How construction sector businesses are staying in the innovation fast line

Date: April 1, 2022

The construction industry has faced plenty of challenges over the last two years, with worker shortages, project delays and supply chain problems hampering progress.

However, from the privileged position we have speaking to hundreds of firms about innovation at any one time, it is gratifying to see that many businesses used this period to look beyond the pandemic and maintain, or bring forward, their R&D projects.

The development of new materials and components remain really exciting areas for construction companies. The race to make these advances sits hand in glove with broader attempts by firms across Canada to develop new building methods.

Changes to building regulations, environmental requirements and updates to municipal codes also continue to drive much of the industry’s innovation.

Recent examples of projects carried by construction companies, which qualified for Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentives, include greener concrete recipes, advanced fire suppression technologies, heat exchanging solutions that ultimately help reduce carbon emissions and the creation of new wall studding techniques.

The infrastructure and utilities associated with construction have also seen injections of R&D investment, from dramatic innovations in scaffolding to improvements in water management, heating and ventilation, noise suppression and prefabrication of buildings including laneway homes and garden offices.

Still, many of the companies we speak to don’t realise the bulk of their work qualifies for SR&ED. Even those who are already claiming are often only seeing a fraction of what they’re entitled to. Another common misconception is that smaller SMEs don’t do R&D — but size is no indicator when it comes to qualifying for SR&ED.

You will only know if you ask a specialist to assess your activities.

For more information about the tax incentives available to the construction industry, you can reach Richard Hoy directly at

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