Pushing Change: R&D Innovation Processes in Construction Building Products

Meeting resilience and sustainability goals in buildings and urban habitat requires massive innovation across the breadth of the construction process. Innovation is key to achieving carbon reduction targets and performance goals for health comfort and productivity in the building sector. Yet few of us really understand what innovation is and how to do it. We often think of innovation as designs forthcoming from the architectural firms. But progress in the building sector is dependent upon the material, product and process innovations coming from industry suppliers, manufacturers, fabricators and even contractors.

So, this is a good place to start in understanding the current innovation landscape in the building industry, by exploring what is happening with the suppliers and contractors, how they think about innovation and what they are doing to provide novel, higher performing materials, products and processes. But it’s not simply about innovating; innovation is a process that ultimately involves market adoption if the innovation is to realize its potential impact. There are problems here, too; existing higher performing material and product innovations are languishing because of a lack of market uptake despite their promise of enhanced performance. What are the barriers to the adoption of innovation in our industry and what can be done to accelerate the process? Thought leaders and subject matter experts from the industry led this exploration. Read the full event recap.


Stefan Dewald

Head of Business Unit Façade, Schüco

Thomas Haltenhof

Head of Innovation Management, Schüco

Ron Hull

Director, Global High Performance Products, Kuraray

Sameer Kumar, AIA

Principal, SHoP Architects

Helen Sanders, PhD

General Manager, Technoform North America

Mic Patterson, PhD, LEED AP+

Ambassador of Innovation & Collaboration, Facade Tectonics Institute