The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by an increased focus on environmental sustainability and workplace safety, and the growing importance of technologies such as the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and robotics. In the last three years alone, there have been over 248,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Construction: Building repair techniques.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

80+ innovations will shape the construction industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the construction industry using innovation intensity models built on over 179,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, mullion-transom curtain walls is a disruptive technology that is in the early stage of application and should be tracked closely. Heat insulated glazing panels, drainage gully grating, and acoustic ceiling panels are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are abrasion-resistant decorative flooring, and road construction milling tool, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the construction industry

Building repair techniques is a key innovation area in construction

Building repair techniques relate to repairs that restore a building’s strength, ensuring the effectiveness of load bearing structures and maintaining structure integrity. Common techniques include injection of cement and chemical grouts, as well as caulking and shotcreting.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of building repair techniques.

Key players in building repair techniques – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to building repair techniques

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Shanghai Construction Group 19 Unlock company profile
Cfs Concrete Forming Systems 15 Unlock company profile
Electricite de France 14 Unlock company profile
Kingspan Group 12 Unlock company profile
SLEEPZ 11 Unlock company profile
Dai Nippon Printing 9 Unlock company profile
China State Construction Engineering 8 Unlock company profile
Vinci 7 Unlock company profile
Firstpoint 6 Unlock company profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 5 Unlock company profile
Q-Bot 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Shanghai Construction Group, via various subsidiaries including Shanghai Building Decoration Engineering Group, is among the leading filers with regards to building repair techniques. Others include Cfs Concrete Forming Systems and Kingspan Group, the latter being a major international producer of advanced materials and methods of construction.

Kingspan Group is among the leaders in the pack when considering filings by geographic reach, while Cfs Concrete Forming Systems is among the leaders by means of application diversity.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research reports on Construction.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.