Bank of China - San Remo Limestone Inspection
November 14th, 2011 in Case Studies, Factory Visits, Quarry Visit
On second week of November I visited Italy to inspect a small mock up and the blocks reserved for our order destined for the Bank of China specified by TP Bennett. During our trip we also managed to visit the quarry where this particular limestone is actually mined. The quarry has been in operation for 30 years, just 10 years ago they decided to go underground to avoid a difficult layer of two of fractured and poor quality blocks. The project we has been working on has been running for some time and the material had changed slightly from when the San Remo had been first sampled (Please note though this is a feature now of the material so should be considered for future projects!).
The San Remo had become slightly finer in grain and typically at one end of the block there was a darker band of material, not too out of character as we expect directional rushes through the tiles but this was not something seen previously in samples and although only in 20 -25% of the material had this band we decided to try to manage it out of our order by changing how to produce the tiles.
Instead of stripping the block into 600mm wide random lengths and then cutting into 600x600x20mm tiles, we decided to cut the blocks into slabs, hone and then check to see the scale of this particular aspect of the current extraction. The blocks earmarked for the project seemed very good so with this slight change in the fabrication process and potentially some selection we believe the floor with look good snd in accordance with the expectation of the architect and client.
I will be nipping back out now to check these slabs in the factory near Venice. Although after paying an eye watering €125 for two rounds of beers (for four people) in Venice centre that night I may stop over somewhere else this time.