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: wall surface temperature controls. 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

Wall surface temperature controls is a key innovation area in construction

Wall surface temperature controls, involve methods and devices used to manage and sustain the temperature of walls, applicable to diverse types such as radiators, floor heating systems, and wall coverings. These controls guarantee that wall surfaces maintain the desired temperature, ensuring both comfort and energy efficiency. Serving as systems regulating the temperature of interior walls, these controls are integral for thermal comfort and improved energy efficiency. Particularly crucial for buildings with expansive, exposed walls, like commercial spaces and warehouses, wall surface temperature controls significantly contribute to enhanced thermal comfort, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality across various building types. Through the regulation of wall temperatures, these systems actively contribute to creating a more comfortable, sustainable, and health-supportive indoor environment.

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 60 companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of wall surface temperature controls.

Key players in wall surface temperature controls – 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 wall surface temperature controls

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Progress Profiles 60 Unlock Company Profile
REHAU Automotive 44 Unlock Company Profile
Genuit Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
Viega 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kingspan Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
LG 13 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 11 Unlock Company Profile
Gerflor 8 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 8 Unlock Company Profile
Royal BAM Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sto 7 Unlock Company Profile
Wacker Neuson 6 Unlock Company Profile
FRITZ EGGER 6 Unlock Company Profile
Daikin Industries 6 Unlock Company Profile
MP Global Products 6 Unlock Company Profile
Uzin Utz 6 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo 6 Unlock Company Profile
Laing O'Rourke 6 Unlock Company Profile
Viega Technology 6 Unlock Company Profile
Frasers Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Kolon Global 5 Unlock Company Profile
Aluminium Bahrain BSC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Veev Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Masco 4 Unlock Company Profile
Mohawk Industries 3 Unlock Company Profile
Vinci 3 Unlock Company Profile
Roth Werke 3 Unlock Company Profile
nVent Electric 3 Unlock Company Profile
Country Garden 3 Unlock Company Profile
Selvaag Gruppen 3 Unlock Company Profile
Otto Fuchs 2 Unlock Company Profile
Lotte Chemical 2 Unlock Company Profile
Gebr Knauf 2 Unlock Company Profile
Hall Labs 2 Unlock Company Profile
Resideo Technologies 2 Unlock Company Profile
Astra Capital 2 Unlock Company Profile
Lindner Group 2 Unlock Company Profile
KP1 2 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Yasha Decoration 2 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 2 Unlock Company Profile
Investment AB Latour 2 Unlock Company Profile
Pentair 2 Unlock Company Profile
Bouygues 2 Unlock Company Profile
Ileos 1 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Construction Group 1 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung C&T 1 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 1 Unlock Company Profile
Uponor 1 Unlock Company Profile
Unit 1 Unlock Company Profile
DL 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

When it comes to the total patent filings, Progress Profiles has filled the most. Followed by REHAU Automotive and Genuit Group, in second and third place, respectively.

Progress Profiles embraces every new challenge with enthusiasm, continuously exploring innovative development ideas and building exciting synergies. Their commitment extends to looking beyond familiar horizons with foresight and keen insight. Progress Profiles’ market-tuned team excels in anticipating evolving trends and meeting the most sophisticated needs, making their customers and priorities their sole focus. Over the past 37 years, Progress Profiles has enjoyed global success, evolving from a family firm into a thriving enterprise with consistently growing turnover.

In March 2023, the company introduced an underlay system featuring multiple protrusions extending from a common base element. This design allows subsequent layers of material, such as adhesive, to interact and adhere, facilitated by openings passing through the protrusions and the base element. Specifically arranged protrusions contain wires, cords, or heating elements within receiving areas, guiding them through various angles, bends, and other arrangements. Progress Profiles’ commitment to research and development in wall surface temperature control systems is unwavering.

In terms of application diversity, Laing O'Rourke leads the pack, while Hall Labs and Country Garden stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Progress Profiles held the top position, followed by Mitsubishi Electric and Kingspan Group.

Laing O’Rourke, a renowned construction contractor, is deeply involved in ongoing research and development related to wall surface temperature controls. Recognizing the pivotal role of efficient temperature management systems in optimizing thermal comfort, energy consumption, and overall building performance across diverse construction projects, Laing O'Rourke is committed to pioneering advancements in this field.

The company's dedicated research initiatives in wall surface temperature controls are instrumental in crafting more sustainable, energy-efficient, and performance-oriented construction solutions. Laing O'Rourke places a strategic focus on implementing passive design strategies, integrating building energy management, employing predictive modeling, and seamlessly incorporating prefabrication. These efforts collectively propel the evolution of wall surface temperature control, elevating the standard of building performance across various construction endeavors.

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.