Newsletter Archive

Newsletter- July 2013

June 5, 2014

In this month’s issue…

In this issue… we talk about carving, sculptures and inscription work, Ernie sounds off on value engineering and we have an all new Project Spotlight.

Ernie’s 2 Cents…

Value Engineering

Raw material selection: Keeping in mind that all Indiana Limestone meets or exceeds the requirements set forth in ASTM C-568 for Type II Dimension Limestone, fabricators are often able to suggest a less expensive grade of stone (perhaps a bit coarser grain, etc.) that can bring down the overall cost of the project without impeding the design intent. In many instances it takes a trained eye to distinguish the difference between, say, a select grade and a standard grade Indiana Limestone. Color differential can play a part as well, as gray stone is typically less expensive than buff, and variegated is less expensive than gray. Our member limestone fabricators are generally willing to work with interested parties and to provide samples to help in the decision-making process.

Use of effective piece sizes: In some cases the utilization of false joints, which reduces the number of pieces that must be set and the number of mechanical attachments needed, can have a dramatic impact on erection costs — particularly in areas of the country where those costs are highest. Conversely, there may be instances where small pieces may be more desirable to allow more efficient job site production.

The Indiana Limestone industry prides itself on its ability to custom cut stone to order. However, fabrication, engineering and drafting costs can often be reduced when piece sizes and shapes are duplicated.

Computer Solid Modeling and the use of CNC fabrication equipment also allow for cost reductions in some instances within the industry.

Note that some value engineering may result in a higher cost of material, yet reduce the costs to other trades, resulting in an overall savings to the owner. An example of this might be in number two above — larger-piece sizes may prove more expensive from a material standpoint but save money in the long run on the erection costs by reducing the number of lifts and the amount of time the erector spends setting the job.


Is there something you want to hear Ernie sound off on? Email

Carving and Sculptures

Limestone carving

Indiana Limestone has a texture which provides shadow character more predominately than smooth dense materials. However, the design should be bold, and not depend on antiquing for detail. Sculpture can be line carving, incised, relief, or freestanding. Line carving is a form of incised, in which the form is sunk into the stone. In relief, the form is slightly or greatly projected from the stone face. Indiana Limestone suppliers can provide original designs, or models from photos or drawings. They can work from a client’s models. In some cases, carved work can be accomplished using shaded drawings. If the client prefers, work can proceed based on models, full or scaled, provided by the stone supplier and approved by the architect. The architect should provide ample detailing of the proposed carving on the bid drawings for the fabricator to accurately price.


Letters cut in limestone can be raised or recessed (commonly known as incised). Raised letters require that the background be cut away to leave letters projected. A textured finish is often used as the background to give emphasis to the smooth finished letters. Raised letters are fragile and subject to chipping at traffic levels. Also, they are not economical to produce. Incised letters can be “V” cut or “square” cut. Incised letters should be slightly deeper than the width of the bars. Sandblasted letters are cut to a “U” and have a pitted surface. Minimum letter size should be 1” in height. Letter size, type of letter and depth of cut should be included in the information given on full size details.

Commercial preparations are available to darken letters for a shadow effect, or color can be used.

Featured Project

Our project spotlight this month was a joint effort between ICS and Indiana Limestone Co. The project is the Culver Rowing Center at Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN. ILCo provided the trim work and ICS was commissioned to provide the medallion and the carving work.

The general contractor on the project was Weigand Construction of Fort Wayne and the project manager was Jay Wilhelm.

Limestone Design
Original Limestone Carving

Did You Know???

  • That ICS is a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE)? Federal & state government projects typically have MWDBE project requirements. Check the specs for the project & let us know if we can help you meet that percentage goal. Click here to download copies of our WBE certification certificates from our website.

  • ICS offers a 2% early payment discount! Take advantage.

Want to Learn More About Indiana Limestone??

  • Southern Indiana is a great place to visit! Come see us: Visit Bloomington Website
  • The month of June is filled with interesting things to see & do in the Bloomington area!
  • And for you bookworms; a great read on the Indiana Limestone industry and those of us who live our lives in it: Voices from the Indiana Stone Belt