Aerogel is a kind of synthetic porous material, in which the liquid component of the gel is replaced with a gas. Aerogel has specific acoustic properties and remarkably lower thermal conductivity (approximate to 0.013 W/m K) than the other commercial insulating materials. It also has superior physical and chemical characteristics like the translucent structure. Therefore, it is considered as one of the most promising thermal insulating materials for building applications. Besides its applications in residential and industrial buildings, aerogel has a great deal of application areas such as spacecrafts, skyscrapers, automobiles, electronic devices, clothing etc. Although current cost of aerogel still remains higher compared to the conventional insulation materials, intensive efforts are made to reduce its manufacturing cost and hence enable it to become widespread all over the world. In this study, a comprehensive review on aerogel and its utilization in buildings are presented. Thermal insulation materials based on aerogel are illustrated with various applications. Economic analysis and future potential of aerogel are also considered in the study. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.