Building permit and action permit

According to Finnish law, a building permit is required for a variety of building projects. Application for a permit must be filed before the construction commences. In Kuopio region building permits are granted by the Kuopio Regional Building Supervision Authority.

A building permit is required for:

  • construction of a new building
  • repair or alteration comparable to building construction
  • extending a building
  • increasing the floor area of a building
  • repair or alteration with an obvious impact on the health and safety conditions of the building users
  • substantial alteration of the intended use of a building or a part of it
  • repair or alteration of the external envelope or technical systems of a building that may have a significant impact on its energy efficiency

Even if no building permit is required for a specific construction, application for an action permit may be necessary.

An action permit is generally needed in connection with permanent installation or location of structures such as

  • canopy, shed, outhouse
  • mast, tank or container
  • dock or pier over 20 m2
  • waste water treatment system
  • ground heat wells located in city code areas, areas requiring planning, areas where construction is prohibited, in ground water areas, and if the buildable land area is less than 5,000 m2

Before applying for a building or an action permit you will need a qualified designer who will help you with the permit application process, draw up the official project plans for permanent records and carry the liability for his/her work. A construction technician, civil engineer, construction architect or an architect with bachelor’s or master’s degree qualify as competent designers in common projects. We recommend that you hire a qualified designer as early as possible to help you manage the project wisely.
Before applying for a building permit or an action permit we also recommend that you contact the building supervision authority of the city to discuss the project.

Applying for a building permit or action permit

Permits can be applied on ”Lupapiste” webpage or by filing a written application with required attachments to the regional building supervision authority .
Written applications must be signed by owners of the building site.
Moreover, an application must be signed by a qualified designer.

Attachments to the application:

  • document proving that the applicant is the titleholder of the building site (legal ownership document, lease agreement, legal deed or similar)
  • 2 sets of building permit drawings (site map, plans, sections and elevations) and 1 set (site map and plans), depending on the building in question
  • hearing of neighbors in writing (all neighbors must be heard)
  • separate form for all buildings (RH1 and RH2 forms)
  • survey of ground and soil
  • waste water treatment system in rural areas
  • energy report (including energy certificate)

Depending on the building project, other documents may also be required in connection with a permit application. Liability for the application and its attachments rests with the qualified principal designer.

Submitting the application for a building permit or action permit

Application with attachments must be returned either to the service desk of the building supervision authority or to the main desk of the city council building.
Applications are processed on a weekly basis. Applications left before Friday will be processed the following week. In case there are any shortcomings of flaws in the application documents, the principal designer is notified. Being a professional, he/she will be able to provide the supplementary information to the building supervision authority. If the supplementary or corrected documents are submitted latest by Monday 9 am the following week, they will be processed during that week. When the application documents are corrected and completed, and there are no objections, the permit can be granted.

Average permit processing time is 21 days.

Construction must not commence until permit decision has gained legal force. An officeholder’s decision gains legal force 14 days, and that of the Building Supervision Committee 30 days from issue of the decision provided that no objections have been entered.

Applicant may be granted, against surety, the right to commence construction before the permit decision gains legal force in accordance with provisions of the Land Use and Building Act. A separate application containing the grounds for such a request is required.

For further information on legislation and regulations, visit the Ministry of the Environment