Providing Testing Solutions

Contact Us Now: +61 (08) 83916844

About Us

The Stone Initiatives Advantage

Testing and Evaluation is our business. We understand MPa's, kN's and BpN's. Leave the numbers to us and we'll provide you with the right answers so you can focus on the big picture.

Testing and Evaluation Service

There is no shortage of laboratories that can provide a report full of seemingly obscure numbers. Stone Initiatives’ service benefits your business by evaluating the data to reveal the full potential of your product. Our reporting and evaluation is tailored to your needs. The report can include recommendations for possible uses and a market comparison, allowing you to focus your marketing for maximum results. This essential knowledge, will allow you to market, specify and use your product with added confidence.

Our Business

Stone Initiatives is recognised as one of the predominant materials testing facilities in the Australasian region.  We are dedicated to the testing and analysis of dimension stone and related architectural building materials; we are committed to providing a testing and consulting service that is an asset for the architectural, conservation and building industries from “the ground up”. 

Stone Initiatives services include

  • determination of the physical properties of dimension stone & related products

  • selection and sourcing of stone

  • durability and weathering assessment of stone & related products

  • detailed investigation into stone and construction material failures

  • performance and development of quality assurance programs and specifications

Our Vision

Our Commitment
Stone Initiatives recognises that a client wants:

  • high quality service at a competitive price,

  • their needs to be dealt with efficiently, competently and confidentially,

  • to be kept informed about the progress of their work,

  • their samples to be handled safely and securely,

  • to converse with someone knowledgeable and interested in their requirements,

  • to deal with someone who is committed to quality and dedicated to fulfilling their needs.

We aim to fulfil the needs of our clients and we pride ourselves in being a leader in our field.

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Our Mission

Stone Initiatives will at all times actively respond to the changing needs of our clients in a confidential and professional manner. Our mission is to assist our clients in the production and specification of quality procedures and products for use in the built environment by providing a comprehensive and innovative materials testing and consulting service.


The Principal in Profile

Mr. James (Jim) Mann is the principal and chief materials testing specialist within the company.  He has an extensive background in earth sciences, ranging from exploration, primary metallurgy to ceramics and materials production.    


After studying geology at the South Australian Institute of Technology he began his career with BHP Exploration where he carried out geochemical and geophysical mapping for mineral and diamond resources throughout Australia. 

After BHP, he began employment with Amdel Ltd, which, before privatisation, was the research and development branch of the South Australian Mines Department.  He began his time with Amdel in the Geological Services department before being promoted to the position of Chief Mechanical Testing Officer where he was involved in the testing and analysis of a wide range of metallic, non-metallic and raw materials. 

After working overseas as a teacher for a period, Jim returned to Amdel, and in 1995 he was appointed as Dimension Stone Testing Specialist.  During his time in this role he gained NATA technical accreditation for the department.  

After a productive time at Amdel, Jim could see that the boom in the use of dimension stone throughout the world needed the establishment of a laboratory that was dedicated to the testing and evaluation of dimension stone, so in 2003 he founded Stone Initiatives. 

Present Involvement

  • Jim Mann is an active member of the ASTM standards committee C18 that develops and maintains dimension stone standards and specifications. 

  • He is a Director of the Australian Stone Advisory Association.

  • He has written articles on dimension stone use and evaluation for publications including:

  • Living and Building with Stone

  • Discovering Stone

  • Luxury Home Design

  • Stonedge

Jim has also presented seminars on stone selection, testing and evaluation at Full Frontal Stone Expo, Global Stone Technology Forum, Designbuild and Form and Function.

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Project History

Some of the projects where the principal has provided dimension stone testing and consulting services include:

  • Dream Mall Project – Taiwan (dimension stone cladding testing and evaluation)

  • Taipei 101 – Taiwan (dimension stone analysis)

  • Yangpu University City Hub - Shanghai (general consultancy limestone facade selection and evaluation).

  • Edmund Wright House – Adelaide

  • Yin Tai Center – Beijing (limestone facade selection and evaluation)

  • Chervon R & D Center – Nanjing (limestone dimension stone cladding testing, evaluation and sealer selection)

  • Exxon Headquarters – Sakkhalin Island (granite cladding testing, evaluation and freeze-thaw testing)

  • 126 Phillip Street – Sydney (consultancy, quarry evaluation, granite selection, evaluation and specification development),

  • Melbourne Parliament House extension (consultancy, stone selection and matching)

  • Alexandra House - Hong Kong (consultancy, limestone facade selection and evaluation)

  • North Terrace Redevelopment – Adelaide (Development of quality control program).

  • Chater House - Hong Kong (consultancy, limestone facade selection and evaluation)

  • Northbridge Plaza – Perth (evaluation of sandstone paving.  Development of quality control program).

  • 77 King Street – Sydney (evaluation of limestone cladding.  Development of quality control program).

  • Newman College – Melbourne (quarry inspection, block selection and evaluation of sandstone for restoration works.  Development of quality control program).

  • Star City Casino refurbishment – Sydney (evaluation of marble and limestone flooring.  Development of quality control program).

  • Nagata Cho – Japan (evaluation of granite cladding.  Development of quality control program).

  • One National Circuit – Canberra (evaluation of granite and sandstone cladding.  Development of quality control program).

  • Corner Bourke & William – Melbourne

  • Saint Michael’s Church – Melbourne (identification of original stone types, evaluation of replacement limestone for restoration works).

  • Westfield City – Sydney (evaluation of marble and limestone flooring.  Development of quality control program).

  • 420 George Street – Sydney (evaluation of granite flooring.  Development of quality control program).

  • Adelaide Town Hall – Adelaide (assistance with dilapidation survey and conservation plan)

  • National Police Memorial – Canberra (examination of paving)

  • Ayer’s House – Adelaide (assistance with dilapidation survey and conservation plan)

  • The Soul – Surfers Paradise (evaluation of granite paving)

  • 161 Castlereagh Street - Sydney

  • 171 Collins Street - Melbourne

  • 200 George Street - Sydney

  • 35 Spring Street Project

  • 4 National Circuit - Canberra

  • 401 Collins Street Project - Melbourne

  • 447 Collins Street - Melbourne

  • 5 Martin Place - Sydney

  • 720 Bourke Street - Melbourne

  • Australia Memorial Project - New Zealand

  • Australian High Commission - Nairobi

  • Barangaroo Towers

  • Centenary Square Upgrade

  • Crown Towers - Perth

  • Grand Hyatt Residences & Metrobank Center - Phillipines

  • Martin Place Refurbishment - Sydney

  • National Library of Australia

  • National Peacekeeping Memorial

  • Pacific Fair - Gold Coast

  • Parliament of Victoria

  • Qantas Hong Kong First Class

  • Sydney Opera House

  • Upper West Side Apartments

  • Elizabeth Quay

  • The Terraces - Paddington

  • 570 Bourke Street

  • Collins Square

  • New Royal Adelaide Hospital

  • ANZAC Walk - Adelaide

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Client List

Stone Initiatives’ client base covers all facets of the industry – from quarry owners to architects and installers including...

Building & Construction

Lend Lease
Hansen & Yuncken
Saba Bros

Stone Producers

Gosford Quarries
Australasian Granite
Melocco Stone
BAM Stone
Stonehouse Creations
Brilliant Marble
Cairns Marble
Grampian Sandstone

End Users

City of Sydney
City of Perth
City of Adelaide
Star City
National Gallery of Australia
Government Architects Office

Façade and Structural Engineers

BGE Facade
Connell Wagner
Connell Mott MacDonald

Stone Fabricators / Importers

Extensive Trading
Apex Marble
Hong Ming
Eco Outdoors
Bell Stone Tile & Slate
Deemah Stone
Absolute Stone
Baron Forge
Benini Stone & Tile
CDK Stone
Eco Outdoor

Architects & Project Managers

Lovell Chen
Swanbury Penglase
Lovell Chen
Woods Bagot
Flightpath Architects
Harrold & Kite
RBA Architects
Eastview Commercial
DASH Architects

Ancillary Products & Services

Arrunga Surface Solutions
Program and Faculty Management
Spirit Marble & Tile Care
Ace Waterproofing

Stone Masons

IG Parker
Tradition Rebuilt
Heritage Stone Restorations
Heritage Building Services

Heritage Specialists

International Conservation Services
Butcher Brown Architects

Curtain Wall Companies

Josef Gartner


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