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 as well as higher quality construction products and materials. 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: Drainage gully grating. 

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 tools, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the construction industry

Drainage gully grating is a key innovation area in construction 

Drainage gully grating filters large objects from entering water drainage systems and is used to prevent blockages and damage. The grating is usually made from metal or plastic and consists of spaced struts to cover drains, manholes or other infrastructure. 

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 drainage gully grating. 

Key players in drainage gully grating – 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 drainage gully grating

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
ACO Severin Ahlmann 136 Unlock company profile
Dallmer 21 Unlock company profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 18 Unlock company profile
Masco 17 Unlock company profile
Zurn Elkay Water Solutions 16 Unlock company profile
Wrekin Holdings 15 Unlock company profile
Watts Water Technologies 14 Unlock company profile
Hangzhou Fuyang Xinyuan New Energy 12 Unlock company profile
ARDEX 10 Unlock company profile
IPS 9 Unlock company profile
Coflex 9 Unlock company profile
Aliaxis 7 Unlock company profile
Guangdong Xiongsu Technology Group 6 Unlock company profile
Kessel 6 Unlock company profile
Serres 6 Unlock company profile
EJ Group 6 Unlock company profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 5 Unlock company profile
Samsung Heavy Industries 5 Unlock company profile
Hauraton 5 Unlock company profile
Viega 5 Unlock company profile
LG 5 Unlock company profile
BLS Industries 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

ACO Severin Ahlmann is one of the leading filers in filter drains. The company, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers for draining technology, has developed various devices for cleaning and controlling water discharge. ACO Severin Ahlmann has generally sought to improve cost of production and installation and assembly, for example, the joining of the grating teeth and the gully guide rail needs to be designed in a way that the installation is efficient, whilst maintaining structural integrity and strength when in use. 

In terms of application diversity, Wrekin is among the leaders in the pack, along with LG. By means of geographic reach, Orbia Advance held the top position, followed by Serres and Wrekin. 

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.