It’s tempting to choose gaffer tape, superglue or cable ties as the most innovative construction technologies of our times. But they are of the realm of Bodgism and hastily assembled reconstruction.
But I suspect that much of what is new in our age just could not be constructed without silicone sealant (low or high modulus). Curtain glass walling would crack and fall out. Double and triple glazing panels, held together by nothing more than caulk and stopping would quickly fail and form internal condensation patches that would slowly turn green. Every timber-framed building in the country would fail its airtightness test and throw the Sustainable Homes Code into turmoil.
And Zaha Hadid’s Nordpark railway blobs would quickly become a haven for Alpine foxes and marmots.
We would have no space shuttle, Gherkin, or quick-fix solution for the uPVC double-glazing installer. And my shower would leak.
Kevin McCloud is presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs. He has a degree in the history of art and architecture and runs a product design practice, specialising in lighting and furniture. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Foresters and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.