Istanbul Kultur University, Department of Architecture, Turkey


Sustainability is a multi-dimensional term that should be basically classified into four areas (dimensions); physical, social, economical and cultural. Sustainability of the built environment should be investigated according to these four dimensions. Building materials have a significant impact on the sustainability of buildings besides other factors. In this paper, sustainability of the built environment will be investigated according to the above mentioned dimensions in general. After that, natural stones as a building material will be examined in particular. Natural stones are evaluated as to how their physical properties relate to environmental conditions, life span, recycling possibility of the material, use of energy from quarry, transportation, application, etc. Intangible aspect of the subject, cultural sustainability of natural stones is generally neglected. Natural stones are generally identified with the place that they are quarried. Using natural stones as a finishing material in a building is a way of exposing and introducing to the place and the culture that the stone belongs to it. That’s why special stone colonnades or some other stone pieces are emphasized in historical buildings. Affects of natural stones from cultural sustainability point of view will be discussed related to some examplesin this study.

Key words
Sustainability, natural stone, building material, identity