Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology

Part of the series Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series pp 1-2

Date: Latest Version

Building Stone

  • Maria Heloisa Barros de Oliveira FrascáAffiliated withMHB Geological Services Email author 
  • , Cid Chiodi FilhoAffiliated withKistemann & Chiodi – Consultancy and Projects


Dimension stone; Natural stone


Building stone is a generic term referring to all naturally occurring rock (natural stone, as defined by BSI 2002) used in the building construction industry, including a wide variety of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. If after quarrying, the rock has been selected and cut to specific sizes and shapes, it is referred as dimension stone (ASTM 2016).

The availability and durability of stones has made them a major contributor to the legacy of human history. Stones were widely used as structural elements, mostly as irregularly shaped large blocks usually closely fitted (without binders), in the construction of temples, monuments, fortifications, aqueducts, bridges, and housing.

Due to the development and technological improvement of tools and machinery, presently, building stones are quarried in la ...

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