By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Your browser seems to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser.


Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Advanced ideas

As the quest to find the greatest advance in construction continues, Ruby Kitching reveals some of the nominations so far

We’ve been asking construction leaders what single thing has had the greatest influence on the industry. So far we’ve had everything from batteries, nominated by structural engineering supremo Mark Whitby (how did we live without mobiles and digital cameras?) to silicone sealant, chosen by Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud (it stops his shower leaking and keeps the canopies at Zaha Hadid’s Nordpark Cable Railway intact).

Peter Rogers, of developer Stanhope, believes that steel cable – used for lifts, craneage, suspension bridges and modern stadium roofs – has been the greatest achievement in construction so far. Ewan Jones of Grimshaw chose glass; constant development has kept it moving with the times, from the stained-glass windows of Gothic cathedrals to city-centre monoliths. To read the nominations in full, visit

Do you agree with these choices or would you nominate something completely different? We would like to hear from you to help compile a list of the 10 greatest advances in construction.

Send your nominations to Corus Greatest Advance, New Civil Engineer, Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London NW1 7EJ, or email

Coming up Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects; Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ Mike Davies; and Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray + Alan Dunlop Architects.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters