Sustainable Tennesee Farmhouse Uses Native Sandstone

http://www.motherearthliving.com/Wiser-Living/sustainable-tennessee-farmhouse-uses-native-sandstone.aspx

For our sustainable Tennessee home’s exterior, John and I planned to use a combination of Nichiha, a concrete siding made with recycled content, and native stone. Although a LEED rater (not ours) disapprovingly told me that quarries destroy habitat and leave gaping marks on the earth, I knew that most durable materials involve a mine or factory, and stone seemed to involve creating the least amount of toxic material. 

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Shane Wattenbarger of Tennessee Stone Harvesting explains the names of different sizes of fieldstones. Photo Courtesy Rebecca Selove.

I searched for sources of stone near our home and settled on a combination of limestone from two quarries within 100 miles of our home. I made that decision a number of months ago, and when the time came to place the order, we learned that the salesman had left the company, and the unwritten agreement we had with him about the price of stone and stonemason services was not valid.

Jason, our project manager, looked around more and introduced me to the idea of fieldstone harvested from the surface of the earth. That led me to Shane at Tennessee Stone Harvesting.

When we talked on the phone, Shane told me that he was limited to selling me stones he had already harvested; the ground was wet from recent snows, and he didn’t want to cause run-off stream contamination.

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Sandstone comes in many different colors. Photo Courtesy Rebecca Selove.

Last week I drove to the stone field about 70 miles away to learn about stone. Shane helped me pick five kinds of sandstone. We will get LEED credit for using material that comes from nearby, with no quarrying, and Shane’s considerate spirit will be part of our home.