Grünig Natursteine is one of the most renowned suppliers of natural stones in the Alpine region. Silberquarzit, which is still quarried in the company's own quarry, plays an important role.
18.04.2023, Sterzing - This year, the renowned natural stone manufacturer and supplier Grünig Natursteine celebrates its 60th anniversary. Especially with Silberquarzit, which is protected as a trademark and is considered the hardest natural stone, the company has realised internationally renowned projects. The history of Grünig Natursteine is multifaceted: the company developed a total of five natural stone deposits in the past, did a lot for the region of South Tyrol and today is a popular wholesale partner of high-quality natural stones and a sustainable producer of the popular Silberquarzit.
From natural stone from South Tyrol to internationally renowned building projects
Grünig Natursteine has used Silberquarzit to realise renowned projects in recent years, including the Vigilius Mountain Resort by star designer Matteo Thun and the AlpenGold Hotel in Davos. At the Ovaverva indoor swimming pool in St. Moritz, a total of over 5,000 square metres of Silberquarzit was laid. Silberquarzit can also be found in the gardens and adventure pools of the Center Parcs holiday park chain in Germany, Holland and Belgium. The Dresden Palace of Culture, the Aqua Park Moscow, the Kempinski Adriatic Resort in Croatia, the Holiday Inn Villach, hotels of the Falkensteiner and Adler groups, the Wald- und Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe and other international hotel complexes have already been furnished with Silberquarzit. In 2022, Silberquarzit was also used in Schloss Elmau. In addition to Silberquarzit, Grünig Natursteine became known for landscaping with the weather-resistant and dark to blue-green, elegantly grained serpentine rock boulders at Euro-Disneyland Paris.
Investments lead to economic upswing
In the past, the company developed a total of five natural stone deposits, all in South Tyrol. These include the white marble in Mareit, the green serpentine and green slate in Dun, the Brixen granite in Vals and the crystal quartzite in Pfunders and Silberquarzit in Pfitsch. The latter quarry is still active and is still owned today. In the start-up years from 1963 to 1976, the company founder Dieter Grünig, a German vending machine manufacturer from Fürth, Odenwald, invested about DM 20 million in South Tyrol. Converted to today's purchasing power, this corresponds to about 80 million euros. Dieter Grünig built the company buildings in Pfunders, Sterzing, Mareit and Pfitsch, constructed roads to remote places and thus helped to connect regions like Dun and Pfitsch. In order to mine crystal quartzite in Pfunders, the then largest material cableway in South Tyrol, with a length of 1,750 metres and a payload of 2.5 tonnes, was built in 1965. Grünig Natursteine created valuable jobs and apprenticeships in remote regions of South Tyrol. In this way, the company demonstrably contributed to slowing down the trend of migration from remote places. In addition to natural stone production and processing, the company had its own carpentry shop for the production of wooden chests, electricians, a locksmith's shop, a construction group with apprenticeships for bricklayers and later a construction steel mesh plant with many jobs in the metal sector. The company also brought the first large excavators and caterpillars to South Tyrol.
Sustainability is a matter close to Grünig Natursteine's heart
His son and company successor, Prof. Dr. med. Ekkehard Grünig, has continued to run the company since 1983. He has continuously modernised the company, focused on sustainability, built photovoltaic systems and a hydroelectric power plant, developed a commercial area directly at the Sterzing motorway exit, and added the rental of buildings and land as an additional business activity. Grünig Natursteine produces its own electricity for the production of Silberquarzit. With the hydroelectric power plant and the photovoltaic systems, the company even produces an energy surplus of 1.2 million KWh/year, which is fed into the public electricity grid.
Silberquarzit - the discovery of a South Tyrolean treasure
With the help of geologists like Dr. Gerhard Lehrberger's team from the University of Munich, the tapped natural stones were analysed in detail. Silberquarzit is one of the hardest natural stones. The test certificates show its frost resistance, low water absorption of <0.2% and resistance to alkalis and acids. In addition, it is one of the few quartzites of which large-format rough slabs are available. This means that self-supporting stair treads up to 1.5-2 metres long can be realised. The natural stone slabs can be supplied with different surfaces, for example rough-split or diamond-sawn. Grünig Natursteine also produces various formats such as block steps, sheet goods, fixed sizes and 1.5 cm thick sheets/tiles for indoor use. The high density of Silberquarzit in combination with its mica layers not only ensures a shiny appearance. Its high quartz content also prevents the colonisation of germs, mosses and fungi. It is easy to clean and insensitive to stains. As a result, it retains its appearance even after decades. The colour variations of Silberquarzit give designers freedom of design between light and dark grey, brown-red and blue-green shades. Other practical advantages, especially for wet areas, are the slip resistance (R12) of its cleft or diamond-sawn surface and its resistance to chlorine, salts and acids. With all these properties, Silberquarzit is a South Tyrolean treasure that is used in many different ways in international construction projects.
A big thank you to all customers and partners
On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, Grünig Natursteine would like to thank its customers and partners for their many years of loyalty and trust. The company is optimistic about the future and looks forward to further cooperation.
Grünig Natursteine GmbH
+39 0472 765 465
Contact person for queries and picture requests:
upHill Value Marketing
+49 176 24435503