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The Portuguese Commission of Tunnels and Underground Space (CPT) is a group of professionals and companies associated with the underground works sector, integrated in the Portuguese Geotechnical Society (SPG). It is the national group representing Portugal as a Member of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES), by designation of SPG.

CPT is open to all those interested in the matters of underground structures, namely geotechnical studies, design, construction and operation, ranging from individual technicians (individual members) to design, construction and equipment companies, owners and concessionaires (collective members). CPT members may be members of the SPG or, in the case of non-geotechnical experts, SPG membership may be waived.

The activities carried out include courses, conferences and seminars such as: the 1st International Seminar on Tunnels and Underground Works in 2006, which had 191 participants, benefiting from the meeting of the Executive Council of ITA-AITES in Lisbon; the 1st Short Course, on the theme “Concrete Lining in Tunnels”, in 2007; the First Portuguese Conference on the Use of the Underground Space,in 2010.

Another aspect of great relevance is the creation of working groups on underground engineering topics, which are thought of as centres of development of specific ideas and projects. These groups are open to the participation of all interested members and allow a direct connection with the Working Groups of ITA-AITES, which strengthens the scope of knowledge discussion.

CPT intends to contribute to the construction of ideas in order to improve the quality of life of the whole community, through the domains it represents. The use of underground space as city heritage is a highly up-to-date topic that CPT intends to follow in an inclusive perspective.

One of CPT’s works of reference is the edition of the book “Tunnelling in Portugal”, which began as an activity of cataloguing the built works, as legacy of the subject, and crystallized in the edition of a book that, without being exhaustive, intends to portray and to record the emblematic works of underground space engineering in Portugal.

Regarding the present and the future, it is worth highlighting the creation of this web page, in which the activities developed and to be developed by CPT will be shared, namely: the organization of courses and conferences, the activities and documents of the Working Groups and the dissemination of relevant documents from the Portuguese representation in ITA’s Congresses and General Assemblies. The site aims to be a vehicle for CPT communication with its members and international associations, which share the same interests.


The Statutes of the Portuguese Commission of Tunnels and Underground Space (CPT) were approved by the General Assembly of the Portuguese Geotechnical Society (SPG) of March 14, 2008.


The CPT Board for the Quadrennial 2020-2024 is made up of:

Raul Sarra Pistone (COBA)

Nadir Plasencia (EDP)

Isabel Fernandes (SPG, FCUL)

Gonçalo Diniz Vieira (CML)

General Secretary
Luís Miranda (LNEC)

Adjunct Secretary
João Gouveia (Maquinter)

Honorary Members
João Bilé Serra (LNEC)
Frederico Melâneo (Ferconsult, ISEL)
António Pinto da Cunha (aposentado, LNEC)
Jorge Saraiva (Dinâmica Aplicada)
João Viegas (LNEC)

The board is appointed by the SPG board, with a four-year term of office.

Benefits of being a member

CPT members enjoy direct contact with the activities organized by CPT related to underground projects. All registrations and publications include special prices for CPT members.

Members are invited to participate in the working groups organized by CPT. The moderators and coordinators of the WGs shall be CPT members. CPT, at the request of the members, issues a member certificate as a curricular element.

Members can access CPT’s contact network, which includes companies and colleagues in the underground space engineering sector. Free access to the library service, technical journals and specific publications on this subject will also be granted.

Book "Tunnelling in Portugal"

The book “Tunnelling in Portugal” was presented at the 14th SPG Congress, in Covilhã, and at the ITA World Congress, WTC14, held in Foz de Iguaçu from 9 to 14 May 2014. It was also formally presented at a special session organized by the Portuguese Order of Engineers, on November 19th of that year.

As a work of dissemination of the Portuguese engineering successes’, the book “Tunnelling in Portugal” was presented by CPT in several specialty events held in different countries such as Italy, Colombia, Argentina, among others. A copy of the book was delivered to nearly 80 delegates from different countries participating in the 2017 ITA General Assembly, in Bergen, Norway.

In more than 450 pages intensely illustrated with photos, tables and colour graphics, the book presents in detail the most significant underground works built in Portugal. The book “Tunnelling in Portugal” is a bilingual edition, Portuguese and English, and had the support of several national companies.

It is structured in more than 65 worksheets, each sheet accompanied by an extended abstract, with a specialty paper layout, where the most important characteristics of the works performed, as well as of the excavation masses, design options, constructive solutions and safety systems, either in the construction or in the operation phases, are listed. The worksheets are authored by a total of thirty-four specialists, somehow involved in the works depicted.

The book consists of a presentation by Ricardo Oliveira (IAEG Past President) and four prefaces by Soren Eskesen (ITA-AITES Past President), J. Luís Machado do Vale (SPG Past President), Carlos Pina (LNEC President) and André Assis (ITA-AITES Past President).

SPG / CPT members and all interested persons may purchase the book through SPG.

The book cost is 30 euros for CPT members, 40 euros for SPG members and 60 euros for the general public. The shipping cost shall be added to this value (around 6 euros for Portugal, 13 euros for Europe and 24.50 euros for the rest of the world).

Payment is made through the Paypal payment platform. If you wish to purchase the book or need any additional information, please contact the SPG Secretariat at spg@lnec.pt or through phone number (+351) 218 443 859.

Download here

03/10/2018 RP-JBS/GDV

Health and Safety Best Practices Guide

The Portuguese Commission of Tunnels and Underground Space, through its Working Group 3 – “Safety and Health” took the initiative to prepare and write a proposal for a Health and Safety Best Practices Guide to be adopted in the construction phase of underground works and complement the existing legislation on the subject.

The Guide can be downloaded free of charge through the following link.


The International Tunneling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES), through its Working Group 5 – “Health and safety in works” has been publishing considerable information concerning health and safety in underground works. Several countries, such as England, Germany, and others, have already created their own documents (both legislative and guiding) to frame this theme.

Portugal, in turn, does not yet have a legislative or guidance document on the subject, being usually governed by Decree-Law 162/90, applicable only to mines and quarries. Decree-Law 41821 of 1958 (General Regulation of Civil Construction), on the other hand, does not deal with the specific preventive measures to be adopted in the event of underground works construction.

Given the specific nature of underground works where, added to the risks common to construction in general, there are also risks arising from working underground, namely the risks of exposure to dust, gases, run overs and falling materials from the excavation face, and in view of the need to establish which good practices it is advisable to adopt, it was considered urgent to create a Guide of Best Practices that would complement the aforementioned legislation.

In this context, the Portuguese Commission of Tunnels and Underground Space through its Working Group 3 – “Safety and Health” took the initiative to prepare and write a proposal for a Health and Safety Best Practices Guide to be adopted in the construction phase of underground works, particularly the ones which use Conventional / Sequential and TBM Excavation Methods.

Guide for the Contracting of Complex Geotechnical Works

The best construction practices of Complex Geotechnical Works promote the adaptation of the initially planned construction methods to the real working conditions, through a quick response to changes in the ground conditions, valuing the importance of contractual flexibility to achieve to achieve the goals which conduct the conclusion of a public contract.

Underground construction, for example, is very different from any other type of “sight” construction because the properties of the building material – the conditions of the ground – cannot be precisely known in advance. The unforeseen geological conditions, the dependence on construction methods and resources, the monitoring and analysis of the observation results and the inevitable construction risks are inseparable factors of the underground construction, and which gain particular importance in the construction of Complex Geotechnical Works, such as tunnels.

For this to happen in Portugal, it is necessary to promote the best contractual practices for both the design and the underground works, taking into account the current public procurement legislation.

This window of opportunity currently exists, as on August 31, 2017, Law No. 111-B / 2017 on public procurement was published. This law included a new amendment to the Public Contracts Code with the goal of complying with the obligation to transpose European directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU, 2014/25/EU and 2014/55/EU into Portuguese law, as well as to correct possible distortions and the poor application of current legislation. This law came into force on January 1, 2018. This circumstance assumes special relevance in the subject of Objective Modifications of the Contract in Complex Geotechnical Works, with natural relevance for tunnels.

The current version of the Guide is available and can be downloaded from the following link.

Event proceedings


Job Opportunities, Training and publications

1/27/2021 – CML / EPPGDL is hiring two technicians to strengthen its team during the construction of the Lisbon drainage tunnels, over the next 3.5 years.
One with ground experience in tunnels and the other with hydraulics experience.
The contest takes place on the Acingov platform, www.acingov.pt,
until the 1st of March.

For more information, see DRE Announcement and EXPLANATORY SUMMARY.

Training in Tunnelling Engineering in Portuguese Universities

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (IST)
Underground Space Course

Post-graduation – Advanced studies degree in Geotechnics for Civil Engineering (IST)
Study plan

Master in Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (FEUP)
Tunnels Project Course

Master in Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (FCTUC)
Underground Works Course

Master in Civil Engineering (Structures and Geotechnics) (FCT-UNL)
Underground Works Course

Master in Civil Engineering – Specialization Area in Structures and Geotechnics (UMinho-School of Engineering)
Underground Structures Course

Masters in Europe
Post Graduate Master’s Program: “Tunnels and Underground Structures: from design to operation” at INSA Lyon.

Masters supported by ITA in Europe
The International Tunnelling Association, in addition to promoting training in underground works, supports two master’s degrees in Underground Works, in Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and in the École Polythechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland).

Link to the ITACET Foundation webpage and updated links to the master’s degrees promoted by ITA.

Working Groups

CPT Board aims to encourage the creation of working groups that develop research and dissemination activities in tunnel engineering.

They may correspond to the working groups currently existing in ITA, for which they will function as support groups, or to themes of particular interest to the national technical background.

GT1 – Book “Tunnelling in Portugal” | Moderator: Raul Pistone

GT2 – Engineering and Legislation: Contractual Practices | Moderator: Gonçalo Diniz Vieira | Mirror of ITA’s WG3 – Contractual Practices

GT3 – Safety and Health | Moderator: Manuel Tender | Mirror of ITA’s WG5 – Health and Safety in Works

GT4 – BIM in Tunnels and Underground Works | Moderator: José Nuno Figueiredo | Mirror of ITA’s WG22 – Information Modelling in Tunnelling

WG5 – Research and Development – Life cycle of works | Mirror of WG2 (Research) and WG 21 (Life Cycle Asset Management) | Coordinator: Nadir Plasencia (EDP)

WG6 – Construction methodologies: Conventional and Mechanized Methods in Underground Works | Mirror of groups WG19 (Conventional Tunnelling, WG14 Mechanized Tunnelling, and WG 23 (Design and Construction of Shafts) | Coordinator: João Gouveia (Maquinter)

Young Members – Mirror of the YM group of ITA | Coordinator: Luís Miranda (LNEC)

Coordinator: Raúl Pistone (RP)


  • Drawing up a register of tunnels built in Portugal;
  • Publication of the book: Tunnelling in Portugal/Túneis em Portugal, published by CPT/SPG/LNEC;
  • Updating the register of underground works built in Portugal;
  • Lessons learned

Mirror WG2 – Contractual Practices – of ITA – AITES

Constitution: April 2015

Founding members:

  • Gonçalo Diniz Vieira (GDV) – Moderator | Civil Engineer
  • Carlos Baião (CB) – Geologist Engineer
  • Frederico Melâneo (FM) – Civil Engineer
  • Miguel Assis Raimundo (MAR) – Jurist
  • João Monteiro (JM) – Civil Engineer
  • Jorge Almeida e Sousa (JAS) – Civil Engineer

New members:

  • Bernardo Monteiro (BM) – Geologist
  • Marco Caldeira (MC) – Jurist
  • Raul Pistone (RP) – Geologist Engineer

History synopsis
WG2 was created with the main goal of building synergies in areas as diverse as geotechnical engineering, management and law / legislation, which have to join forces and work together to improve contractual practices in complex geotechnical works (GGW), in particular tunnels.

In a first phase, for two years (until 2017), CPT’s WG2 promoted the discussion among the various stakeholders of these CGW, through meetings, seminars and debates, and produced three documents, which were submitted to the legislator with Contributions for the review of the Public Contracts Code (PCC)., This took place in the context of the transposition into Portuguese legislation of the recent Community directives on public contracts and of the elaboration of the profound review that the PCC underwent in 2017, and which came into effect on January 1, 2018.

As early as 2018, shortly after the “new” PCC was put in place, on February 2, CPT’s GT2 organized the CPT Study Journey “Execution of Tunnels and CGW.What changes with the Revised PCC? Best International Practices”,an event held at LNEC that had institutional support from the Portuguese Order of Engineers, the Portuguese Bar Association and the Portuguese Association of Designers and Consultants. Reflecting the transversal character of the theme of the Journey, the participants, over 110 in total, were mostly professionals of underground works Engineering and of Law.

To this date (August 2018), and after 3 years, CPT’s WG2 has been present in 20 meetings with its members and other guests, attended the 2 national congresses of geotechnics held in the meantime, organized and participated in 3 conferences / journeys on this theme of contractual practices and elaborated the contributions for the revision of the PCC, which submitted to the legislator. At the international level, WG2 is represented in WG3 of ITA and has contributed to the revision of the document Contractual Practices – Framework Checklist for Subsurface Construction Projects, which is underway. It is also supporting the preparation of the new FIDIC book called “Emeral Book” with contractual rules for Underground Works.

Activity Plan 2019-2020
This year, CPT’s WG2 will conclude the CPT Recommendations for the contractual use of the “new” PCC in GCWs: a summary of the contributions submitted and proposals for the application of best contractual practices in Complex Geotechnical Works, particularly tunnels.

GT2 is also participating in a more extensive working group, which brings together other stakeholders associations of these CGW, and which is developing a Guide of Best Practices for the Contracting of Complex Geotechnical Works,which will eventually serve as a proposed recommendation from IMPIC, which is the regulatory entity for public contracts in Portugal.

GT2 will participate in WTC2019, with the submission of a paper with a summary of the work developed in Portugal by the GT2, within the framework of the steps taken to transpose European directives and their impact on the contracting of underground public works. It will also participate through its representation in WG3.

The WG2 aims to ease access to the best contractual practices used internationally, to Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking countries technicians. For that, it will translate into Portuguese the updated version of ITA’s WG3 Framework Checklist.

The importance of training and information of Portuguese engineers and technicians working in these large enterprises, many of which are complex at various levels but especially at the geotechnical one, makes it essential to create training sessions for contractual practices in GCW that CPT’s GT2 intends to promote, for all stakeholders: engineers and lawyers, managers, etc.

Contractual risk analysis and project review are other topics that CPT’s WG2 will analyse and address in the near future.

Mirror of WG5 – Health and Safety at Work – of ITA – AITES

Coordinator: Manuel Tender (RP) – Senior Security Technician and Lecturer in Higher Education


  • Mário Campos – “Mota-Engil
  • António Garcia – “EPOS
  • João Baptista – “Infraestruturas de Portugal, S.A.”
  • Pedro Bernardo – Territory Manager da “ORICA Mining Services Portugal”
  • Jaime Queirós – Engenheiro Eletrotécnico. Former Head of the Security Coordination Department, “EDP”
  • Vitória Rodrigues – Engenheira Geóloga. Senior Occupational Safety Technician

: In 2021, the main objective of WG3 was to draw up the document “Technical Guide on Safety and Health in the Design and Construction Phases of Underground Works” with a view to establishing a legislative framework on safety and health in underground works. This document has since been completed and revised, and is currently being prepared for publication by the CPT.

Mirror of ITA WG22 – Information Modeling in Tunnelling

Coordiantor: José Nuno Figueiredo (EDP)

Tutor: Gonçalo Diniz Vieira (CML)

In Portugal, as in the European Union and around the world, information management systems based on graphical models are being increasingly demanded by building owners and used by the various players in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction value chain.
The use of this type of platform and methodology will have significant benefits in terms of controlling costs, deadlines and the quality of projects, construction and the management of built heritage.
The CPT has set up a working group on the subject of BIM and Information Management in Underground Works, with the following objectives:

  1. To promote knowledge and application of the BIM methodology among the Portuguese technical community involved in the design, construction and operation of tunnels and underground works with a strong geotechnical component;
  2. Participate in national and international working groups related to BIM and disseminate the knowledge acquired in this area to the above-mentioned technical community;
  3. Actively contribute to the definition of the Level of Development (LOD) of specific objects of tunnels and underground works with a strong geotechnical component that are not specified by BIMFORUM.

Mirror of WG2 (Research) and WG 21 (Life Cycle Asset Management)

Coordinator: Nadir Plasencia (EDP)

Consultant: Prof. Jorge Almeida e Sousa (Univ. Coimbra)


  1. List and identify possible representatives of owners of underground assets in Portugal (Tunnel Books is a good basis for work)
  2. Promote a first meeting by videoconference with the various contacts
    • Identification of the different methodologies used in the inspection and monitoring of different tunnels in Portugal
    • Taking into account the different types of underground spaces, try to find the common lines of the methodologies used in the inspection, monitoring and maintenance of these structures in Portugal.
  • Participation in ITA mirror groups: WG2 (Research, Animator Elena Chiriotti, participates NP) and WG 21 (Life Cycle Asset Management, Animator Martin Muncke).

Mirror groups of WG19(Conventional Tunnelling, do WG14 Mechanized Tunnelling, and WG 23 (Design and Construction of Shafts).

Coordinator: João Gouveia (Maquinter)

Tutor: Raúl Pistone (Coba)


  • Registration and presentation of underground works underway in the country, particularly urban works in Lisbon and Porto:
  • Construction methods
  • Practical solutions for selected equipment
  • Technical and construction solutions for attack shafts
  • Webinar/Seminar on Shotcrete in Underground Works:(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXJYpoPT4CA – 15 Sep/2021)
  • A technical study visit to the Lisbon Metro and PGDL, depending on the progress of the construction work.

ITA YM group mirror

Started in July 2019

Coordinator: Luís Miranda (LNEC)


  • Rafael Espírito Santo (TPF)
  • Francisco Bernardo (COBA)
  • Tiago Andrade Gomes (CML-PGDL)


  • Participation in the international science event in Oeiras, with a presentation, especially aimed at secondary school students, of an introduction to tunnels and a practical exercise;
  • Organization of webinars for engineering universities related to the design, construction and operation of tunnels;
  • Organizing visits to tunnel works (ML, PDL) for ym, together with CPT;
  • Cycle of interviews with renowned professionals
  • Inviting new members to join the group.

Virtual Library

With joint organization of the Portuguese Commission of Tunnels and Underground Space of SPG and of the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering, the Study Journey “Execution of Tunnels and CGW. What changes with the Revised PCC? Best International Practices” was held on February 2, 2018, at the LNEC’s Congress Centre.Execution of Tunnels and CGW. What changes with the Revised PCC? Best International Practices” was held on February 2, 2018, at the LNEC’s Congress Centre.

This event was motivated by the transitional phase of the public contracting process in progress, following the publication of Law no. 111-B / 2017 of August 31, which is the ninth amending of the Public Contracts Code (PCC), and the respective coming into effect on January 1st, 2018.

The initiative had institutional support from the Portuguese Order of Engineers, the Portuguese Bar Association and the Portuguese Association of Designers and Consultants. Reflecting the transversal character of the theme of the Journey, the participants, over 110 in total, were mostly professionals of underground works Engineering and of Law.

In this Study Day it was possible to present and evaluate, from the Engineering and Law points of view, the legislative changes with an impact on the execution of Complex Underground Works, in particular tunnels.

There was also an opportunity to listen to the experience and recommendations of good tender practices, which have already been consolidated internationally by members of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA-AITES), in the development of guidelines and guides and in their practical application to large national and international underground works.

The program, which can be accessed at www.cpt.spgeotecnia.pt, included four modules, namely: (i) Today’s experience and the likely future; (ii) Management and supervision of public contracts; (iii) Best international practices, (iv) Round table and discussion. The various interventions can be downloaded at https://goo.gl/L8DAea and are presented in a joint compilation.

CPT intends to form a virtual library on tunnel engineering containing papers, theses, presentations, reports and other material of interest (including in video format). All members are urged to enrich this library, at the service of the Portuguese geotechnical community.

The presentations of the 1st Seminar on Tunnels and Underground Works, held on June 29 and 30, 2006 (http://www.ita-aites.org/cms/1562.html), are now available through the ITA’s website. Be sure to explore the ITA’s website, where a large amount of material of interest, such as papers, lectures, committee and working groups’ reports, is available for members.


CPT has enjoyed the generous and interested collaboration of a large number of sponsors in its events and in the preparation of the book “Tunnelling in Portugal”. Companies and entities that have been continuously present in this support are mentioned below.

AECOPS Associação de Empresas de Construção e Obras Publicas e Serviços

Atlas Copco



BIU Internacional

Brisa – Auto-estradas de Portugal, S.A

Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

COBA Consultores de Engenharia e Ambiente



EDP Energias de Portugal

Elsamex Portugal-Engenharia e Sistemas de Gestão S.A.

EPOS – Empresa Portuguesa de Obras Subterrâneas, S.A.

GEOTRILHO – Topografia, Engenharia e Projeto

Infraestruturas de Portugal, S.A.

Jetsj – Geotecnia Lda

Linklaters LLP


Maquinter de Portugal

Orica Mining Services Portugal, SA


CPT is open to the sponsorship of entities involved in activities in underground works.




Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC)
Av. do Brasil, 101
1700-066 Lisboa – Portugal

E-mail: cptuneis-spg@lnec.pt
Tel: (+ 351) 218 443 419
Fax: (+ 351) 218 443 021