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: Thermally-insulated glazing glass. 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, 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 system, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the construction industry

Thermally-insulated glazing glass is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Thermally-insulated glazing glass, also known as double-glazed or triple-glazed glass, refers to a type of glass that consists of two or three panes of glass separated by a layer of air or gas, such as argon or krypton. The layers of glass are held together by a spacer, which is typically made of metal or other materials, and the entire unit is sealed around the edges to create a hermetic seal.

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 thermally-insulated glazing glass.

Key players in thermally-insulated glazing glass – 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 thermally-insulated glazing glass

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic 425 Unlock Company Profile
KGIC Merger 134 Unlock Company Profile
Luoyang Landglass Technology 82 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Sheet Glass 62 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 46 Unlock Company Profile
LG 37 Unlock Company Profile
VKR Holding 29 Unlock Company Profile
Showa Denko 28 Unlock Company Profile
Prince International 18 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 15 Unlock Company Profile
Grenzebach Maschinenbau 6 Unlock Company Profile
Guardian Europe 6 Unlock Company Profile
Qingdao Hengda Glass Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Eversealed Windows 6 Unlock Company Profile
AGC Glass Europe 5 Unlock Company Profile
Changsha Xingna Aerogel 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

The leading patent filer in the thermally-insulated glazing glass space is Panasonic. The company has recently filed a patent for a new process of manufacturing insulated glass panels. The method involves reducing the pressure in the inner space between the layers of glazing, and the use of a building component including the glass panel unit, such that no traces of the exhaust pipe are left on their outer surface. The process follows four steps – an arrangement step, a bonding step, a pressure-reducing step, and a sealing step. Other leading companies in the space include KGIC, GEZE and Luoyang Landglass Technology.

In terms of application diversity, the leading companies are Airdri, Eversealed Windows and Nissan, while in terms of geographic reach, the leading companies include Prince International, Qingdao Hengda Glass Technology, and Guardian Europe.

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.