What did the Romans ever do for us?

Once the preserve of the film and TV industry, for creating authentic looking backdrops especially for period pieces such as in Ben Hur or Cleopatra, artificial stone has now become recognised as a major contributor to modern day construction.

Architectural mouldings were initially developed by the Greeks as a way of enhancing the looks of their buildings. This can still be seen to dramatic effect in the Parthenon, the colonnaded temple built between 447 and 438 BC as well as the ruins of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic games.

The Romans took it a stage further, combining both appearance and functionality, to such an extent that their classic styles have become the bedrock of European building traditions right up to this day.

The problem, nowadays, is that the economies of modern day construction rarely allow for such extravagances where cost is the major driving point. There is, however, a highly desirable alternative. Stone-Coat, a unique stone effect product that can be moulded to any shape and size and offering major cost savings over traditional methods.

The ancient Greeks soon realised the importance of decorative mouldings to enhance their buildings, features that still attract thousands of visitors each year to their historic sites. And it this decorative flexibility that is proving to be a major benefit of Stone-Coat to modern day specifiers and builders.

The Romans knew a thing or two about construction. They were the ones, after all, who gave us straight roads, aqueducts and even concrete. They also had the manpower to create the most elaborate edifices, a luxury not readily available to modern day builders.

However, today, using the very latest technology, we are able to beat the Romans at their own game, by not only creating decorative features that can be moulded to any shape and size, but by speeding up the whole process. Stone-Coat mouldings are manufactured off site, in our purpose built factory in South Yorkshire, and transported to site using ‘just in time ‘principles.

As Stone-Coat is lighter than traditional materials, while at the same time fully complying with Health and Safety regulations, it is quicker to install, as it does not need heavy lifting equipment and can be lifted into place with minimum disruption using an existing labour force. This is a major time saver and enables decorative features to be integrated into a building design at a fraction of the cost of using traditional methods.

It can also be applied to both commercial and domestic properties For example, we’ve recently provided decorative mouldings to new build shop frontages at the £50m Fox Valley retail development in North Sheffield, speeding up construction time for the project. As they can also be moulded to any shape and size, each frontage can be made unique to you.

In addition, with the slashing of government funding, local authorities have been increasingly keen to consider alternatives to traditional construction. This is particularly relevant when it comes to refurbishing existing buildings. A great deal of municipal stock is now starting to show its age, some requiring major re-construction.

The problem with a lot of aged property is the requirement, by many Councils, that any replacement profiles reflect the aesthetic look of the existing building as well as complement the surrounding architecture.

Stone-Coat is the perfect solution to this problem, as Doncaster MBC discovered when faced with the daunting task of replacing parapets on a 100 year old school. To fully comply with the Council’s requirements, we replicated the existing copings, matched the intricate detailing and supplied replacement parapets at a lower cost and quicker time scale than if we had used cast stone.

The Romans may have been trend setters of their time but as far as 21st Century construction is concerned; we should be asking what can Build Lite do for us?

For the answer, click here.