The primary concerns for stone veneer systems are typically aesthetic appeal and the systems function as a part of the building envelope, especially concerning moisture issues. However, the selection of a veneer system and the execution of the veneer support can become an issue of public health, safety and welfare.
Exterior stone systems must be designed to withstand stresses affecting the building: self-weight of the stone veneer system, pressure from wind loading, structural movements, thermal expansion and contraction, moisture migration and condensation, wet/dry cycles and freeze thaw cycles. To ensure that stone veneer systems are properly designed, material characteristics of the stone must be tested prior to the stones application on a building.
A recent failure of the precast concrete cornice on the iconic World Trade Center in New Orleans points out the potential risk. Witnesses say that enormous pieces of concrete and metal suddenly broke off of the buildings cornice and tumbled 33 stories to the building’s sidewalk. Fortunately, it was early in the morning and no one was hurt by the falling debris.
Design decisions can affect the safety of a building. Careful consideration should be given to a stone veneer system that prevents these unsafe conditions.
StoneLite® panels mitigate many the issues that cause stress in ordinary exterior stone systems. Some of the many advantages of the StoneLite® system include:
- Weigh 80 percent less than solid 3 cm granite and 95% less than 4 inch thick limestone panels
- Impact strength more than 60 times greater than 3 cm granite
- Tested to over 400 psf wind load capacity
- Fully tested for acid freeze-thaw and seismic racking
- Resists blast loads, large missile impact and dynamic hurricane loading meeting Miami-Dade Co. building code requirements
- Flexibility of the panel makes it the number one choice for seismic and other high lateral load conditions
- Stability, provided by honeycomb panels and stress-relieved stone, eliminates the warpage experienced by many 3 and 4 cm stones
If you are considering StoneLite® panels for your next building, please contact our Technical Services Staff at (800) 328-6275 or (469) 635-5000.