Open Building/ Lean Construction Evaluation of a Case in Brazil

Ype Cuperus1 & Paulo Napolitano2

1Assistant Professor, Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture, Building Technology, P.O.Box 5043, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands,
2Civil Engineer and Management Consultant, MSc.Campo Grande-MS Brazil,


Open Building and Lean Construction are concepts that can be described in generic terms. Their practical applications depend on different circumstances, such as differences in culture, economy, project type and size, location, and moment in time. This paper explores the application of Open Building and Lean Construction in the Brazilian context. First the generic aspects of Open Building and Lean Construction are characterized as complementary concepts. Open Building aims to structure the process of constructing and managing the built environment along lines of decision-making, thus creating capacity for future change. Lean Construction aims to reduce waste by focusing on creating value for the customer. A building project typical for the Brazilian construction industry is analyzed. Per project different clients can be identified, all demanding their specific values to be created. For example, the investor is the contractor’s client, whereas the end user is the client of the investor. An Open Building inspired breakdown of the process and building costs suggests that the base building can be built for 57% of the total construction costs. Decisions about the remaining part can be postponed, thus saving on interest costs and can be built according to the end user’s demands, thus saving on reworks. In the final analysis the paper suggests to identify different Lean Construction inspired values that can be connected to different Open Building inspired decision-making parties. They in turn connect to sets of building parts, such as base building, fit out and furniture.


Open building, Chain of value for clients, Conversion, Behavior, Future value, Complexity



Cuperus, Y. & Napolitano, P. 2005, 'Open Building/ Lean Construction Evaluation of a Case in Brazil' In:, 13th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Sydney, Australia, 19-21 Jul 2005. pp 457-462

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