The National Laboratory for Civil Engineering – LNEC is a Portuguese public Science and Technology institution, subject to Government supervision through the Ministry of Public Works, Transports and Communications. Its competences, as refers to the definition of strategic guidelines, are performed in articulation with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
LNEC carries out research, technical development and high level consultancy activity in the large field of civil engineering and related areas, comprising public works, housing, construction materials and technology, building physics, town planning, environment, hydraulics, and transportation and communications networks.
Two main missions rule the LNEC activity:
- to achieve progress and good practice in civil engineering;
- to defend the public interest with competence, independence and impartiality.
LNEC activity aims to contribute to:
- quality and safety of construction works;
- protection and rehabilitation of natural and built heritage;
- technological modernization and innovation of the construction sector;
- minimization of natural and technological hazards;
- development of natural resources from the viewpoint of a sustainable development.
This activity is carried out with a multi-disciplinary approach, rendered possible by the wide scope of expertise fields of LNEC staff, ranging from civil engineering to economy and social ecology, and covers:
- planned research of strategic nature, on a pluriannual basis, focusing on subjects relevant for the country and for the knowledge progress;
- research studies and advanced expert advising under contract to public and private entities, both national and foreign;
- promotion of the construction quality, that includes i.a. drafting of technical specifications, standards and regulations, testing, technical assessment of innovative products and systems, monitoring of construction works’ performance and certification of construction projects through the LNEC Quality Mark;
- dissemination of knowledge, and technical and scientific training, including co-operation with other bodies and organizations, at national and international level.