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 Environmental sustainability in Construction: Eco-friendly mortar composition. Buy the report here.

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, green roofing is a disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. HAWT wind turbines, environmental barrier coatings, and vacuum-insulated glazing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are hybrid electric heavy machinery and energy-efficient HVAC systems, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the construction industry

Eco-friendly mortar composition is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Wood ash, rubber waste and glass waste are some of the most desirable alternatives for cement replacement in mortar compositions. These eco-friendly alternatives are particularly of interest due to their high flexural strength and compression strength.

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 40 companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of eco-friendly mortar composition.

Key players in eco-friendly mortar composition – 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 eco-friendly mortar composition

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
HeidelbergCement 134 Unlock Company Profile
Gebr Knauf 85 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 82 Unlock Company Profile
Holcim 62 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 55 Unlock Company Profile
Omya International 52 Unlock Company Profile
Halliburton 35 Unlock Company Profile
Denka 32 Unlock Company Profile
Nichiha 32 Unlock Company Profile
Geopolymer Solutions 31 Unlock Company Profile
Kuraray 22 Unlock Company Profile
Sika 20 Unlock Company Profile
Eternit 19 Unlock Company Profile
E. Khashoggi Industries. 19 Unlock Company Profile
Ruredil 18 Unlock Company Profile
CelluComp 16 Unlock Company Profile
Energeticky a Prumyslovy Holding 15 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Mitsui Construction 14 Unlock Company Profile
James Hardie Industries 14 Unlock Company Profile
Etex 13 Unlock Company Profile
Intellectual Gorilla 12 Unlock Company Profile
Nuova FourB S.r.l. 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mapei 11 Unlock Company Profile
Ecolab 11 Unlock Company Profile
Parjointco 10 Unlock Company Profile
Weyerhaeuser 10 Unlock Company Profile
Akzo Nobel 10 Unlock Company Profile
Shin-Etsu Chemical 9 Unlock Company Profile
Yara International 7 Unlock Company Profile
Dow 7 Unlock Company Profile
SINTEF 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kyung Dong 7 Unlock Company Profile
Krones 6 Unlock Company Profile
Bki Holding 6 Unlock Company Profile
TPI Polene Public 5 Unlock Company Profile
Celanese 5 Unlock Company Profile
FP Innovations 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
Grupo Argos 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

HeidelbergCement is the leading filer in eco-friendly mortar manufacturing. The company is one of the world leaders in building materials manufacturing and aggregates. HeidelbergCement patents have revolved around the process of manufacture of mortar materials and the composition of materials. One example of a HeidelbergCement patent is a ternesite-belite-calcium-sulfoaluminate (ferrit) clinker, which uses spare industrial products such as slag or ash. Another example is the use of mortar slurry to produce semi-rigid coatings.

In terms of application diversity, CelluComp is among the leaders, along with Krones. By means of geographic reach, Marriott International holds the top position, followed by SACMI and Masco.

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

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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.