to any height.
The aim is to reintroduce stone into mainstream 21st century construction, ensuring that a local, sustainable, environmentally friendly material is available in a user-friendly format to protect and enhance the built heritage of Scotland.
Innovation has always been a key part of the industry. In the 19th century, the invention of the Hunter Planing Machine transformed the way Angus sandstone was processed into paving products. Denfind Stone hopes the investment in 21st century machines will lead to equally transformative breakthroughs in modern techniques and products.
Denfind has also developed its business to take its responsibility to the natural environment on and off site seriously.
The Angus sandstone at Denfind Stone has one of the lowest embodied greenhouse gas emission counts for any dimensional stone due to the proximity of the quarry to the processing sheds and the commitment to renewable energy and tree planting.
Creating quality products with a minimal carbon footprint supports a greener future and respects the geological heritage of Angus sandstone. Denfind Stone is committed to using environmentally friendly and sustainable methods at every stage of the stone production process – from quarry to delivery.
Historically, Angus sandstone has been used across the world on prestigious buildings including Cologne Cathedral in Germany and the roof of the Vatican. It has also been exported for projects in South America, North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.