The rapidly growing world population and booming economies are two of
the major reasons for an increasing demand for buildings and infrastructure. In order to meet these needs large amounts of energy and raw materials are required. In most cases concrete is the main building material for these structures. The question today is how these needs can be accomplished without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs (Brundlandt). In this paper first the urgency of this question is explained from the perspective of the building industry. Emphasis is put on the consequences of the lack of quality and related failure costs. This lack of quality results in premature maintenance and repair or even decommissioning and demolishing of structures. But even good quality structures do suffer from aging of the materials from which these structures were built. Given this fact, it is considered a great challenge to design materials with an inherent potential to heal themselves once any kind of deterioration or aging starts. That would extend the service life of concrete structures and, hence, mitigate the pressure on the need of raw materials and energy for new built. But how realistic are self healing concepts? Are they reliable and affordable and is it possible to estimate the potentials savings by using self-healing materials? These are the questions to be addressed in this contribution.