The idea to produce marbles and stones, Eco-friendly materials, started a few years ago from the intuition that there was the technological potential to design, at an industrial level, a production process similar to the process carried out by nature over geological eras, by processing primary elements (water, earth and fire) to create materials replacing quarry ones.
A team of Ariostea plant engineers and geologists are studying how to transform natural raw materials such as clay, feldspars, quartzes and minerals into innovative materials which are physically and chemically inert, easy to sanitise, that combine the highest technical characteristics with the natural look typical of stones as well as easy cleaning and maintenance properties.
The strong points in environmental and qualitative terms that characterise the production of marbles and stones are:
- Use of low environmental impact raw materials.
- Production processes with high qualitative and environmental performances.
- Reduced drinking water consumption.
- Reduced processing waste and off-cuts.
- Optimal waste recycling.
- Durability over time without the need for particular maintenance.
- Floor dismantlement.
Use of low environmental impact raw materials
The analysis of the life cycle starts from the raw materials, their extraction and processing.Marmi Classici and stones are produced using clays, feldspar sands, quartz sands: in other words raw materials which are widely available in the world without the risk of becoming exhausted, as is the case for certain stone materials.
Extraction and requalification plans for the quarries of these raw materials have been drawn up in conformity with the laws of manufacturing countries, so that the landscape is not altered and large areas are reforested.
Production processes with high qualitative and environmental performances
In terms of environmental impact the production phase is the most important one in the entire life cycle of the product but also the phase in which the company has the highest level of control. In fact Ariostea is working on this front by adopting clean energy sources such as methane gas for the production of thermal energy and at the same time using the best technologies available; in this way Ariostea obtains high performances in terms of limiting the environmental impact.
The most important environmental indicators are:
- performance index in the consumption of raw materials (understood as reduction in raw material waste)
- water consumption
- energy consumption
- gas emissions
Reduced drinking water consumption
Water is a fundamental element in the production of marmi classici, and it is used as raw material for the mixture and to clean the plants. Ariostea has set up two important systems that significantly reduce the impact of water consumption: the creation of industrial waste water (mainly prom plant washing) treatment and complete recycle plants and the creation of an industrial water supply, i.e. river water duly treated.
The main advantages in environmental and economic terms are:
- drastic reduction in water consumption compared to the consumption that would be obtained without the recycling process;
- elimination of any discharge of production waste water;
- negligible consumption of drinking water.
Reduced processing waste and off-cuts
A further aspect that characterises a production system is the production of processing waste. Fired waste material of industrial origin or from demolitions are to all effects inert as proved by studies on the release of the materials carried out by laboratories, and by present laws. Thanks to their geo-technical and environmental properties they can be reused in building and road works as an alternative to quarried materials.
Optimal waste recycling
As regards the production of processing waste Ariostea has adopted a very significant containment policy, that aims mainly to recover and reuse internally the "green" waste (not fired), which is the most significant in terms of quantity.
Durability over time without the need for particular maintenance
As regards the installation and use of high-tech marbles and stones it is important to note that:
- the materials used to install the products and fill the joints are not significant in terms of environmental impact and toxic properties as the mortars are made up of cement, sand and water;
- the adhesives used do not contain solvents (with the exception of highly specific products and therefore of limited use such as epoxy mortars).
As regards the environmental impact after the installation of Ariostea's Eco-friendly materials there are neither health nor environmental risks. On the contrary, the products are characterised by excellent practical and hygienic characteristics, and do not require the use of special cleaning products for maintenance.
The high levels of hardness, chemical and abrasion resistance can be translated in improved durability of a floor or wall covered with marbles and stones compared to surfaces covered with other materials. When the floor or wall is correctly designed and installed it can last as long as the building in which it is placed.
The selection of building materials according to their durability is a fundamental element for the environmental sustainability of a building. In fact a material with a longer life cycle and the same function as another product has a lower environmental impact.
Ariostea products, if correctly installed, can last as long as the building in which they are placed. Furthermore, at the end of the life cycle of these products the residues deriving from their demolition do not require any treatments as they are produced in conformity with national and local regulations in force.
Leadership In Energy And Environmental Design
Already widespread and active in more than 40 countries, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system assesses and attests to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of buildings considered as a whole. According to the LEED classification criteria, highly environmentally sustainable construction materials contribute to achieving credits and increasing the points for the building. All the slabs presented in this instrument are certified to contain percentage of recycled material higher than 40% in accordance with the ISO 14021 standard, thus guaranteeing the highest points according to the LEED system.
(BRE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT METHOD)
it is the most widespread standard in the world and it is designed to measure the environmental impact of buil¬dings by applying specific criteria for assessing the sustainability of the construction. The rating system requires types of certification deter¬mined by strict technical parameters and quality control which in turn are based on the most recent technology and knowledge available.