StonePanels International LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

Company and Product Background Information

SPI has invested well over $2 million in independent laboratory testing ranging from accelerated aging all the way through various types of structural, fire, blast loading, and air/water infiltration testing to be certain that the system will perform under all conditions and in all climates.

Stone Panels International LLC is the only lightweight stone supplier accepted (approved) by the International Code Council (ICC), the building authority who writes and administers the model code for all construction in the U.S. and many other countries. The ICC-Evaluation Service has accelerated aging, structural and impact, fire, plus air and water infiltration requirements which must be met for products and systems to gain acceptance.

Stone Panels International LLC is the only U.S. manufacturer of lightweight natural stone composite panels accepted (approved) by the Miami-Dade County Building Code Compliance Office. That organization is responsible for evaluating exterior wall systems and testing for proof of ability to resist hurricane wind and large missile impact.

Ongoing quality control procedures are monitored by the ICC, the Miami-Dade NOA Compliance office, the British Board of Agrèment in the UK, and the Avis Technique in France.  Stone Panels International LLC is the only U.S. building products manufacturer accepted by the Avis Technique. This testing, quality control, and building official acceptance assures the design-build community that they are buying a system that will perform for many years.

StoneLite® panels use about 1/3 the amount of stone that is required for traditional stone cladding. Quarrying and transportation of dimensional stone requires a great deal of energy so the ability to harvest significantly less stone not only saves energy but also leaves more natural resources intact for future use.

At only 3.5 lbs. per sq.ft. and an allowable deflection of more than L/120, StoneLite® panels require less structural steel and concrete back-up as it can be installed over steel stud framing. Less structural steel and less concrete reduces the energy required for manufacturing and transportation and ultimately requires fewer natural resources.

Because of the light weight of the material, furring can be added to create a cavity for exterior insulation which will increase energy efficiency of the building. Mechanical contractors usually employ energy modeling software and can evaluate the long term energy savings based on this type of envelope design. Smaller and fewer attachment points also reduce thermal bridging and increase energy efficiency whether the insulation is placed inside the wall cavity or on the exterior.

StoneLite® panels are suitable for rainscreen or open joint applications. Rainscreen is particularly advantageous in climates where the temperature differential between interior air and exterior is high because it allows the wall system to dry out, eliminating the environmental conditions that support the growth of mold. In fact, the highest mold litigation state in the country is Arizona because of the cooler air inside the building and the hot air outside. This temperature differential combined with tightly sealed wall systems can produce a condensation point within the wall and support mold growth. Generally a minimum air gap of 1″ is required to provide adequate ventilation.

Almost any stone can be incorporated in the  panel system. This allows the possible benefit of regional materials credit if attention is paid to the selection of stone that is quarried within 500 miles of the project location.

Product Testing

Stone Panels International LLC is also the only lightweight reinforced stone supplier having acceptance by the International Code Council (ICC) who write the model building code. Their evaluation service division representatives visit our factory at least four times each year, unannounced, for assurance that the product and production procedures are unchanged from product that was manufactured for testing. They collect samples for on-going testing for assurance that we continue to meet their requirements.

Without that continuing third party control, a superior product could be produced for testing and a cheaper product manufactured for construction. The construction industry can be assured of a quality system that will not fail only if they require building code authority acceptance.

As a matter of interest, Stone Panels International LLC is also the only lightweight stone system accepted by the British Board of Agrèment for construction in the UK and by the Avis Technique for construction in France and other countries.

Details and Attachments

There are a number of ways that signs can be mounted on StoneLite® panels. Costs and ease of installation vary dramatically. Contact us to discuss relative cost and design considerations of these systems.


The use of natural stone in construction presents the designer with difficult choices when considering the finite availability of a dwindling natural resource. Heavyweight stone cladding accelerates the consumption of this finite raw material, which, in turn, has a necessarily adverse impact on sustainability.

Because the manufacturing process produces a panel with a thin veneer of stone, StoneLite® panels can use up to 85% less finite raw material. Designers have the benefit of knowing that natural stone reserves are being conserved without compromising the aesthetic quality of their building designs.

StoneLite® panels represent the most sustainable natural stone cladding option available in the construction industry today.

StoneLite® panels use aluminium channels in the manufacturing of the attachment system. The company acts in partnership with its approved supplier who must be able to demonstrate that the aluminium content of their product is manufactured from at least 75% recycled raw material.

The panels have the ability to be fully demounted and can be installed on more than one building during the life cycle of the product.

The water used throughout the manufacturing process is constantly recycled and the stone dust is settled out through filtering systems where it can be reused as dirt stabilization and road base material. This attention to detail ensures that waste product from the manufacturing process is not returned into the environment, but can be utilized by associated industry.