Review of the untapped potentials of antimicrobial materials in the construction sector

S. K. Kirthika, Gaurav Goel, Allan Matthews, Saurav Goel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Microbes can influence the durability of civil engineering structures. Damage caused by microbes (known as biodeterioration) results in compromised structural integrity causing adverse effects on economic and social wellbeing. One key example is that of microbiologically induced concrete corrosion (MICC) due to the bacteria in concrete sewerage pipes which leads to reduced lifespan of sewer pipes. Antimicrobial materials provide a biocidal approach for eradicating the microbes either by inhibiting their growth, or by actively killing them. An ideal antimicrobial material should possess qualities such as sustainability, durability, eco-friendliness, economic viability to avoid the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The literature covering these topics vital to the construction sector is rather scarce. Therefore, this review paper summarises various types of antimicrobial materials currently used in the construction sector detailing their mode of biocidal activity, and their application in structures. This paper also addresses recent developments, demerits and future scope that may aid in employing them expeditiously in the construction sector, particularly to benefit plumbing, and sanitation used in hospitals and high traffic areas and public places including airports, schools and other educational establishments. Overall, the study draws attention to newer antimicrobial mechanisms and provides recommendations for developing new, efficient antimicrobial materials that can provide sustainability and a safe environment to the construction sector.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101065
JournalProgress In Materials Science
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Additives
  • Antimicrobials
  • Coatings
  • Geopolymer
  • Metallic ions and oxides
  • Microbes
  • Nanoparticles
  • Polymers


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