Up to now innovations have played an inconsiderable role in gaining competitive advantages in construction. However, the increasing demand of clients for constructional solutions optimized regarding their whole life cycle calls for deliberate innovation activities of construction companies. In order to install an efficient innovation management, the effects of the construction sector on the innovation activities have to be recognized. In connection with this the questions have to be answered which innovation scope is available for construction companies and how this scope can be used by them. Conditions and potentials of innovation activities in construction are the subjects of this paper, which is based on a research project carried out by the Institute of Construction Management and Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology .