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Building stone services

BGS has provided building stones services since its inception in 1835. The BGS Building Stones Team currently provides a range of services designed to help clients concerned with building, repairing and maintaining stone structures, from single buildings to entire towns. Our team of experts has access to the full range of BGS facilities and resources, enabling us to provide the UK's most comprehensive and informed range of building stone services.

Stone surveys

Building stone survey map with coloured polygons to denote different building stones. BGS (c) UKRI.

Elevation drawing from a stone condition survey. Coloured areas highlight stone in different states of decay. BGS (c) UKRI.

Microscope analysis of a stone sample for a stone-matching report. BGS (c) UKRI.

A BGS Building Stone Survey records the distribution of different building stones and roofing slates ued within a defined area, providing clients with a 'stone inventory' that can inform a wide range of planning decisions.

A BGS Stone Condition Survey records the current condition of stone — healthy versus decayed — so that short- to long-term maintenance and repair needs can be identified and planned for. We can also pinpoint the causes of stone decay and provide advice on appropriate repair and maintenance procedures.

Stone surveys can be performed on any type of stone-built structure, for example buildings, monuments and bridges, and on any number of structures. The range of recorded data, the level of detail, and the means of recording and presenting data can be varied to suit individual projects.

Stone matching

New stone used to repair or replace decayed or damaged stone should be geologically compatible with the original stone to minimise the risk of exacerbating stone decay. The BGS Stone Matching Service provides clients with a report containing a list of the most compatible, currently available stones to use when repairing a stone structure. BGS has provided many hundreds of cost-effective stone matching reports to clients throughout the UK. This service is delivered as a BGS Building Stone Assessment GeoReport.

Building stone resource and heritage assessments

A BGS Building Stone Resource Assessment is designed for clients that want to open, re-open, extend or safeguard a building stone quarry. Assessments typically encompass the geological character, geotechnical properties, potential uses and historical significance of the stone in a quarry, but can be tailored to suit requirements. BGS laboratories provide a comprehensive range of geotechnical tests (including compressive strength, flexural strength and water absorption tests) in support of building stone activities.

A BGS Building Stone Heritage Assessment is designed to provide information about historical building stone use within a defined area. Assessments can have a wide range of applications; for example, they can be used to inform planning decisions and engage public interest in local stone-built heritage. Modern and archival records of settlement evolution, building construction, quarry operations, developments in transport infrastructure and masonry and architectural styles are reviewed.

If you'd like more information about our services, please contact us.