Egyptian Pyramids

The Oldest Building Techniques are Also Best for the Environment

The Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt were built about 4,500 years ago, but they’re still standing tall and strong.

Like many older buildings, the pyramids were built to last as long as possible, but today, that isn’t always our biggest priority. However, it should be! In addition to saving time and money, building structures with longevity in mind is easier on the environment.

Masonry is an environmentally-friendly method for building. Building with brick and stone is one of the oldest building techniques there is, yet the durability makes it excellent for reducing environmental impact.

A Long-Lasting Material

Masonry’s durability results in a low annual environmental impact that improves over time. To begin with, shipping the materials typically requires less fuel. Since the materials are heavy, there are manufacturing plants near most major cities.

When you think about sustainability, you have to think long-term, which means considering what happens to the building when it’s no longer in use. Bricks can be crushed into a powder that can be repurposed into useful materials. This procedure involves no toxins, no waste, and no landfill.

Seal Moisture Out of Walls

Masonry makes a great building material because it seals moisture out while allowing it to escape. Many modern walls trap moisture inside the wall, which can lead to mold and mildew. In fact, trapped moisture is believed to be one of the causes of “sick building syndrome,” a phenomenon in which people get ill more often when confined together inside a building.

The idea that newer is always better is a common misconception. Oftentimes, techniques that have been around for hundreds or thousands of years are also the best. Click here to read more about this topic on the Guardian.

Follow Us on Instagram!

Following us on Instagram is the best way to stay in-the-know regarding goings-on at Petrillo Stone.

On our account, we like to share photos of trips, recent projects, and sometimes not-so-recent memories from our shop’s beginnings in 1907. We’re also found of the video function so our followers can see our work in action.

Check out the photos below to get an idea of the photos we post:

Ralph Petrillo Approaches 4 Decades in Family Business

ralph petrilloRalph Petrillo, co-owner of Mount Vernon stone company, Petrillo Stone, is approaching his 40th anniversary of his work in the family business, founded by his grandfather in 1907 after emigrating from Italy. While much has changed over the past century, like stone, many aspects of the dimension stone industry remain constant.

Ralph Petrillo calls the business “a bridge between three generations of workmanship, ideologies and technology.” After learning about the industry from their father and grandfather, today Ralph and his brother, Frank, continue the legacy.

“I always get a kick out of when we replace stones from a building that my grandfather or father originally worked on,” Petrillo said.

One of the biggest changes Ralph has observed since then is that stone is now manufactured and cut in locations throughout the world, and then shipped to New York City. When Petrillo Stone began, all stone had to be cut in the same state as the project location, according to Ralph.

With the changing industry comes new problems. Due to the worldwide scope of the stone industry, Ralph faces a new set of challenges than his father and grandfather.

“The biggest challenge in my work is being competitive with the factories in other places where labor, electricity, water, and property is cheaper,” Ralph said.

Ralph’s insight to the changes is rooted in decades of experience. He and Frank were exposed to the stone industry from an early age.

“As children we would come to my father’s office, go out into the shop and see the men busy cutting stone.  I vividly remember when our shop was cutting the Classic Roman Travertine for many of the Lincoln Center Buildings back in the 1960s,” Petrillo said.

If we could compare that shop from the 60’s, to how it looks in present day, we would notice changes, but we would catch some similarities.

“Although many of our machines have changed throughout the years, we still have some very old, very important machines which date back many years. As far as architecture is concerned, we can fabricate almost anything that an architect in the know can imagine. Styles are always changing, but we are constantly making stones for new building and buildings that are over 100 years old,” he said.

Those deep, historic roots are one of the things Ralph appreciates most about the business. He views his work as a connection from the past, to the present, and into the future.

“What I enjoy most about my business is the history of all the work we have done in the past and the work we are doing now, which will be making history for future generations,” Petrillo said.

When asked about the type of stone jobs he prefers to work on, Petrillo said he particularly enjoys fancier, more challenging jobs, since Petrillo Stone has the capacity to handle challenges that many competitors do not.

“We have the capability to draft and fabricate almost all types of natural stone work. An example of this type of work would be the Gothic Styled arches and tracery windows at Keating Hall at Fordham University,” Petrillo said.

Besides their unique skillset, something else that sets the Petrillo brothers apart is their dedication to quality.

“There are 2 ways of having quality control of the outgoing completed stonework. Both are done in my shop and at most shops. One way is simply having an expert go over every stone which is ready to be shipped out and checked over. Another way which has become very popular is a dry layout involving the architect going to a factory to look at many of the stones that are completed and approve them on the spot,” he said.

Through his work, Ralph Petrillo has had the opportunity to work on some of his favorite buildings.

“I have a few favorite buildings which my business has done the work on in the past and recently. Two of my favorite buildings that we originally did the work on are the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Building and the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. Recently we supplied many new art deco stones to the New York Life Building which I think is really an incredible building as well,” he said.

Now that he’s celebrating 40 years, there is a burning question on our minds. Will the next generation continue the legacy?

As of now, the answer is unclear.

“As far as a next generation running our business, that is an unknown. My brother has 3 boys and I have 2 young girls. It is an interesting concept. I guess we’ll have to wait and see,” Ralph said.

Click here to read the full story.

Iowa University Team Wins Masonry Award for Innovative Climate Control System

Iowa State University LogoAt Petrillo Stone, we admire masonry for being an ancient art that evolves with new technology. That’s why we’re so intrigued by an architecture team at Iowa State University which recently created a 3D-printed ceramic system that efficiently cools buildings. For their efforts, the team won an award in masonry design and construction.

The project is called “Mashrabiya 2.0,” and is a facade that works its way into a building’s mechanical system. Once installed, it cools the space through evaporative cooling methods. It also works by controlling airflow and light. The secret is in the facade’s micro pores, small holes in the screen wall that ventilate a space as air passes through the pores.

The four faculty members, Shelby Doyle, assistant professor and Daniel J. Huberty Faculty Fellow in Architecture; Leslie Forehand, lecturer; Nicholas Senske, assistant professor; and Erin Hunt, computation and construction lab associate entered a contest called the Joan B. Calambokidis Innovation in Masonry Competition and won in the category of young architects and engineers.

The team was awarded a $10,000 prize after their project was selected by a jury of architects and leaders in masonry.

We would like to congratulate this team for their success! Click here to read the full story.

CLOSE OUT MARBLE AND GRANITE SLAB SALE

FOR NOVEMBER 1- December 31, 2017

 

All 2cm slabs $11.50 square foot

All 3cm slabs $16.00 square foot

C.O.D. picked up in our warehouse

We have the following materials to choose from:

Verde Acceglio 2 and 3 cm

Bardiglio 2cm and 3cm

White Marbles 2cm, 3cm and 5cm ($21.00 square foot)

Mocha Cream 2cm, 3cm and 5cm ($21.00 square foot)

Onyx 2cm

Various Other materials please call for more information and appointment 914-668-8561 ask for Debbie

ONG Estate

 

Petrillo Stone supplies Birmingham Buff Sandstone to the ONG Residence Estate in Greenwich, CT

 

 

 

 

 

Fund in Place to Repair Burned Stone Building in Glacier National Park

Sperry ChaletSperry Chalet in Glacier National Park in Columbia Falls, MT, requires many costly repairs. The century old building burned in the Sprague Fire on August 31, 2017.

The Great Northern Railway opened Sperry Chalet in 1914, along with a handful of other lodges. Before it burned, Sperry Chalet was one of only two remaining lodges.

Sperry Chalet was a refuge for tired hikers who had to complete a difficult, 6.7 mile hike to reach the chalet. Locally quarried stone lined the walls inside the much-loved dining room, where visitors enjoyed roasts, pies, and breakfast foods.

The two-story masonry building situated on a bed of rock in the backwoods was an icon to visitors as well as those of us in the industry.

The Aftermath of the Fire

The roof and woodwork inside the building has vanished, along with the dormitory portion of the building. Even though much of the building has burned away, the kitchen and dining room may be salvageable.

Since the day after the fire, the Glacier Conservancy has been working with the park’s superintendent, Jeff Mow, to establish a plan of action to revitalize the Sperry Chalet.

The conservancy hired an engineering firm to evaluate the remaining structure, and they stressed that it needs to be stabilized before the winter.

The Sperry Action Fund is currently in need of more donations. Click here to read the full story.

McGinley Center Fordham University

 

The stations of the Cross and carvings were found in a Jesuit Monistary in Shrub Oak, NY which later became the Phoenix house. The property was recently sold and the marble carvings were a gift to Fordham University. Petrillo Stone dismantled, warehoused, stored, restored and installed at McGinley hall Fordham University Rose Hill campus. This project was overseen by both Ralph and Frank Petrillo from Petrillo Stone Corp Mount Vernon, NY.