Natural Stone Academy

About the Natural Stone Academy

The Natural Stone Academy (NSA) is a group of trade associations and trade show organizers related to the natural stone sector.  The NSA – which includes MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute, Informa Exhibitions (organizers of The International Surface Event), the Indiana Limestone Institute, the Natural Stone Council, and Veronafiere (organizer of Marmomac) — was created in 2014 to jointly offer continuing education programs at the AIA Conference on Architecture.  Our goal is to provide AIA members attractive educational offerings on an elegant, natural building material with thousands of years of history.

Visit us at AIA Conference on Architecture 2017

Orlando Convention Center
Orlando, FL
April 27 – 29, 2017
Booth 3023


Have your badge scanned for a chance to win one of three continuing education trips to Italy, Las Vegas, or Indiana.



In addition to offering two CES Theater sessions at the 2017 AIA Conference, the NSA will be giving away educational trips to three A ’17 attendees to expand their knowledge of natural stone design:

Verona, Italy/Marmomac: The winner will attend Marmomac (September 27th-30th, 2017), the leading international trade show for stone materials, related technologies and design. The prize package includes round-trip coach airfare to Verona, 4 hotel nights and local meals. The trip will provide ample time to visit the show and attend educational sessions on Italian stone design.



Las Vegas/The International Surface Event (TISE): The winner will attend TISE (January 30-February 1, 2018), North America’s leading international trade show for stone materials, related technologies and design. The prize package includes round-trip coach airfare to Las Vegas and 3 hotel nights. In addition to visiting the show, the winner will attend “Designing with Natural Stone,” organized by Informa and Marmomac Academy. This full-day program includes an off-site visit, a guided tour of the Natural Stone Pavilion, classroom sessions on the show floor and a networking dinner with fellow architects and interior designers.


Indiana Limestone Quarry Study Tour with MIA+BSI: The winner will attend this three day (optional 4th day) immersion in Indiana limestone. The prize package includes round-trip coach airfare to Indianapolis or Louisville, KY airport and lodging. Trip includes two full days of touring quarries – both open pit and underground – and various fabrication facilities within this limestone rich area, plus all scheduled meals. Our base of operations will be the historic West Baden Springs Hotel. Optional day includes a tour of the limestone quarry that supplied the Empire State Building and a stone architecture tour of the iconic Indiana University campus in Bloomington, sponsored by Indiana Limestone Institute.  Learn more

These educational trips are co-sponsored by Architectural Record magazine.



Simply stop by booth 3023 at A’17 in Orlando and have your badge scanned to enter.  You must be a licensed architect to be eligible to win.  A drawing will be held by the NSA following the show and the three winners will be notified by email.  An alternate will be selected for each award package in case the winner is unable to make the trip.  For more information please stop by our booth.

Earn up to two learning units of continuing education from our CE Theater sessions:


CE Theater Education
Thursday April 27 12:30PM – 1:30PM and 4:00PM – 5:00PM (two session times)
EX 202  How NSC373 Certified Stone Can Assist Projects with Sustainability Goals

Sponsored by: MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute

Presenter: Kathleen Spanier – Coldspring, Cold Spring, MN
Course Summary
More than ever before, environmental responsibility is on the forefront of consumers’ minds. As such, material certification is becoming more important every year to reassure educated consumers that best practices are being followed. This course will highlight how the launch of ANSI/NSC 373 – a standard for the sustainable production of natural dimensional stone – can assist projects with sustainability goals.
Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the basic principles of the standard’s Chain of Custody (COC) to recognize efforts natural stone quarries, processors and their distribution chains make to verify a dimensional stone product has been produced and transported in an environmentally preferable manner consistent with the principles of sustainability
  • Interpret how compliance to the Natural Dimension Stone sustainability standard’s environmental, ecological, human health and social responsibility requirements for stone quarrying and production satisfy the growing demand for products that exhibit high performance in Life Cycle Assessment.
  • Compare attributes of the certified natural stone to sustainability measuring requirements of the most widely accepted green building programs such as LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LBC – the Living Building Challenge and IGCC – International Green Construction Code, to enhance appreciation for the use of natural stone as a leading sustainable building material.
  • Design/Landscape Architects & Specifiers will benefit from understanding how this standard supports the growing demand for rigorous environmental documentation for building product material.

Friday April 28 12:30 – 1:30 PM

EX205  World of Natural Stone:  Geology, Sourcing, Selection, Testing and Processing
Sponsored by: Marmomac/Veronafiere
Presenter:  Vincent Marazita – Stone Trends International, Canoga Park, CA


This seminar is an introductory seminar into the World of Natural Stone for dimensional stone uses.  During this course, we will introduce the basic knowledge that an architect must know in order to design, select, specify and install with dimension stone.  From reviewing the basic types of quarries and the 3 main geological classifications of stone, to understanding the locations of the major stone supplying countries, to understanding various selection criteria and stone testing methods, this seminar will attempt to give a general overview of the stone production and selection process so that an architect can communicate appropriately with the stone supplier.

 Learning Objectives:

  • Review Types of Quarries & Basic Geological Classifications
  • Understand possible sources for natural stone materials
  • Identify important selection criteria for any design project
  • Become acquainted with physical/mechanical testing of stone materials

Meet the Affiliate Members







Indiana Limestone Institute of America, Inc.
The ILIAI is a member driven organization which is comprised of 73 members – 8-primary quarriers of Indiana limestone, 53 Fabricators spread across the US and Canada, as well as companies that provide equipment, service, restoration and design services to the industry.

The ILIAI has been supporting our industry since 1928 by assisting quarries, fabricators, architects, engineers, vendors as well as the end user of our products. We have a credible body of history, reference materials, & technical information about our industry, including our current 22nd edition handbook. We actively pursue opportunities to provide continuing education and outreach to architects and other interested parties. We continually work to preserve and publish historical reference materials.




Informa Exhibitions
The International Surface Event: SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo combine in one spectacular location to form The International Surface Event, a mega event, featuring the most extensive display of floor covering, natural & engineered stone, tile products and educational offerings in the world.





Held annually at Veronafiere, in Verona, Italy, MARMOMAC is the global showcase of stone materials and machinery. In 2016, more than 1,650 exhibitors from 53 countries attracted over 67,000 trade visitors – including more than 40,200 foreign visitors from 146 countries.

MARMOMAC is the ideal place to see the latest stone-related machinery and technologies, to directly source stone for commercial projects, and to view the full spectrum of stone materials available for residential applications. Each year, the show features a number of architectural exhibits and conferences devoted to designing with dimensional stone.

Marmomac Academy was created to offer educational activities on designing with natural stone to architects, interior designers, and architectural students.  Designing with Natural Stone helps architects learn advanced techniques in the use of marble, granite and other stone materials.  The program is a unique combination of classroom lectures, guided architectural tours, and field trips.  This comprehensive approach enables designers to better understand stone’s full life-cycle — including how marble is quarried, cut, processed, finished, selected for specific jobs and installed, all using the latest technologies and products.





MIA+BSI: The Natural Stone Institute
MIA+BSI: the Natural Stone Institute serves more than 1900 members in 55 countries who represent every aspect of the natural stone industry, offering them a wide array of technical and training resources, professional development, regulatory advocacy, and networking events. Two prominent publications—the Dimension Stone Design Manual and Building Stone Magazine—raise awareness in both the industry and the design communities for the promotion and best use of natural stone. Learn more at










Natural Stone Council
The Natural Stone Council is a collaboration of natural stone trade associations that have joined forces to promote the use of natural stone in commercial, residential, government, institutional, educational and all types of applications interior and exterior. For more information, visit