AbstractNatural stone is a traditional building material used worldwide for millennia. Its mechanical properties are rather well known, but only a small quantity of data is available regarding its hygrothermal characteristics. However, these characteristics are essential for the design of energy efficient buildings. Stones are in fact associated with insulation materials, which strongly modify the hygrothermal behavior of building walls, thereby impacting their durability and thermal comfort. This study focused on the hygrothermal characterization of a dozen samples of limestone, offering an adequate representation of their use across France. Thermal conductivity and heat capacity, sorption and desorption isotherms, water vapor permeability, and moisture buffer value (MBV) all were determined and analyzed. These data can be used to model heat and mass transfers in building walls. Limestone features extensive physical properties that can vary from one place to another within the same quarry. A statistical classification of the mechanical properties of thousands of French limestones was carried out. This classification allows estimating the hygrothermal properties previously determined for other stones.

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