The National Building Granite Quarries Association (NBGQA) was founded over a century ago on July 20, 1916 with approximately 12 original member granite companies which included most of the major building granite quarriers in the United States at that time. A company in North Carolina was the sole company outside of the New England states in those early days and essentially all of them were small family owned companies. The purpose of the organization was back then, and remains today, the promotion of the use of granite in buildings and educating architects and general contractors about the properties and extraordinary durability of granite. In connection with this promotion, NBGQA provides listings of the available colors of granite, surface finishes, tolerances, test data and other specifications for owners, architects and contractors covering the proper use and incorporation of granite into building projects.
There are three original members of NBGQA that are still members today, but those remaining members all have different owners than they had over a century ago. One of the most fascinating aspects of the history of NBGQA is how many of the granite quarries owned by the original members are still in operation today. One can safely say that while the owners and operators may change, many of the century old quarries at the center of the granite industry back in 1916 are still operated and at the center of the industry today. Like most industries, the granite industry has consolidated over the last century. The operations of some of the original members have been acquired over the years by other companies, particularly on the east coast. Several granite producers in the South and Midwest of the United States, which were founded later than those on the east coast, have joined NBGQA. The consolidation in the granite industry has resulted in fewer members than a century ago but larger companies which have considerably larger output of granite each year. All member companies of NBGQA must have significant and substantial granite operations in the United States but may be owned by companies based in either the US or Canada.
Like all other manufacturing industries, the granite industry has undergone dramatic changes over the last century in quarrying, manufacturing, finishing and installation techniques. Many of these improved techniques have made natural granite more competitive with cement and other man-made products than it has ever been. At the same time, NBGQA updates it specifications each year to keep pace with the most recent improvements in technology so that the customers of the industry have the requisite knowledge and ability to maximize the use of granite which remains the most durable building material. While most of the granites and finishes available a century ago are still available today, there are many new quarries, colors, and finishes that have come to market as the improved technology has made the quarrying and manufacturing process so much easier and faster.
In 2021, the NBGQA merged with the Natural Stone Institute (Formerly Marble Institute of America and Building Stone Institute). If you are a company operating a granite quarry in North America and would like to inquire about joining our association, please call (800) 557-2848 to talk to Jeff Pavic or email firstname.lastname@example.org.