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: Furniture hinges.

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 stages 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

Furniture hinges is a key innovation area in construction

Furniture hinges and sliding door systems provide innovative ways to maximise space and transform interiors. Such systems often have weight-bearing top rollers and hidden guidance sections on the floor.

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 furniture hinges.

Key players in furniture hinges – 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 fatty oil extraction

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Royal DSM 72 Unlock company profile
Bayer 50 Unlock company profile
Shell plc 24 Unlock company profile
Alfa Laval 15 Unlock company profile
HRD 13 Unlock company profile
Kao 8 Unlock company profile
Neste 8 Unlock company profile
John Bean Technologies 7 Unlock company profile
Martek Biosciences 7 Unlock company profile
Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Hettich Holding is one of the leading patent filers for furniture hinges, with the company developing and producing a range of fittings, including drawer and runner systems to hinges, and folding and sliding hardware for doors. Japan-based Sugatsune Kogyo is another key patent filer in this area, manufacturing concealed hinges, drawer slides, levelling glides, latches and hinges.

In terms of application diversity, Masco is among the leading companies, while Hettich is among the leaders in terms of geographical diversity, along with GEZE, which offers products and systems solutions and services for doors and windows.

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