The Land Use and Building Act (132/1999) specifies the general conditions concerning building, substantive technical requirements, building permit procedure and building supervision by the authorities. The substantive technical requirements concern the strength and stability of structures, fire safety, health, user safety, accessibility, noise abatement and noise conditions, and energy efficiency. Besides the substantive technical requirements, section 117 of the act lays down the authority to issue decrees concerning the use and maintenance guidelines for buildings. Further provisions and guidelines concerning building are issued in the National Building Code of Finland.
Traditionally the regulations in the Building Code have applied to new buildings only. In the case of renovation or alterations the regulations have been applicable only when required due to the type and extent of the measure or use of the building or part of it that may be changed (unless specifically regulated otherwise). The aim is to allow flexibility in the application of the building regulations, to the extent possible considering the characteristics and special features of the building. As the Building Code is being revised, each of the new decrees will specify whether it is applicable to new building or renovation or alteration of a building.
Decrees on building to be revised by 2018
The decrees concerning building will be revised by 2018, in line with the amendments to the Land Use and Building Act that entered into force in 2013 (958/2012). During the transitional period the earlier regulations and guidelines in the National Building Code of Finland may be applied until new ones have been issued.
A key objective in the reform is to clarify the regulation of building and ensure consistency and predictability in the application of the regulations. The aim is also to reduce regulation.