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 Environmental sustainability in Construction: Interlocking floor tiles. Buy the report here.

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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, smart toilet and green roofing are the disruptive technologies that are 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 system, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the construction industry

Interlocking floor tiles is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Interlocking floor tiles are modular flooring components that fit together like puzzle pieces, creating a durable and versatile surface. These tiles typically have interlocking edges that allow them to be easily and securely connected without the need for adhesives or fasteners.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of interlocking floor tiles.

Key players in interlocking floor tiles – 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 interlocking floor tiles

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Valinge Innovation 1289 Unlock Company Profile
Mohawk Industries 1147 Unlock Company Profile
Ceraloc Innovation 245 Unlock Company Profile
Akzenta Paneele + Profile 188 Unlock Company Profile
Pergo 96 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Krono Holding 70 Unlock Company Profile
FRITZ EGGER 67 Unlock Company Profile
CoMc 37 Unlock Company Profile
Kaindl Flooring 34 Unlock Company Profile
Gerflor 32 Unlock Company Profile
Armstrong World Industries 30 Unlock Company Profile
Kronoplus Technical 24 Unlock Company Profile
Barlinek 19 Unlock Company Profile
Ceraloc Innovation Belgium 14 Unlock Company Profile
Berkshire Hathaway 14 Unlock Company Profile
4Sight Innovation 13 Unlock Company Profile
Macneil Ip 12 Unlock Company Profile
Valinge Innovation Belgium 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hamberger Industriewerke 11 Unlock Company Profile
Promociones Brial 11 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 10 Unlock Company Profile
Q.E.P. 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hanssem 9 Unlock Company Profile
Interglarion 9 Unlock Company Profile
Floor Iptech 8 Unlock Company Profile
Agfa-Gevaert 8 Unlock Company Profile
Surface Technologies 7 Unlock Company Profile
Milliken & Co 7 Unlock Company Profile
Westlake 7 Unlock Company Profile
Swisspearl Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Afi Licensing 7 Unlock Company Profile
SNAPSPORTS COMPANY 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tarkett GDL 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sun&L 5 Unlock Company Profile
Tarkett 5 Unlock Company Profile
Mannington Mills 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The leading patent filer in the interlocking floor space is Vallinge Innovation. One recent innovation involves the use of floor panels with an advanced mechanical locking system. The panels are rectangular in shape with long and short edges, which are mechanically connected. The connection system includes a flexible locking element in a locking groove which, during a horizontal motion, is displaced vertically. The main advantages of floating floors with mechanical locking systems are that they are easy to install and can also easily be taken up again and used once more at a different location. Other leading companies in the space include Mohawk Industries and Ceraloc Innovation.

In terms of application diversity, the leading patent filers include Milliken, Air Liquide, and Afi Licensing. In terms of geographic reach, the leading companies are Swiss Krono, Nisso Industries, and CoMc.

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.