Virtually every important monument in the Netherlands contains a substantial amount of natural stone. Conserving those monuments is not only of national interest from both a historical and cultural perspective, but also economically. Just think about the importance of toursim to old town centres.
Conservation of monuments therefore means the conservation and replacement of natural stone. The knowledge required for this really is multidisciplinary. A task that TNO is perfectly cut out for, combining knowledge of the field (quarries and construction), microscopic assessment and testing durability (resistance to frost, salt crystallisation, etc.).
In recent years TNO has responded to requests from various restoration architects and owners for advise on the selection, durability, conservation and cleaning of natural stone. Projects involiving TNO include the restoration of the tower of the Eusebius in Arhem, the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, the mausoleum of admiral Tromp in the the Old Church in Delft and the tower of the Dom in Utrecht.
But TNO does more than large-scale research into natural stone, performing expertise and damage analyses for practical problems, such as discolouration of natural stone, in new buildings.