There’s no doubt that a revolution is sweeping through the construction industry at present. Traditional materials such as steel and concrete that have been used for many years are now under threat. Innovative new construction materials are being developed with which to build houses even as we speak. This is a real breakthrough within the construction sector and something that will greatly impact how things are built in the future.

Why is this happening?

As noted above, the construction industry is currently seeing massive changes. From business information modelling when planning projects, to drone technology that helps survey land, much of how construction projects work is changing. The materials that are being developed for future builds is just one part of that progression.

But what has driven this change? In a nutshell, it’s the twin concerns of building in a more environmentally friendly way and developing new materials that are simply more efficient along with being stronger.

What materials may we be using in the future?

Wondering just what building materials firms may be using within the next 20 years? The below seem the most likely:


Translucent wood

The need to build and work on construction projects in a way that helps protect the planet is very important now. Many think translucent wood will be used in the future to help aid this. By removing the wood’s veneer and then processing it with nanoscaling technology, you produce a translucent wood that can be used for windows or as solar panels to generate heat. As a low-cost, sustainable material it is a real winner.

Light-generating cement

This is a great new material that we could see for all kinds of civil engineering projects, from building public swimming pools to new bridges. This next generation concrete absorbs light and then emits it back out when it goes dark. Naturally, this eliminates the need for external lighting and increases safety for anyone walking on it.

Self-healing concrete

Another advance in concrete as a construction material is self-healing concrete. As the name suggests, this type of concrete can heal itself when broken or damaged. This naturally makes it a much more efficient and useful material for building or repairing roads. When heated up, the broken concrete will simply join itself back together to become whole again!


We’ve saved perhaps the biggest advance in next-generation building materials until last. Lighter and stronger than both steel and carbon fibre, graphene could revolutionise how things are built for the next 10 or 20 years. Although not a new discovery, it had always been too tricky to produce in the quantities needed on projects. New breakthroughs in this recently though have meant that it may be able to be made on a larger scale.

The only constant in life is change

This influx of new materials leads neatly on to the question of what will have changed in how we choose the materials we build with in years to come. It’s clear that concrete will still be around but maybe not as we know it now. As for widely used materials like steel, this is less clear. With more environmentally sustainable and stronger options available, it could see currently used materials like this fall out of favour.

If you would like to know more about this subject or need help on a construction project, give Lydon Contracting Ltd a call on 01327 811533.


Lydon Contracting Ltd

Your Total Construction Solution

Tel:  01327 811533