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Stone is still used extensively, but usually as a decorative material or in traditional designs. It is also used for gravel.

Marble is a very attractive material with a long history but this too has problems with sustainability.

The large scale quarry works, using diamond cord cutters to extract rectangular blocks straight out of mountains of marble (see pics and overpage - Ecotist architect Ivy Ngeow is in centre), make it rather ungreen, and the transportation is very energy intensive.

Marble is however a traditional material and has design and structural applications, but perhaps not in a green build.

Stone obviously involves huge quarries and gigantic explosions. Not very green either!

All these major works are hidden from the consumer's eye as they only see the finished product in the showroom.

Stone and marble should be avoided for worksurfaces. Granite worktops and granite worksurfaces are popular despite green blatherings. As builders, we have used traditional oak and recycled plastic materials for kitchen and bathroom worksurfaces respectively. Recycled materials can have a complex marble-like appearance.