Reinventing ourselves

Since 1971 when Racional Engenharia was founded, we have been known for our ability to innovate and reinvent ourselves using our accumulated knowledge and without changing our essence.

Our story is inspired by the concepts of construction rationalization and on the ongoing search for new forms of working and building. Furthermore, we have also always focused on aesthetics – both in terms of beauty and in the broader sense of the word which refers to ethics. As such, we seek congruency between our values and our practice.

Our pioneering spirit is demonstrated by our groundbreaking construction processes and mainly by our unique management model.


Newton Simões graduates in Civil Engineering from Faculdade Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo. During the course, he develops a passion for rationalization and productivity processes in civil construction.


Newton starts a post-graduation degree in Business Management at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo. As well as opening a new world of knowledge, the course also awakened in him the desire to learn deeper about new management models.

Newton Simões and three friends start up a company known for using innovative construction technologies. Brazil's economy is undergoing a favorable situation and the Brazilian industrial sector is booming.

On December 1st, the partners establish their new company with the trade name Racional Engenharia Ltda. The chosen name subconcsiously represents their obsession with engineering. A rented room in downtown São Paulo becomes their first head office.


After building a few residential projects and a couple of offices, Racional is commissioned to build its first industrial complex in the city of Araras, São Paulo State: Sucorrico S/A Indústria e Comércio.

Sucorrico plant

Racional is the first company in Brazil to use prefabrication with its own production model. As such, systems and equipment are developed to suit the Brazilian market. This made a huge success in the company's first 10 years of operation.


The company is commissioned to build a sugar cane mill named Abraham Lincoln. The mill is situated on the recently opened Transamazônica highway in the Amazon region. In order to carry out the project, Racional also builds a road and a port in order to reach the area where the mill is to be built. This is the first development in that region, a great achievement for a young company only recently opened.


The construction of the Dabi Atlante S/A factory in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State, is a milestone in the company's history. Both the industrial building and the administration building are entirely designed and built with precast parts using an innovative technology developed by the company. With a focus on rationalizing its construction processes, Racional's engineers improve this technology and adapt it for use all over the country. The company then goes on to create a process where pre-fabrication of structures takes place on any construction site across Brazil, regardless of its location. In other words, the product stays put, but the factory is mobile.

Dabi Atlante factory

Right from scratch, Racional embodies a complex view of the integration between engineering and construction. To better visualize this, a flowchart was created in 1974 presenting various activities undertaken by Racional such as planning, construction and implementation of a project. The original flowchart was restored in 2014 containing concepts that can be perfectly applied to the company strategies used today.


Racional moves its head office to its own building located in Pinheiros district in São Paulo.

No sooner than the company moves, it hires Cauduro & Martino Associados Architects to help strengthen the company image. Cauduro creates a brand that includes the company logo. Its clarity and aesthetics still influence the company management to date.


Racional is commissioned to build Club Méditerranée on the island of Itaparica, Bahia State, a 5-star tourist complex. Due to its difficult location, the project became a difficult undertaking and Racional had to overcome a series of logistics hurdles and shortage of materials that were common at the time.

The Brazilian Government ends the grant of subsidized interest rates for construction projects in the industrial segment. Racional starts looking into new markets, including shopping malls, hospitals and hotels.

Club Méditerranée at Itaparica


The financial crisis that hits the world in late 1970s affects the industrial sector where most of Racional's construction projects are concentrated. Neverthless, and without forsaking its origins, the company has various industrial projects underway. Two of such projects include the construction of the Rhodia plant in São Bernardo do Campo and the Union Carbide factory in Cubatão, both in São Paulo State.

The Proálcool Program, the Brazilian program for production of ethanol, boosts the construction market in Brazil. In the early 1980s, at the peak of the second oil crisis, new and substatial subsidies are announced by the Brazilian government for the construction of ethanol distilleries. Racional builds dozens of ethanol mills across Brazil, namely in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Maranhão, Goiás, Paraná and Mato Grosso. During this period of rapid growth in the Brazilian economy, Racional undertakes other major industrial projects such as the construction of Permetal, IBM, Bombril and Coca-Cola plants.

IBM do Brasil Building
Pão de Acúcar Hypermarket first store

As it taps into new markets, Racional wins the Brazilian retailer Pão de Açúcar account and untertakes construction of the company's first hypermarkets in Brazil. This poses a challenge for Racional due to its short timeframe: approximately 100 days to build stores measuring 25,000 square meters.


Racional builds its first shopping mall in the city of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State, and delivers it one month before the scheduled deadline. The client Multiplan was so pleased with Racional's performance that it soon becomes the company's most loyal client.

The company moves to a new head office on Raposo Tavares highway in west São Paulo and remains there for nearly 25 years. The goal of the move is to create full facilities where the company's operations could be centered in an integrated manner, including all of its equipment. The company creates a collection of contemporary art that contrasts with the minimalist décor of the new office so as to stimulate and develop the employees' sense of aesthetics.

Former Racional Raposo Tavares head office


During the construction of the IBM headquarters building in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Racional holds a competition among local artists to display their works on the hoardings around the construction site and give it a fresh, attractive look. The hoardings around another construction site for the C&A Distribution Center at Alphaville, São Paulo State, display huge white elephants, created by the artist Guto Lacaz, a fun analogy of the building as a white elephant in the neighborhood.


Racional is commissioned to design and build the construction project for the Sadia Logistics Center in Paranaguá, Paraná State. The original construction includes a pre-fabricated lattice splint into two parts 38 meters apart. The lattice work is pre-stressed after assembly.

Racional is a pioneer in the development of sustainability initiatives to reduce the impact of its construction works on the neigbhoring areas. The company creates a new wheelwashing process used for the first time in the constrcution of São Luís School on Av. Paulista in São Paulo.


The Plano Cruzado economic plan is introduced as the first attempt to stabilize the Brazilian economy. The freezing of prices causes an enormous imbalance in local markets.


Racional first develops its Trainee Program to strengthen its management culture. This is a pioneering program in the civil construction sector in Brazil – and still is.

Racional first Introduces its pioneering adult literacy program Educar é Crescer (Learning and Growing) at construction sites across Brazil to help construction workers to read and write. Since its inception, the program has enabled many workers to reach university level. To date, over 3,500 workers have taken the program.

Educar é Crescer Program graduation ceremony


Construction of the Pátio Paulista Shopping Mall, an iconic project that poses a great technological challenge. The mall stands on the site of the old Sears Department Store and the old foundations have to be replaced with new and deeper foundations while the store is still open. The unprecedented load transfer from one pillar to a temporary pillar while the new structure is being built is mentioned by a specialist French magazine.

Pátio Paulista Shopping Mall


A new economic plan (Plano Collor) is introduced in Brazil and freezes most of the country's private accounts. Eighty percent of Racional's overnight investments deposited in banks are frozen, but the company is still able to complete its projects such as the construction of the West Plaza e Aricanduva shopping malls in São Paulo.

Aricanduva Shopping Mall
West Plaza Shopping Mall

The company introduces new concepts in construction contracts in the Brazilian market: Value Engineering, Cost Management and Guaranteed Maximum Price.

1990 1994

Between the Plano Collor and the introduction of the Plano Real, Racional accomplishes key projects such as the construction of the Kaiser brewery facilities in Jacareí, São Paulo State, the construction of another brewery facility in Ponta Grossa, Paraná State, and various shopping malls such as Plaza Sul, SP Market, and the previously mentioned West Plaza and Aricanduva malls.

Kaiser Brewery plant at Jacareí


The construction of the BankBoston building in downtown São Paulo is a major milestone in the development of Racional's new management model which integrates engineering and pre-construction services into its construction projects under the CM@Risk contract model.

BankBoston Building


Design and construction of the new Rede Globo studios on Avenida Engenheiro Luís Carlos Berrini in São Paulo under the Design & Build contract model.

Rede Globo studio


Initial implementation, expansion and adaptation of the Ford assembly plant at Camaçari, Bahia State. Racional is hired as a CM@Risk contractor.

Racional is commissioned to build the Grupo Pão de Açúcar new headquarters in São Paulo, including design, engineering and construction services of three underground floors.

Construction of the Philip Morris plant in Santa Cruz do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul State.

Ford Camaçari plant


Racional is commissioned by the meatpack processing company Perdigão to build one of the world's largest agricultural and industrial complexes at Rio Verde, Goiás State. Construction of this manufacturing plant results in a 30% increase in the company's production capacity.

Perdigão processing plant


Racional wins the Ford Award for compliance with its stringent requirements::

  • Brazil Award: Supplier of the Year

  • Internacional Award: Gold World Excellence Award. Newton Simões receives the award from the Ford CEO at its headquarters in Detroit.

Construction of the Abril Theatre in São Paulo is characterized by the restoration of a historic and listed building which is turned into a state-of-the-art theater combining art, modernity and technology.

Pre-construction services are definitely incorporated into the company's portfolio as a key competitive edge and the result of its expertise.

Racional is a pioneer in the introduction of the pre-construction concept in Brazil.

A few audits are introduced in the year 2000 through Racional's Integrated Management System. The Environmental Management System is also introduced on construction sites.

The Good Neighbor Program is created to streamline the communication between Racional's construction sites and their neighboring communities. Held in a breakfast format, the program promotes a dialogue with neighbors living around the site by explaining the dynamics of the construction, introducint the construction team and listening to suggestions from local community members. Many initiatives are then undertaken by Racional during its construction projects to mitigate the impacts of construction on the neighborhood as to noise, dirt, truck traffic, circulation of people, etc.

The Educar é Crescer Program starts offering Digital Inclusion courses lasting three months and intended for beginners and for those wishing to improve their computer skills. Racional employees and subcontractors may enroll.

Tivit Datacenter


Construction of Mission Critical Facilities require the assimilation of new technologies. These are highly complex hi-tech buildings such as datacenters, semicondutor plants and hospitals, etc that need to be fully monitored 24/7.

Racional builds the first datacenter in Brazil to house a Tivit (former Optiglobe) facility. Construction of this head office is among the latest and safest IDC technologies, designed to operate at full capacity 24/7 as a redundant system.

The facility's electrical system is equipped with industrial generators, 24-hour UPS power supply, dedicated battery rooms, and five power substations.


Racional wins the Top Ecology award granted by ADVB (Association of Brazilian Sales Managers). The following year the company is once again the recipient of this award.


Racional is commissioned for the construction and operation of a Convention Center and two corporate towers in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

From then on, the company starts its build-to-suit operations, i.e., made-to-order construction projects under a long-term lease contract.

SulAmérica hires Racional’s services under this contract regime to build and lease its new Rio de Janeiro head office.

SulAmérica Headquarter Building
Fasano Hotel

Construction of the Fasano Hotel, a São Paulo boutique hotel famous for its luxurious and high-quality facilities. Racional is commissioned for this project under a CM@Risk contract.

Racional builds the Torre Almirante in central Rio de Janeiro with over 60,000 m² of built-up area. One of its biggest challenges is the huge amount of rubble generated by the partial demolition of the former building. Racional decides to process 10,000 m³ of rubble and recycle it on site to produce concrete blocks, tiles, bricks, light precast elements, and other items. A considerable part of these materials was donated to the state of Rio de Janeiro for use in social programs.

Racional launches its Lições Aprendidas (Lessons Learnt) program consisting of a series of lectures for the dissemination of knowledge on technology projects.


Racional changes its pyramid organization structure to a horizontal nuclear organization model where each core group is led by a company senior officer. The company clients, virtually ignored in its former organization charts, takes center stage.

Racional participates in the renovation of major buildings in the city of São Paulo like MASP, MUBE, Augusta Theatre and the Nova Atitude NGO building. It is further commissioned to revamp a decadent arcade building in downtown São Paulo (Galeria Prestes Maia) and transform it into a new venue for fashion events and exhibitions.

Galeria Prestes Maia Building


Racional moves its Raposo Tavares headquarters to the state-of-the-art Millenium Condominium Building in the São Paulo district Vila Olímpia, a project developed and built by Racional.

The Brazilian economy starts to boom and the country's markets grow, but Racional is focused on planned, conscious and sustainable growth.

Millenium Condominium Building


Racional is commissioned for a new built-to-suit project in downtown Rio - the Cidade Nova Building, the first commercial building in Brazil to achieve LEED certification. It is living proof of the company's pioneering spirit in the execution of sustainable projects.

Cidade Nova Building (Rio de Janeiro State)

Racional builds the Mahle Technology Center in an environmental protection area in Jundiaí, São Paulo Center. Construction of the facility required special care to avoid interfering with the natural environment surrounding it.

Mahle Technology Center

For over a decade Racional has provided a wide range of services to Ford Motor Company, including various engineering projects and the construction of its industrial complex at Camaçari, Bahia State. Ford's management system requires that all waste generated from the construction of the plant be reused.

Racional wins the Q1 Ford Quality Award, which qualifies the company to build any Ford industrial plant anywhere in the world.


From its experience with ISO 9000, 14000, OHSAS 18000 and PMBOK certifications, Racional creates a new project management model: the Racional Program for quality and performance (PRqd). This model establishes the operational governance adapted to the company's reality and business environment.

Sadia Processing Plant


Racional builds the new Sadia processing plant at Lucas do Rio Verde in Mato Grosso State, a groundbreaking project in the Brazilian agricultural and industrial segment. The plant becomes the main agricultural and industrial integration hub in the country.

Centeranel Raposo Logistics Park

The 107,000 m² Centeranel Raposo Logistics Park is built and operated by Racional and sets a benchmark in this market segment. The facility stands out for its reliability and location.


São Paulo's Albert Einstein Hospital commissions Racional to build its Avenida Brasil, Alphaville and Francisco Morato units. Furthermore, it signs another contract for construction of the 1st and 2nd phases of Building 1 in its Morumbi facility with floor area of 67,000 m². This is Racional's 500th construction project and one the largest hospital projects ever built in the country with exceptionally high quality and performance standards.

Albert Eisntein Hospital
CEITEC plant


The ITCnet SustentaX Award recognizes Racional as the country's most sustainable construction company.

Racional builds the country's first semiconductor manufacturing plant for CEITEC (Excellence Center in Advanced Electronic Technology) in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul State.

Shopping Village Mall

Vocational courses become a permanent part of the Educar é Crescer Program to enhance the technical and professional skills of site workers. Courses include concrete block laying, wall cladding, painting, and drywall installation, among others courses offered in partnership with SENAI.

Seconci-SP Award

Racional wins the 1st edition of the Seconci-SP Occupational Health and Safety Award, which recognizes best practices on construction sites located in the state of São Paulo. The jury unanimously selects the Morumbi Corporate Building worksite as the winner in the Prevention and Guidance on Occupational Health category.


Racional delivers a major project to Grupo Multiplan in Rio de Janeiro: the Shopping Village Mall, one of Brazil's most sophisticated shopping facilities.

Racional builds the Telefônica Vivo Datacenter in Santana de Parnaíba, São Paulo State. This is the first datacenter in Latin America to achieve LEED certification (Gold category). This achievement reinforces Racional's pioneering spirit in the development of sustainable buildings.

Telefônica Vivo Datacenter (São Paulo State)


Seconci-SP Award

In partnership with SEBRAE-SP, SINDUSCON-SP and HM Segurança do Trabalho, Racional creates the Construction Entrepreneurs program, a groundbreaking and innovative course in the industry offering basic education in Business Management to suppliers. In 2014, Racional registers the program's brand name.

The 2013 edition of the Seconci-SP Occupational Health and Safety awards four projects undertaken by Racional.


Racional delivers the GE Global Research Center in Rio de Janeiro and the new Hilton Hotel, located in Barra da Tijuca, also in Rio.

GE Global R&D Center (Rio de Janeiro State)
3rd Seconci-SP Award

At the 3rd Seconci-SP Occupational Health and Safety Award ceremony, Racional receives a Gold rating in the Health Control on Construction Sites category. In the three editions of the event held so far, Racional has won seven awards in different categories.

At the 1st Seconci-SP Environmental Award, Racional receives a gold rating in Environmental Management of Areas Neighboring Construction Sites.

Elected best company in the Construction and Engineering industry by Valor 1000 Annual Directory publishe by Valor Econômico newspaper.

Delivery of the Itaú Technology Center at Mogi Mirim, São Paulo State. The facility boast 150,000 m² of built-up area spread over 815,000 m² – equivalent to 114 soccer fields. It is the largest datacenter in Latin America.

Itaú Technology Center (São Paulo State)
Sirius Project

Racional undertakes construction of the largest and most complex scientific infrastructure project ever to be built in Brazil. Baptized as the Sirius Project (named after the brightest star in the sky), consists of the new 4th generation particle accelerator of the Síncrotron National Laboratory (LNLS), the most modern in Latin America, currently being developed by CNPEM (National Center for Research in Energy and Materials) in Campinas, São Paulo State. This is one of the most sophisticated construction projects in Brazil with unheard of requirements for mechanical and thermal stability, a big challenge faced by the Brazilian engineering industry. This is the recognition of Racional's technical capability to deliver highly complex projects.


Construction of the first Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing plant built outside the United Kingdom. Racional is hired under a Design & Build contract providing from architectural design services to construction systems, electromechanical installations, access control and even landscaping services.

Tietê Plaza Shopping Mall (São Paulo State)

Tietê Plaza Shopping Mall built by Racional receives LEED certification in the Gold category. This is the first shopping mall in São Paulo State to achieve the Green Building rating.

Racional enters the Infrastructure market with the construction of the new passenger terminal at Belo Horizonte International Airport in Minas Gerais State. Works were completed on time and on budget, and enabled the company to operate competitively in this market.

Belo Horizonte International Airport


Racional is commissioned by Albert Einstein Hospital, a client for over 20 years, for the pre-construction and construction of its new Teaching and Research Center, set to be an iconic building in São Paulo. The project is signed by the renowned architect Moshe Safdie, who is responsible for emblematic projects in Asia and the Middle East, such as Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Resort and Singapore International Airport.

Einstein Learning and Research Center
Florianópolis International Airport


Initial pre-construction phase of the new terminal at Florianópolis International Airport in Santa Catarina State. Under a Design & Build contract, this project helped the airport’s concession operator, Flughafen Zürich AG, to consolidate its business in Brazil. Construction was completed in just 14 months and on budget. In 2020, Florianópolis Airport was elected Brazil’s best airport.