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: Glass pane gap evacuation.

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 are the disruptive technologies that are 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

Glass pane gap evacuation is a key innovation area in construction

Glass pane gap evacuation is a technique that improves the strength of glass panes under atmospheric pressure, with the panes separated by an evacuated gap and high strength spaces.

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 glass pane gap evacuation.

Key players in glass pane gap evacuation – 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 glass pane gap evacuation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic 539 Unlock company profile
KGIC Merger 167 Unlock company profile
Luoyang Landglass Technology 86 Unlock company profile
Nippon Sheet Glass 59 Unlock company profile
LG 48 Unlock company profile
AGC 46 Unlock company profile
VKR Holding 36 Unlock company profile
Prince International 29 Unlock company profile
Showa Denko 28 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 15 Unlock company profile
Grenzebach Maschinenbau 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

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Nippon Sheet Glass (NGS) is among the leading patent filers for glass pane gap evacuation. It is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of glass and glazing products for buildings and solar energy systems. Another leading filer is VKR Holdings, with innovations relating to methods of providing vacuum insulating glass units. VKR Holdings is a leading player in terms of its application diversity, while NGS leads in terms of geographical diversity.

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.