Enhancing the Stone

Stone veneer panels on aluminum honeycomb combine the beauty of natural stone with the design freedom, strength, and lightness of metal panels
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Sponsored by StonePly
By Robyn M. Feller
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When used as exterior, due to their lightweight, stone veneer on aluminum honeycomb panels can reduce field injury. Unlike full-thickness stone, it can be installed more easily and with less risk.

When the common stone cladding system (13/4-inch to 3-inch-thick slabs or panels of granite or marble with stainless steel anchors) is used for high-rise buildings, the stone wall system can pose a safety hazard if fire breeches the building’s exterior envelope. While the stone panels will not burn, the unreinforced stone can shatter or crack when exposed to the intense heat from a fire. This is compounded by thermal shock when firefighters spray cool water on the super-heated stone and it shatters. Since the attachment is only at the stone kerfs, the cracked stone can fall from the building, and the public and rescue workers can be in danger from the heavy falling stone.

Stone veneer on aluminum honeycomb panels are noncombustible, therefore, in the case of a fire, the panels are less likely to shatter. Instead, the stone flakes away only as small stone chips. This is much safer for emergency personnel as well as civilians around the area.

Sustainability and Energy Use Reduction with Stone Veneer on Aluminum Honeycomb Panels

The unique characteristics of stone veneer on aluminum honeycomb panels can help architects meet green building goals in a number of ways. Depending on the manufacturer, the product may help your project reduce energy usage and qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credits. Following is a brief summary of potential benefits.

LEED and Sustainability

Generally speaking, stone veneer on aluminum honeycomb panels:

  • Reduce the amount of natural stone required
  • May contain recycled aluminum content
  • Improve resistance to thermal transfer

Contributions to LEED points and sustainable building design. Stone veneer on aluminum honeycomb panels can play a role in attaining LEED certification, offering durability, reduced energy use, better insulation of wall systems, space savings, an opportunity to provide healthy, comfortable, and attractive spaces, as well as savings of transportation costs when compared with traditional stone cladding systems and when compared to other building materials.

These desirable characteristics meet many of the requirements and goals of sustainable building design, including contribution to points in a number of LEED categories, including Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation & Design.


As we’ve seen, stone veneer on aluminum honeycomb panel is a unique product in the architectural wall cladding industry. Proven to perform by major U.S. and international testing agencies, this product provides the beauty of authentic natural stone, such as granite, marble, travertine, and limestone, with lightweight aircraft-quality aluminum honeycomb reinforcing. The result is a product that in many ways is superior to solid dimensional stone in terms of weight, stability, impermeability to water penetration, and flexural bending and impact resistance.

Robyn M. Feller is a freelance writer and editor specializing in the architecture, design, and construction industry. www.linkedin.com/in/robynfeller


StonePly has more than 25 years of experience in stone facades all over the world. We are the oldest and most experienced producer of stone on aluminum honeycomb still under original ownership. We offer the finest quality stone and manufacturing. From our engineers to our craftsmen, and from quarry to finished installation, we care for the product and build in quality at each step. www.stoneply.com


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Originally published in Architectural Record