5 Materials That Are Set to Revolutionize Construction


low angle photography of cranes on top of building


Materials science is changing the face of construction. New building materials are being created, tested, and implemented all over the world - but which show the most promise for wide-scale construction usage over time?

Shield Engineering’s talented team of engineers stays up to date on what’s new – and what’s most viable – in construction. It’s our business to understand how today’s trends could potentially impact your development project down the road.

Here are five materials we think hold a lot of promise in shaping the future of construction and the new projects that will define the next generation:


SIPs, otherwise known as Structural Insulation Panels, provide an incredibly tight seal against energy loss inside a building. Made of foam and oriented strand board, SIPs are both cost-effective and efficient, requiring less energy and materials to produce than traditional sheetrock. A bonus? Some SIPs even help purify the air around them.

CLT Panels

Cross-laminated timber is finally beginning to take off. Consisting of several layers of fixed timber, CLT panels are extremely strong, stable, and lightweight, making them ideal for shipping long distances. They have shown immense promise within the modular building industry, most notably in Europe.

Composite Concrete

Composites are one of the fastest-growing areas of materials science; concrete composites are already widely used within the global construction industry. New technologies, though, such as geopolymer cement, are breaking ground with some of the building industry’s most challenges areas. From offshore wind turbines to high-traffic bridge projects, the strength and durability of high-tech composite concretes are turning construction dreams into realities.

Recycled Plastic

As every industry reorders its thinking to include greener, more sustainable solutions, plastic must be part of the conversation. Recycled plastics are today being combined with innovative polymers that create an end-material with more rigidity and superior strength than previous iterations. Plastic roads, in fact, are already becoming widespread in countries with significant waste plastic issues.

Shock-Proof Concrete

Concrete with conductive properties could be the answer to tomorrow’s “natural” disasters. So-called shock-proof concrete reflects or absorbs electromagnetic waves through the use of magnetite, protecting the building’s contents from potentially disastrous electromagnetic pulses. It’s inverse, conductive concrete, could be useful for de-icing roads, pavements, and more.

The construction industry is always changing. Today’s innovative technologies will quickly become tomorrow’s standards. It’s crucial to work with a construction engineering firm with a finger on the industry pulse.

Shield Engineering is a turnkey engineering firm specializing in a variety of construction-related disciplines. From geotechnical engineering to structural design, our team offers a comprehensive array of services for any sized project.

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