Most people do not realize just how much sand, gravel or
crushed stone goes into the construction of an average
15,000 tons of aggregates are required for the
construction of an average size school or hospital. It is
estimated that 85,000 tons of aggregates are necessary to
construct one mile of a four-lane interstate highway. In
the United States, the construction of a new home uses an
average of 120 tons of aggregates. Sidewalks, driveways,
roofs, foundations, floors, fences, and walls all contain
aggregates in one form or another.
Aggregates will always play an important role in building
The skyline of any city is an impressive site to visitors
and residents. Concrete is commonly used in the
construction of all large buildings. Crushed stone, sand
and gravel are used to make concrete. Buildings like the
Denver National Airport located in Denver, Colorado
required 5 million tons of crushed stone, sand and
gravel. The Sears tower in Chicago, Illinois has enough
concrete, crushed stone, sand and gravel in it to pave 8
one-mile lanes of interstate highway.
Modern road paving brought us asphalt pavements. The
basic paving materials, concrete and asphalt, are
composed primarily of crushed stone, sand and gravel.
Sub-bases, upon which roads, pavements, many landscaping
and drainage installations are constructed, require
thousands of tons of aggregates.
Aggregates play vital roles in providing food, water,
electricity, recreation, and other basic of our modern
society. The dams that store our water supplies and
create our fishing and boating opportunities are
constructed with concrete, crushed stone and gravel. Our
sewer and waste water treatment facilities could not be
built without available aggregates and concrete.
Concrete-lined canals are built to conserve agricultural
water to ensure productive farming. Crushed stone, ground
into a powder, is used as an important mineral supplement
in our agriculture industry. Large material, called
"rip rap", is used to prevent erosion along
rivers and shorelines.
Used for external or interior parts of buildings,
foundations, curbing, paving, flagging, bridges or other
architectural or engineering purposes, dimension stone is
naturally occurring rock material that has been cut,
shaped or selected for use in blocks, slaps, sheets or
other specified construction units. The term also applies
to quarry blocks from which pieces of fixed dimension may
be cut. Marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone provide
the bulk of dimension stone; however, slate, diorite,
basalt and diabase may also be sources. Many public and
governmental buildings and areas rely on dimension stone
to supply both strength and community aesthetics.
The National Energy Foundation