At Milestone Imports, we believe it is our duty to provide your commercial and residential spaces with the most durable and aesthetically-pleasing materials that will last a lifetime. While the current trend in paving solutions revolves around quick fixes and timely results, the wear and tear and required maintenance make for pricey and environmentally harmful installations. By quarrying Porphyry, an igneous rock that has proven to create long-lasting outcomes backed by centuries of its usage, we have made it our mission to deliver only the best materials for your desired installations. Aside from Porphyry’s beauty and durability, it boasts several green attributes that meet updated environmental standards …. and have been for thousands of years. Here’s how Porphyry has continued to provide Milestone Imports with exquisite paving materials, all while contributing to a healthier Earth:
Along with granite and other rock formations, Porphyry makes up approximately 95 percent of the world’s crust, contributing to porphyry green attributes. These rocks are the result of intense volcanic activity which began over 260 million years ago. Highly valued for its appearance, Porphyry natural stone pavers have been used for paving since ancient times, with many of these roads, plazas, and walkways still used today. This is the result of Porphyry pavers set on a properly prepared aggregate sub-base, allowing them to last hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.
Porphyry is a material with a long lifespan that requires very little maintenance and infrequent repairs. Unlike this sustainable and durable material, newer conventional paving solutions are not meeting changing standards and expectations. Many are short term solutions that require environmentally unfriendly processes. The consequences include necessary maintenance, constant resurfacing, and even replacement within a few years of installation. This creates a pricey endeavor over time. In comparison, life cost analysis shows the strong value and sustainability that Porphyry pavers provide.
Porphyry is unique in the granite family due to its formation process. Once the magma cools, seismic activity occurs and causes fissures, creating slabs of flagging of various thicknesses. Then, the material is split from the quarry face using explosives. This consists of putting a series of small explosives at the foot of the formation with the blast causing the flagging to fall from the face above.
The now quarried Porphyry is first separated with large front end loaders, and the workable part is taken by truck to be sorted more carefully. The larger blocks are split and reduced to dimensions that can be sorted by the quarry workers.
With the help of mallets and wedges, quarry workers follow the planes of the rock to obtain slabs of variable sizes and thicknesses from the blocks. Next, the slabs are sorted based on quality, thickness, size, and shape. The slabs are then brought to the cutting area to be snap cut or sawn into various widths and lengths. Finally, the cut pavers are put on pallets and are ready for shipping! The beauty of the process is the result of natural stone pavers quarried in a low impact and an environmentally friendly method with an extremely low carbon footprint.
Remember how we said the Porphyry paving has been used for thousands of years? Well, we can thank the Romans for being the first to create specifications for their roads. They used layers of various sized aggregate topped with coarse sand for leveling the final layer of stone. Today, this method remains an important component of modern permeable pavement systems. These systems integrate the use of aggregate sub-straights to aid in managing stormwater in Low Impact Developments (LID).
But what makes a surface permeable? It must have openings that allow water to penetrate the surface. In segmental or unit paving-like stone, the joints are what make the surface permeable. The effect of any surface’s permeability goes to waste if the substrate is not designed to accept or manage the movement of the water, thus defeating the purpose and benefits of a permeable surface. The substrate design should be based on the soil’s ability to infiltrate the water, and the most common design allows full infiltration of the soil. In this design, water drains directly into the soil through the paver joints and the designed sub-base made up of stone crushers. Overflow is managed by surrounding drainage swales, retention areas, or sewers. Other designs are based on a deeper sub-base with larger retention areas that hold water for as long as necessary to allow percolation into the subsoils. Soils without the ability to drain require an impermeable liner on the bottom and sides with drainage pipes directing the water in a controlled manner into sewers and streams.
While there are many benefits to permeable paving, the primary perk is the ability to effectively reduce and manage the quantity of surface water runoff. Water is able to penetrate the surface and naturally filter back into the aquifers in the ground while preventing some pollutants from getting into the aquifer. The joint material should adequately allow the passage of water to quickly drain, possess the structural capability to withstand traffic loads, and provide horizontal stability to the paving surface.
The world is a vast and unimaginably huge resource of stone. The earth is made of it and the depth of usable material is immense. However, when using stone as a resource in modern construction, we must consider its ability to be sustainable. By looking into the past to design the future, we can see that stone which has been used for paving can often be recycled and reused for the same purpose over and over. It can remain intact and strong for centuries without the need to be reprocessed in any mechanical way.
Porphyry is different from other granites in that as it cooled from a molten state, it is fractured in both vertical and horizontal fissures due to seismic activity. As a result, Porphyry has an even yet rough surface, and due to the hardness of the minerals it contains, Porphyry pavers do not become smooth from wear or slippery when wet. That is why Porphyry is an excellent choice for paving outdoor surfaces, as it is unaffected by freezing and thawing and highly resistant to chemicals. This durability makes it ideal for commercial and residential use! On top of all that, this natural stone is aesthetically beautiful and compatible with a wide variety of architecture.
Increased concern for safety and durability has led to the adoption of protective surfaces that are easy to repair, have minimal installation and maintenance costs, and offer an economic solution because of their long life cycle. The magnificent condition of the many roads and squares throughout the world paved with Porphyry centuries ago is the perfect example of its low maintenance and long life.