The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and growing importance of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Artificial intelligence in construction: HVAC thermal modeling. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 232,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the construction industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
HVAC thermal modeling is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence
Thermal modeling of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems involves the development of models that are used to simulate the energy consumption and performance of HVAC systems in buildings. Such models enable users to optimize energy consumption and maintain the desired levels of comfort inside a building.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of HVAC thermal modeling.
Key players in HVAC thermal modeling – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to HVAC thermal modeling
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Johnson Controls International is the leading patent filer in the area of HVAC thermal modeling. The company designs sensors to work with HVAC systems, which include temperature sensors, pressure sensors, carbon dioxide sensors, occupancy sensors, and network sensors. Another leading patent filer in the same space is Springs Window Fashions, which has patents covering innovations that include shades operated by the sun. According to the company, its Mecho SolarTrac 4.0® system raises and lowers solar shades based on algorithms that predict the sun’s position to a building.
In terms of application diversity as well as geographic reach, Johnson Controls International is among the leading patent filers.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Construction.