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5.06: The New Stone Age CPD with Pierre Biduad and Marcus Paine

10.06.2024

We were privileged to have Pierre Biduad of the Stonemasonry Company and Marcus Paine of Hutton Stone come to chat to us about their work. They are part of a dynamic group called The Stone Collective that have just published a succinct yet very informative booklet documenting their thoughts on a more considered approach to stone use. It was refreshing not only to hear their insights on the use of load bearing, minimally processed stone as a valid sustainable and perhaps utilitarian building material, but also  to see how they are making change through collaboration and encouraging others to do the same.

This discussion was specifically about stone, but some wider themes emerged through a workshop that we held following their talk –

  • traditional building construction was often inherently sustainable and by applying similar principles to modern contexts we can simplify and decarbonise our work
  • it is imperative that we understand the material we are building with – its natural characteristics and how it is extracted and processed – let’s try and not make it behave like something its not
  • buildings should not be viewed and judged solely at their point of handover. When dealing with natural materials they should have a period of time to heal from their extraction and settle/weather in place.
  • any meaningful change cannot occur in isolation, it requires proactive cross-disciplinary members to build shared understanding and work in collaboration

It was wonderful to be able to host this discussion in a Scottish context and make connections. Thanks to our wonderfully engaged audience and workshop participants who asked some very tricky questions and to Marcus and Pierre for their graceful answers.

Written by: Natasha Huq