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 Innovation in Construction: Heat-insulated glazing panels.  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, 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 

Heat-insulated glazing panels are a key innovation area in construction 

Heat-insulated glazing panels are used in doorways or window places to reduce the transfer of heat from the inside of the building to the exterior. Panels, usually glass or plastic, are spread so that a layer of air or gas is locked in vacuum between each panel. Panels are usually made up of two to three layers and can be known as double or triple glazing. 

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 heat-insulated glazing panels. 

Key players in heat-insulated glazing panels – 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 heat-insulated glazing panels

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic 586 Unlock Company Profile
KGIC Merger 501 Unlock Company Profile
AGC 178 Unlock Company Profile
AGC Glass Europe 134 Unlock Company Profile
VKR Holding 124 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Sheet Glass 119 Unlock Company Profile
Luoyang Landglass Technology 116 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 92 Unlock Company Profile
LG 88 Unlock Company Profile
Cardinal Glass Industries 70 Unlock Company Profile
Guardian Europe 44 Unlock Company Profile
Dover 37 Unlock Company Profile
View 36 Unlock Company Profile
Eversealed Windows 36 Unlock Company Profile
Prince International 29 Unlock Company Profile
Showa Denko 28 Unlock Company Profile
Infinite Edge Technologies 20 Unlock Company Profile
Yazaki 18 Unlock Company Profile
Grenzebach Maschinenbau 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 15 Unlock Company Profile
Research Frontiers 14 Unlock Company Profile
Technoform Glass Insulation Holding 13 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 10 Unlock Company Profile
Saint-Gobain Glass France 9 Unlock Company Profile
Carl Zeiss Stiftung 7 Unlock Company Profile
V-glass 7 Unlock Company Profile
Qingdao Hengda Glass Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mechem Lab 6 Unlock Company Profile
Forel 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Panasonic is the leading filer in heat-insulated glazing panel manufacturing. It uses the latest technologies such as Low-E coatings and advanced gas fill systems, which provide insulation and energy efficiency for the heat-insulated panel. One of the company’s inventions intends to keep the vacuum airtight for longer periods of time by reducing the degradation of the spacer and adhesive. 

In terms of application diversity, BASF is among the leaders in the pack, along with Hitachi. By means of geographic reach, Research Frontiers holds the top position, followed by Infinite Edge Technologies and Luoyang Landglass Technology. 

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.