The T Beam

01/07/2022 • Industry

At Albion Stone we have been working closely with the Stone Masonry Company and Webb Yates Engineers to create this impressive structure which was recently on show at the Royal Academy of Arts


This exhibit is intended to promote the use of both stone and timber as natural low embodied carbon materials viable for serious building use. Embodied carbon is the carbon released during the making of materials, like the gas and coal burned to make the steel and the concrete. If we built this beam using standard construction methods, a 200mm steel beam supporting a 100mm concrete deck we would have an embodied carbon of approximately 2.2t. The stone beam has an embodied carbon of just 0.25t almost 90% less! No other decarbonising measure is as effective as this. 


In this follow up to the New Stone Age Exhibition (hosted at the Building Centre in 2020), The Stone Masonry Company have decided to develop on the beam concept, merging the infill panel and the beam creating a seamless and light single element. Easily shaped and pre assembled off site this element is an ideal replacement for concrete slabs or a steel/concrete system. It has an arresting, aeroplane wing-like, cantilever to demonstrate stones’ potential for serious structural applications.

The Stone

Unselected Portland stone encompassing the Jordans Whitbed, Grove Whitbed, Fancy Beach Whitbed and Patch Reef Whitbed was used to illustrate how, with an open mind – and no aesthetic criteria, any stone can be used as a simple commodity. This amazing material, the compression of millions years of sedimentation of shells and debris, illustrates the time scale of our Earth. Albion Stone Plc. in Portland have been supplying most of London’s stone buildings for the past 50 years and have kept the interest alive in this beautiful material. They are now looking to be more and more involved in changing the narrative of their material, reintroducing it in the loadbearing sector. 


Two mains tools have been used to manufacture this beam, a large diamond tipped circular saw blade and a magical CNC wire, allowing us to save as much stone as possible when shaping the T beam, reducing our waste and increasing accuracy. 


Honesty of the material is key and to make stone more affordable we have decided to leave the stone with the raw texture of the tungsten cables, therefore saving some time and energy in the polishing or honing process.​​​​​​​ 

The Post or Pre tensioning Technology.

Although developed initially for the concrete industry by Mr Freyssinet in the 1920’s, The Stonemasonry Company Limited have been a proponent of the use of this technique in stone for the last 15 years. From curved floating stone staircases to reinforced columns and beams, bridges and arches, the applications for this technology alongside natural stone are endless.

The Stone was unveiled at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in June 2022

Albion Stone, a fourth generation family business pride ourselves on having a helpful and skilled workforce as well as modern and traditional manufacturing process to enable us to produce the highest quality Portland Stone with minimal environmental impact.