An Exploratory Study of Lean Construction in Portugal Owners and Designers' Perspectives

João Martins1 & Nuno Cachadinha2

1FCT-UNL. [email protected]
2Asst. Professor, Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal presently at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. E-mail: [email protected]


As Lean Construction steadily grows all over the world, not much is heard about this new paradigm in Portugal, and the Portuguese construction industry still seems unaware of its potentials. This study aims at characterizing and analyzing the main causes for waste that could be tackled with Lean Construction solutions and techniques in the Portuguese construction sector. It is assumed that lean construction can greatly contribute to the Portuguese construction sector by the positive cost- benefit results. An analysis is made on how lean construction can be beneficial in the Portuguese context, from the perspectives of owners and designers. The study is an exploratory qualitative research that is observational in nature. Overall, 8 private owners, 10 public owners and 13 design firms participated in this study. The results obtained are in line with similar studies and indicate that the origin of most waste in Portuguese projects has its roots in the design phase due to owners’ actions. This work seeks to demonstrate the key role that owners have in the adoptions of lean construction methods and principles, which can be implemented to mitigate the main problems found.


Owner, Designer, Lean Construction, Waste, Portugal.



Martins, J. & Cachadinha, N. 2013. An Exploratory Study of Lean Construction in Portugal Owners and Designers' Perspectives, 21th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 997-1006.

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