The construction industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is 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 425,000 patents filed and granted in the construction industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in construction: soundproof drywall construction. 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 stabilizing 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 232,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, self-healing concrete, waterproof floor drains, and construction 3D printing are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart glazing, regeneration control hydraulics, and floating breakwaters are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are wall surface temperature controls and embossed floor panels, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the construction industry

Soundproof drywall construction is a key innovation area in construction

Soundproof drywall construction is a specialized method that utilizes specific materials and construction techniques to build walls with enhanced sound-blocking capabilities between rooms. This technique incorporates multiple layers of drywall, integrates sound-dampening materials, and employs strategic construction methods to minimize sound transmission. The process includes decoupling, achieved by separating drywall layers with resilient channels or staggered studs to create air gaps that impede sound transmission. Additionally, damping materials such as viscoelastic damping compounds, soundproofing membranes, or specialized insulation are integrated into the wall structure to absorb and dissipate sound energy, reducing intensity and minimizing leakage. Ensuring a tight seal for all gaps, cracks, and penetrations in the wall is crucial to prevent sound from bypassing the soundproofing measures, including sealing around outlets, plumbing fixtures, and drywall seams.

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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of soundproof drywall construction.

Key players in soundproof drywall construction – a disruptive innovation in the construction industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to soundproof drywall construction

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
California Expanded Metal Products 115 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 59 Unlock Company Profile
Gebr Knauf 56 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 17 Unlock Company Profile
Hadley Industries 16 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Construction Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Gold Mantis Construction Decoration 12 Unlock Company Profile
DIRTT 11 Unlock Company Profile
LG 11 Unlock Company Profile
Yoshino Gypsum 8 Unlock Company Profile
Otto Fuchs 7 Unlock Company Profile
China State Construction Engineering 6 Unlock Company Profile
Krueger International 6 Unlock Company Profile
Lindab International 5 Unlock Company Profile
Rockwool International 5 Unlock Company Profile
CSW Industrials 4 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
Marubeni-Itochu Steel 4 Unlock Company Profile
MediaTek 4 Unlock Company Profile
Protektorwerk Florenz Maisch 4 Unlock Company Profile
Wenye Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Falkbuilt 3 Unlock Company Profile
CCDI International Shenzhen Design Consultants 3 Unlock Company Profile
P.A.W. 3 Unlock Company Profile
Bailey Metal Products 3 Unlock Company Profile
Jangho Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Reynaers Aluminium 3 Unlock Company Profile
DMFCWBS 2 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Yasha Decoration 2 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction Shenzhen Decoration 2 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Jangho Curtain Wall System Engineering 2 Unlock Company Profile
Skystone Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Kinlong Hardware Products 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Style Decoration 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Zhonghang Decoration Design Engineering 1 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction First Bureau (Group) 1 Unlock Company Profile
Ykk Architectural Products 1 Unlock Company Profile
China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Ningbo Construction 1 Unlock Company Profile
BOHNING 1 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Urban Construction Sixth Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
China MCC5 Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Urban Construction Design & Development Group 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

California Expanded Metal Products has the most total patent filings for soundproof drywall construction, followed by Compagnie de Saint-Gobain (Saint-Gobain) and Gebr Knauf follow.

Saint-Gobain is a prominent construction and building product manufacturing company offering a diverse portfolio, including plastics, pipes, home improvement materials, gypsum, roofing products, and more. Its products cater to industries such as automotive, aeronautical, health, defense, energy, security, and food and beverage. Operating globally, the company is headquartered in Courbevoie, Ile-de-France, France. In May 2023, Saint-Gobain was granted a patent for an innovative building board construction designed to enhance acoustical properties. This includes a gypsum board with facing sheets and a gypsum core containing an open-celled polymeric sheet for improved sound absorption. Alternatively, individual polymeric foam pieces can be used. Saint-Gobain's commitment to research and development extends to soundproof drywall construction, focusing on advanced materials, structural optimization, and integrated solutions. The company's efforts aim to deliver more effective soundproofing, contributing to enhanced sound isolation and improved acoustic comfort in diverse building applications.

In terms of application diversity, China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Group leads the pack, while Bailey Metal Products and Hadley Industries stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Hadley Industries held the top position, followed by DIRTT and LG.

Bailey Metal Products specializes in manufacturing steel fabricated building products, offering a comprehensive range such as brickties, comslabs, cornerbeads, and more. Established in 1950 by Sam Bailey, this family-owned Canadian company is a leader in the industry, providing building solutions to commercial framing and residential drywall finishing markets. With eight locations across Canada strategically placed within 90% of job sites, Bailey ensures swift product delivery. Committed to delivering high-quality, innovative, and valuable products, the company takes pride in its people and industry. Bailey Metal Products is dedicated to advancing soundproof drywall construction, recognizing its importance in various building applications. Through ongoing research and development, the company focuses on optimizing resilient channels, stud spacing, acoustic compatibility, and soundproofing kit development. This commitment is driving innovation in soundproofing solutions, making Bailey a leader in the industry.

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.