Sustainable Design, Stone, Tile, Restoration and Maintenance 
In the stone industry today, we are faced with the interest to respond to the fast-growing market for green buildings, design and construction services (restoration and maintenance of stone and tiles) and products. One competitive strategy for today’s market is for suppliers, installers, designers, architects, and others in the built environment professions to focus more attention on more value added services. Some of these services I am very familiar with and already so are many of you. They are the services for cleaning, maintaining, restoring, and preserving stone and tile surfaces. From building facades to limestone flooring.

One of the major drivers for Green Building Growth; MOVEMENT BACK TO THE CITIES. Just when I was thinking that I would not be spending so much time in the city, I have found that actual demand for services such as ours (for stone care) have increased in the cities. Use of the safe cleaners and sealers is important. In most cases, we use a safe abrasive means to clean most stone surfaces with water and without any chemical cleaners. A common misconception is that the stone restoration or professional stone cleaning company uses cleaners or magic stain release to get rid of inundated soil and stains on stone and tile surfaces. This is not true. In fact, most times, we can restore stone without the use of heavy chemicals. It is with skill and hard labor; that these materials are restored or cleaned. Stone care and stone restoration is requires trained professionals.

What available tools and techniques from conventional marketing can we use to greater effect in marketing green design services?

Sustainable design and sustainable care must be used because it adds value to investments in materials used. Sustainable care for stone and tile, a major material used in the built environment, has to do with methods and materials use also. The users of all indoor and outdoor man-made environments must know what materials to use for cleaning and restoration and how to use. A professional stone and tile care company will direct these needs and then the manager or owner of such materials can be educated as to how to care for themselves. If these surfaces are clean, so is the circulating air condition inside.

With floors one should be aware that with today’s design they are often in need of professional care. A common mistake is that after the installation is complete, the contractor, developer, or architect, and others involved with the final stage of the new installation; do not take the steps to have a post-installation clean, condition, and seal application services ordered. All too often, we hear,” the stone does not look right and it is difficult to care for." Some even think they made a mistake to install such a material and then blame themselves, the architect/designer, or supplier of the stone and tile. Often if they were told how to care for it in the beginning and ordered the appropriate after installation care by a professional who knows what to do, then they would not be in this position. And in turn, the building would be, yes; more sustainable.

So, keep your stones in the water from time to time. They love the rain! Without the acid. Until next time, keep the faith, hope, and health in abundance. If we work together, we can do better. If we do what is right, we will do better. We are all connected with nature. And nature prevails. For love of stone. This is Ed Hartz and the Stone Industry News wishing you blessed holiday times with your lives and your families. Thank you.

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