The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by an intensified focus on workplace safety, circular construction and environmental sustainability, and the growing importance of technologies such as modular construction, robotics and sustainable building 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: Sewer infiltration tanks.  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 

Sewer infiltration tanks are a key innovation area in construction 

Sewer infiltration tanks are water management systems that facilitate the dispersion of treated wastewater, allowing it to permeate through the underlying soil into the ground water. A number of wastewater types can be managed in this manner, including domestic waste and stormwater. 

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 sewer infiltration tanks. 

Key players in sewer infiltration tanks – 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 sewer infiltration

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Smith & Loveless 35 Unlock Company Profile
Agilitas Partners LLP 22 Unlock Company Profile
Oldcastle Infrastructure 17 Unlock Company Profile
Advanced Drainage Systems 15 Unlock Company Profile
Quikrete Holdings 13 Unlock Company Profile
Contech Engineered Solutions 11 Unlock Company Profile
Anglian Water Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
WAMGroup 9 Unlock Company Profile
Orbia Advance 9 Unlock Company Profile
Envirostream Solutions 9 Unlock Company Profile
Funke Kunststoffe 8 Unlock Company Profile
HOBAS Engineering 6 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leading innovators in the sewer infiltration tank space include Smith & Loveless, a provider of water and wastewater pumping systems. The company’s products include pumping systems, headworks systems, wastewater treatment systems, and primarily caters for industrial, municipal and government developments. Key innovations in sewer infiltration systems made by Smith & Loveless include a grit removal unit with an influent channel directing wastewater with grit into a round grit removal chamber and an effluent channel receiving wastewater output from the chamber. 

In terms of geographic reach, leading companies in the field of sewer infiltration tanks include WAMGroup, a developer and manufacturer of components used in the handling and processing of bulk solids, and Orbia Advance. In terms of application diversity, leading companies include Advanced Drainage Systems and Oldcastle Infrastructure. 

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.