Purpose – The aim is to investigate if there are any indications that different types of clients in the construction sector, with seemingly different incentives, use different construction techniques.

Design/methodology/approach – The key data was obtained by personal interviews with actors in the transport sector but also by a survey and newspaper database search. The survey was directed to clients/ builders in rental multifamily housing companies.

Findings – Findings indicates that long- term contracts with bundling of construction and maintenance aren’t the main key to technical innovations in the construction sector. Even when the contractor is free to choose technique, they use established techniques in order to reduce risk. However, there is some support for the statement that more risks are taken by a builder when they plan to sell to less knowledgeable actors, like households buying condominium.  

Originality/ value – The paper provides empirical evidence and questions a number of statements concerning the behaviour in the context of long-term construction contracts.