Factsheet: Land use and building

Land use and building

Key Information
The Land Use and Building Act aims to organise land use and building to create the basis for high quality living environments, to promote ecologically, economically, socially and culturally sustainable developments, to ensure that everyone has the chance to participate in open planning processes, to guarantee the quality of openly publicised planning decisions and participatory processes, and to ensure that a wide range of planning expertise is available. Decree states principals on investigation. Investigation must provide the data necessary for assessing the significant direct and indirect impact of the plan’s implementation on the following: people’s living conditions and environment; soil and bedrock, water, air and climate; plants and animals, biodiversity and natural resources; regional and community structure, community and energy economy and traffic; townscape, landscape, cultural heritage and the built environment. The National Building Code contains regulations and guidelines that complement the legislation in the Land Use and Building Act. The building regulations must be followed, but building guidelines are not obligatory, and other solutions may be used in construction as long as all the compulsory regulations are observed. The Land Use and Building Act also forms the basis for the maintenance and protection of Finland´s architectural heritage and cultural landscapes. Other legislation protecting the built environment and landscapes can be found in the Building Protection Act and the Nature Conservation Act (1096/1996) as well as statutes established in other administrative sectors (including the Church Act). The National Building Code contains technical regulations and instructions, which are given by decree. The regulations are binding, and concern the construction of new buildings. The regulations are applicable to renovation and alteration works only insofar as the type and extent of the measure and a possible change in use of the building require. The instructions are not binding but present acceptable solutions. Ministry of the Environment Decree on applying Eurocode standards in building construction in Finland.
The use of land and water areas and building activities on them create preconditions for a favourable living environment and promote ecologically, economically, socially and culturally sustainable development.