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: waterproof floor drains. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData


Premium Insights Innovation in construction: waterproof floor drains

Buy the Report

Premium Insights

The gold standard of business intelligence.

Find out more

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

Waterproof floor drains is a key innovation area in construction

Waterproof floor drains refer to a type of drainage system that is designed to prevent water from seeping into the subfloor or foundation. These drains are commonly used in areas where water accumulation is a concern, such as in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. The waterproofing aspect of these drains is achieved through a combination of materials and design features, such as sealing agents and sloped floors.

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 180 companies, spanning technology vendors, established construction companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of waterproof floor drains.

Key players in waterproof floor drains – 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 waterproof floor drains

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Saint-Gobain 85 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui & 84 Unlock Company Profile
Wrekin 83 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway Group 78 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 50 Unlock Company Profile
ACO Severin Ahlmann 45 Unlock Company Profile
Lmk Technologies 43 Unlock Company Profile
EJ Group 31 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 28 Unlock Company Profile
CRH 25 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou Metro Group 14 Unlock Company Profile
China State Construction Engineering 14 Unlock Company Profile
Hubble 12 Unlock Company Profile
Langmatz 10 Unlock Company Profile
REHAU Automotive 10 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil 10 Unlock Company Profile
Metallurgical Corporation of China 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ricegrowers 8 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 7 Unlock Company Profile
AeroVironment 7 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway 22Nd Bureau Group Rail Engineering 6 Unlock Company Profile
RAIN 6 Unlock Company Profile
Picote 6 Unlock Company Profile
Clarksteel 6 Unlock Company Profile
McGard 6 Unlock Company Profile
Hangzhou Fuyang Xinyuan New Energy 6 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Municipal Construction Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Power Construction Corporation of China 6 Unlock Company Profile
Erchu Co Ltd Of China Railway Tunnel Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
AT&T 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Railway Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
Orbia Advance 5 Unlock Company Profile
Chengdu Infoeasy Technology 5 Unlock Company Profile
Wuhan Shengyu Drainage System 4 Unlock Company Profile
Genuit Group 4 Unlock Company Profile
Benito Urban, SLU 4 Unlock Company Profile
Berthold Sichert 4 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Engineering 4 Unlock Company Profile
Wenzhou Oulin Electronic Technology 4 Unlock Company Profile
Consolidated Edison 4 Unlock Company Profile
Kessel 4 Unlock Company Profile
Mueller Water Products 4 Unlock Company Profile
Guangdong Yuehai Pearl River Delta Water Supply 3 Unlock Company Profile
China MCC5 Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Orange 3 Unlock Company Profile
China Communications Construction Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Oatey 3 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Construction Group 3 Unlock Company Profile
Buderus Kanalguss 3 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Tunnel Engineering 3 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Saint-Gobain is the leading patent filer waterproof floor drains. The company's PAM VortX provides a range of floor drainage products for most applications. Other key players include Wrekin, which provides geosynthetic project design and specification services, and ACO Severin Ahlmann, which provides drainage products and process technology for wastewater management.

In terms of application diversity, leading providers include Mueller Water Products and Samsung Engineering. By means of geographic reach, ACO Severin Ahlmann and Lmk Technologies are among the leaders.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the construction industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Construction.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.