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"Great stories are written with values in the hearts of men"
Explore our values...
Photo by Luís Pinto, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2011.

Respect. (from the lat. respectu) n. 1. respect; 2. consideration; high regard; 3. deference; compliance; veneration; 4. honour; worship; 5. relation; refererence...

We believe that everyone should be respected for their work, for their attitudes, opinions and options.

Photo by Mila Teshaieva, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2011.

Rigor. (from the lat. rigore) n. 1. harshness; strength; 2.fig., severity; punctuality; accuracy.

There is no "more or less levelled", "more or less upright”, "more or less clean" or "more or less safe", but rather “levelled”, "upright”, "clean” and “safe". The rigour is reflected in our procedures, in time and in the rules to follow. In the light of moral and principles, being severe means being rigorous.

Photo by , finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2012.

Passion. (from the lat. passione) n. 1. intense and usually violent feeling (affection, joy, hate, etc.) which hinders the exercise of impartial logic; 2. derived from a feeling; 3. great predilection; 4. partiality; 5. great grief; immense suffering...

Under the sign of passion – a text of the Portuguese poet Regina Guimarães – is our icon. Passion is to reveal great enthusiasm for something, favourable encouragement or opposite to something.
It is the sensibility transmitted by an architect or engineer through work.
Passion is the dedication to a project. Passion is a state of warm soul.

Photo by Jakub Karwowski, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2012.

Loyalty. (from the lat. legalitate) n. the quality of being loyal; fidelity; sincerity.

Respect for the principles and rules that guide the honour and probity. Faithfulness to commitments and agreements undertaken, staunch character.
To remain loyal to the business partners because we depend on them and they depend on us.
Being trustworthy for being loyal.

Photo by Ian Lieske, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2011.

Solidarity. (from the lat. solidare) n. 1. the quality of being solidary; 2. reciprocal responsibility among the members of a group, namely social, professional, etc.; 3. sense of sharing another’s suffering.

Being solidary is being a friend, offering our hand with genuine generosity and bringing joy and human warmth to those who, somehow, are marginalized. Being solidary is being more human. A solidary company is recognized as a fair and non-selfish company. A solidary company is a preferred choice in business. It is a more competitive company. Volunteering is a vehicle to solidarity. It is modern, fair, cultured, friend, it is a noble gesture of moral elevation.

Photo by Clarence Gorton, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2012.

Courage. (from the lat. coraticum) n. 1. bravery facing danger; intrepidity; to have audacity; 2. moral force before a suffering or setback; 3. [fig.] to input energy when performing a difficult task; perseverance...

Courage is essential in our life. Courage to face less pleasant situations when complex issues come up, not expecting random resolutions.
It is a value that we must highlight as opposed to the fearful, cowardly and laziness.
The courage to react to criticism not with an attitude of demotivation or sadness, but rather to search for the means and the action to overcome its own reason. This kind of courage, which is also an intellectual courage, is highly recommended.

Photo by Filipa Alves, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2011.

Ambition. (from the lat. ambitione) n. 1. vehement desire of wealth, honours or glories; 2. expectation about the future; aspiration; 3. lust; greed…

Vehement desire to achieve a particular goal. Ambition not to resign ourselves. Ambition to take the best potential from ourselves. Ambition to deserve ourselves. Ambition to be athletes in our top-level competitive jobs. Ambition to beat our brands. Ambition to get the best deals with the maximum value, due to the high levels of proficiency and efficiency.

Photo by Scarlett Coten, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2011.

Esthetics. ESTHETICS (from the Greek aisthetiké, "sensitive") n.f. 1. Philosophy branch of philosophy that studies the beauty and nature of artistic phenomena; 2. author's own style, time, etc.; 3. harmony of shapes and colors, beauty; 4. set of techniques and treatments that aim to beautify the body.

We decided to build the company's economic foundations under a cultured, cosmopolitan and cool image. Because it is a charming state of being. Good taste because we are sustainable and we respect the planet. Good taste because we are sensitive. Good taste just because.

Photo by Karl Erik Brondbo, finalist of the Emergentes dst Award 2011.

Responsibility. (from the lat respondere) n. the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct; a form of trustworthiness.

We must be certain that, before a choice, we chose what is best for both of us and not just the best for each one. Each employee is responsible for his negotiated activity and co-responsible if the co-worker does not fulfil his own task, thus preventing the common goal. A team is a set of individuals - is a whole. In the business game, as in social or family contexts, everyone must comply with their own relative position and we shall not permit that one of ours fails to be in our team.

1. foto artigo decivil maio 2023en
Rethinking the way we build

Decivilscientific publication 


Life is full of changes. Corporations too. Depending on the scale, the scope, and the impact. Industrialization is a change; it is a new paradigm for Construction. It's a glimpse; for some a utopia, for others a reality. We no longer think about Building without thinking of Industrialization; and we no longer talk about Industrialization, without talking about Construction. But if Industrialization is a purpose, how to get there is the genesis of countless reflections, both literary and corporate. In this reflection, on this theme that is not new, but that assumes a new relevance, countless doubts persist, and many companies still resist. Industrializing is a challenge, for sure! And it is precisely the challenges of the industry, felt and experienced by dstgroup, seen as a bold flight to embrace a new paradigm, which this publication summarizes. There are ten of them, closely interconnected, and they are described below. 


         1. Understanding that industrializing is not just prefabricating and modularizing  

Much has been written and debated about Industrialization, as a concept, and as an implementation. If for years the definition of Construction Industrialization, surrounded only by a change in the product through modularization, and in the process, by the transfer of work to a controlled environment, would be sufficient, and numerous academic studies point in this direction; currently, it is no longer so. Such a definition is today dubbed as poorly developed, or incomplete [1]. A recent publication by dstgroup in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management introduces a broader view of the paradigm, where the human, social, and behavioral dimensions, along with disruptive changes in the product, process, and supply chain, form part of a new understanding of Industrialization [2]. Moving towards Industrialization without knowing what it means will lead to mistakes, costs, anxiety, and exhaustion, and will be an additional challenge.  


        2. Ensuring operational excellence as a promising result of the Industrialization of the sector 

Industrialization implies Operational Excellence, and as Aristotle points out, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”. The incessant search for this Excellence has blurred the differences between building and producing, by, but not only, the Lean Philosophy, and by the principles of Industrial Management. If Industrialization implies a new way of conceiving buildings, it also implies a new way of producing them, and thus one of the biggest challenges of the industry arises: how to produce, guaranteeing excellence not only in terms of cost, but also in terms of organizational growth, quality of product, and delivery, ensuring always the motivation of workers? The supply chain plays a decisive role in this excellence, not only because of the way it is managed, but also how it is designed and synchronized. Stimulating cooperation between companies in the construction sector to promote the industrialization of construction is also one of the main themes for increasing the excellence of the industry. 


        3. Recognizing the profound importance of cooperation in business for Industrialization 

Thinking about Industrialization brings with it a whole new line of thought; and inherent to this, a collaboration between the parts, to reach a whole, is essential. The various entities and stakeholders have to align and strengthen relationships to encourage and implement modular construction. Innovation is essential; and depends on the synergies with others; Innovation, not only in the modular system itself, but also in its production, and in the way thatcompanies interconnect, through technology, and through their business relationships. Academia, too, appears in this construction of thought, but also of dissemination. Industrialization as a discipline must be part of the syllabus. Graduates have to come to companies with this knowledge. The challenge is also imposed at this level, at the academic level, and in the changes required to link theory and practice, academia and companies.  


        4. Instilling industrial thinking in builders  

A large percentage of new constructions still largely adopt the same typological solutions and technologies, as well as production methods developed almost a hundred years ago. Only recently have faster and higher quality systems been accepted. A gap between the way of thinking and the way of executing is notorious in professional practice, revealing the importance of rejoining paths in support of a transformation. The development of an architecture and engineering project based on a modular thinking logic, from its genesis, promotes the industrialization of construction. Modularization is a path to mass customization and a path to industrial thinking in builders. The module must be understood as part of a system that expands the possibilities of construction and integration between units. The term module brings together two concepts: that of the unit of measurement and of standardization. With the clear objective of raising the parameters of rationalization and quality from the initial design phase, to the production phase and to the final construction phase of the buildings.  


       5. Ensuring the industrialization of construction, but without reducing individuality, creativity and architectural freedom in the design of buildings  

While there is talk of increasing the level of rationalization in the construction sector, with all the inherent advantages, there is also talk of safeguarding the level of design freedom from an architectural point of view. The concept and purpose of modular construction intend to bring benefits from other industrial systems to the construction industry without distorting the aesthetic and flexibility component that Architects must have. The concept of flexibility was widely explored in architectural discourse, especially during the 20th century. According to Rem Koolhaas, “Flexibility is not the exhaustive anticipation of all possible changes. Most changes are unpredictable. (...) Flexibility is the creation of a capacity with a wide margin that enables different and even opposing interpretations and uses” [3]. Although modularization and prefabrication in architecture are traditionally associated with an idea of lack of flexibility and too much rigidity, today they incorporate an alternative response to ordinary conventional construction, breaking down concepts and stereotypes related to industrialized production. As Ryan Smith points out: “Three things you can depend on in architecture. Every new generation will rediscover the virtues of prefabs. Every new generation will rediscover the idea of stacking people up high. And every new generation will rediscover the virtues of subsidized housing to make cities more affordable. Combine all three —a holy trinity of architectural and social ideals” [4]. In this way, the elaboration and search for new construction systems, translates into a duty and obligation that arises in response to the current pursuit for social demands, quality, comfort, and fair, high and competitive safety and efficiency.  


      6. Maximizing a sustainable, inclusive and beautiful future  

With the industrialization of the sector, there is a need to rethink the way we build, what materials we use and what technologies we apply. Based on this awareness and in line with one of the current European challenges, the New Bauhaus Challenge - “Shaping more beautiful, sustainable and inclusive forms of living together.. Today on the designer’s agenda are concerns such as the definition of constructive solutions based on the logic of DFMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly), structured according to the principles of Eco-design (favoring the use of mono-materials, while reducing the number of constituent components) and still ensuring the life span of constructions with great awareness of options from the moment of decision during the design stage. Modular construction and prefabrication are part of the answer for architects and engineers to ensure that buildings are more sustainable, offering energy and resource saving solutions. Furthermore, modular building solutions can be designed to be inclusive, allowing people of all age groups and abilities to enjoy the designed spaces. Lastly, modular constructive solutions can be beautiful, as the focus on functionality, sustainability and efficiency do not sacrifice the architectural language, guaranteeing the great purpose of the New Bauhaus and ensuring a more inclusive and beautiful design.  


      7. Liberating cities from their “construction site” status  

In a society where production speed, constructive speed and cost savings become more valuable than ever, the power of the modular concept as an agent of transformation takes shape, dimension and capacity. The effective reduction of in-situ works, in addition to freeing up the city so that it can be experienced without the presence of construction sites, condenses construction deadlines, as it is based on transferring a percentage of the in-situ construction time to the factory controlled environment. The development of work in a controlled environment also shows clear advantages in terms of optimizing productivity and construction efficiency, efficiently increasing work scheduling and the absence of interruptions due to adverse weather conditions. Along with a clear containment and mitigation of the impact of construction on the environment due to the control of waste and better reuse of resources, namely from the rational point of view of construction. 


      8. Having policies and guidelines to incentivize and support the Industrialization of Construction  

New ways of designing, new ways of building, lead to new needs in law and bureaucratic procedures, namely in building permit processes. Furthermore, they also depend on the modernization of the incentives both for new developments focused on the Industrialization of construction, or for a highly competitive industry. Studiespoints to the decisive role of governments as one of the critical factors [5,6]. Likewise, improving the structural conditions that encourage investment in modular construction will also be based on regulations adapted to this new industry. Building laws must safeguard the issue of quality in architecture, not only in the functional component, but also in terms of energy efficiency and in the response to energy poverty and climate change. In particular, with regard to building permit processes, the bureaucratic procedures are so complex that they are not compatible with the time objectives where a vast number of projects and works have to be developed. This is why it is important to revise and systematize the general law on urban buildings to reflect these current circumstances and ensure the outlook that is envisaged for Construction in 2030.  


      9. Being deeply aware that workers are the reason, the engine, and the success of all changes  

Thinking about industrializing without thinking about the behaviors, attitudes, capabilities, and personality traits of workers is one of the most referred to risks for any change. Changing mindsets, changing habits, and changing stipulated ways of working, identified as immutable, is the great challenge. Furthermore, having leaders capable of envisioning this change, and making it happen, in an industry dubbed resistant to change, is a decisive factor. How to guarantee the commitment of the workers, with the desired skills, the ambitious mindset, able to involve everyone who works with them, towards this end, is in fact one of the great challenges that the industry faces.  


     10. Guaranteeing a better world through Industrialization 

Industrialization revolutionizes the way companies think and behave. This belief in change, and making it happen, intensifies the concern for others. In the more recent history of technology in general, process and product innovations have been explored in almost every direction. Society is now a new machine and more and more multidisciplinary teams are developing new and different approaches, techniques and processes always with the same objective oriented towards increasing productivity and guaranteeing quality standards. This tends to be the case today in the field of construction components and technological systems. A new form of social division of labor, where a more just, equal and shared world, between Men and Women, is lived, felt and admired. The sexism traditionally imposed on the sector is blurred, and the conquest of new jobs is expected to be a given.  




[1] Ayinla, K. O. K. O., Cheung, F., & Tawil, A.-R. A. R. (2019). Demystifying the concept of offsite manufacturing method: Towards a rob

ust definition and classification system. ConstructionInnovation, 20(2), 223–246. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-07-2019- 0064 [2] Costa, Sara; Carvalho, Maria Sameiro; Pimentel, Carina; Duarte, Cláudia. (2023). A Systematic Literature Review and Conceptual Framework of Construction Industrialization. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0002410 [3] KOOLHAS, Rem - S, M, L, XL. 1995, p. 240. [4] PREFAB ARCHITECTURE - A guide to modular design and construction, 2010 [5] Zakaria, S. A. S., Gajendran, T., Rose, T., & Brewer, G. (2018). Contextual, structural and behavioral factors influencing the adoption of industrializedbuilding systems: a review. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 14(1–2), 3–26. https://doi.org/10.1080/17452007.2017.1291410 [6] Bendi, D., Rana, M., Arif, M., Goulding, J., & Kaushik, A. (2020). Understanding off-site readiness in Indian construction organizations. Construction Innovation. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-02-2020-0016