Classification of Buildings 2018

    • The Definition is missing.
    • The Classification of Buildings is intended for classifying buildings by their intended use. The classification can also be used as the classification of premises. The classification is intended only for the classification of house-type buildings. The classification does not include products of civil engineering and of secondary contracts and sub-contracts.

      The major applications of the Classification of Buildings are the Register of Buildings and Dwellings maintained by the Population Register Centre, along with the statistics describing the production and stocks of buildings and dwellings derived from the register and the volume index of newbuilding. The classification can be used to examine people's living conditions, location of different activities and their fixed operating conditions.

      The Classification of Buildings is part of the public administration recommendation 186, Compilation recommendation of classification recommendations.

    • The Classification of Buildings classifies buildings by their primary intended use. The spaces and space requirements of the building must be characteristic of its purpose of use category. The target unit of the classification is a building containing space intended for housing or other activities. For example, a residential building contains space meant for housing, such as bedroom, living room, cooking, storage and washing facilities. Because the space and space requirements of the building are determined by the requirements of the activity there, the Classification of Buildings can also be used as the classification of premises.

      Correspondingly, the space distribution of the building can be used as a tool for determining its purpose of use. In some part of the classification, such as in the category names for shopping and industrial buildings there is the name “hall” relating to the structure and exterior of the building (shopping hall). The hall-like space of the building cannot in these cases be regarded as the classification principle because a hall-like shop is in many respects different from a department store in its space and characteristics (e.g. representativeness and experience of spaces).

      The Classification of Buildings is intended only for the classification of house-type buildings. Civil engineering building targets, structures such as roads, streets, bridges, tunnels, airports, channels, dams, power lines, outdoor exercise facilities, sewers and jetties are excluded from the classification.

      In the Population Information System’s building and dwelling data the building’s purpose of use is determined when granting a building permit in connection with newbuilding construction or change of licensed use purpose. Ultimately, the common practices of municipal building supervisors determine what kinds of structures are buildings and what buildings or structures require a building permit and what renovation or repair work is regarded as changes in its use purpose.
      A building (premises) is mainly classified into a certain classification category by the intended use of the largest share of total area or its floor area with a building permit. However, only such buildings where the living space is more than one-half of the gross floor area are defined as residential buildings.
      An exception to these rules is the category “Other buildings”, to which only small buildings of minor importance can be classified, such as outbuildings and sauna buildings in connection with residential buildings and summer cottages, for example. Important outbuildings of sufficiently large size are classified in the main and sub-group to which they are mainly intended.
      Relationship to other classifications
      The Standard Industrial Classification classifies units engaged in economic activities, while the Classification of Buildings classifies physical units, buildings or premises. The Standard Industrial Classification is used primarily when classifying establishments, enterprises, and so on.
      In the Standard Industrial Classification the nature of the economic activity determines the industry. For example, an activity is classified as industrial manufacturing regardless of whether the activity takes place in a factory, at home or outside buildings. The Classification of Buildings covers only the part of activities that require industrial building space built for the activities such as industrial manufacturing. Because the use purpose classification of the building is based on the nature of the main type of activity practised there, a link key utilising this characteristic can be formed for the Standard Industrial Classification and the Classification of Buildings.


      A building is a construction with space. The space and space requirements included in the building are determined by the requirements of the activity there The space requirements may be measurable spatial features such as form or height, measurable physical features such as the quality of space interior air, experienced features such as space architecture or suitability to the planned use.
      The Classification of Buildings does not make a principled difference between superterranean and subterranean buildings. Caves and other subterranean spaces are not buildings if they are mainly enclosed within rock or similar walls and they do not contain structures comparable to the interior structures of buildings proper, for example, underground oil tanks.
      Light-structured stalls, kiosks and so on, as well as transportable caravans, ships and so on are not classified as buildings.
      Premises are a building or its part, which are managed by the same natural or legal person and are used for other activity than housing. If the same person both lives and engages in other activity in the same building, the space used for other than own housing is defined as premises. The premises include all separate spaces, such as room spaces, storages, utility spaces and so on, so the internal spaces of premises are not further specified.

      A dwelling is a room or a suite of rooms that is equipped with a kitchen, kitchenette or cooking area intended for permanent housing. A dwelling must have a separate entrance that does not go through another accommodation.

      A residential building for communities is a building where residents have communal kitchen, living and/or sanitary facilities. A residential building for communities does not usually have dwellings according to the definition mentioned above.

    • The previous Classification of Buildings was confirmed in 1994. The content of the classification has changed clearly for some main categories. In addition, the coding of the classification was changed into four digits. The integration of the classification is for the most part straightforward, but more challenging for some categories. Statistics Finland's Building classifier service helps in the integration. In addition, a conversion key from the old classification to the new one is given as an appendix to the publication.

      The new classification has 15 sections and they are indicated with two digits. The old classification had 13 sections and they were indicated with characters. New sections are 10 Energy supply buildings and 11 Public utility buildings. The buildings of these sections belonged to the section of Industrial buildings in the previous classification.

      Mining and quarrying buildings belonged in the 1994 classification to the sub-group of industrial production buildings “Other industrial production buildings”. In the Classification of Buildings 2018, mining and quarrying is separated into a specific category. In addition to this, heavy industry production buildings were separated from “Other industrial production buildings” into one sub-group of industrial production buildings. The reason for the classification change has been to separate building types with clearly differing characteristics from the “residual category” other industrial production buildings, and thus also lay a better foundation for the definition of category-specific building costs of industrial production buildings.

      In the Classification of Buildings 2018, the classification principle is no longer the industry of warehouse users, but the suitability of the warehouse facilities for storage of different types of goods, such as frozen food, root crops, concrete reinforcing steel, timber and pharmaceuticals. Then similar kinds of warehouse premises can be used by enterprises of many different industries for their activity. Warehousing as an industry has also renewed and developed considerably from 1994. For example, there are now new types of small storages with controlled conditions and big logistics centres jointly used by many trade groupings, and cold and freezer warehouses.

      In addition to these types of warehouses, the new Classification of Buildings has the categories unheated warehouses, heated warehouses and sheds. It is natural that different types of warehouses also have building costs of different sizes. The renewal of the classification of warehouses is the largest change in the classification of 2018 compared with 1994. Another significant change is a more detailed classification of agricultural buildings than earlier.

      In concepts, the biggest change in the classification of 2018 compared with 1994 is the extension of the group of residential buildings by two new categories describing new forms of housing, residential buildings for communities and dwellings for special groups. Compared with conventional residential buildings, both categories have exceptional space and equipment solutions such as common kitchen, lounge or sanitary facilities.

      In addition, the living space is not a dwelling unit but a dwelling room suited for continuous living use. In dwellings for special groups, housing always involves various care and support services. As in other residential buildings, housing in residential buildings for communities and dwellings for special groups is based on tenancy or ownership of the dwelling (a dwelling unit or room).

    • The classification is compiled for national needs and it is not based on an international recommendation. However, the EU uses a classification differing from Finland’s national classification, the Classification of Types of Constructions, CC (Version 15 October 1997. Eurostat, 1998). In addition to house-type buildings, the CC includes final products of civil engineering (structures) as well. The classification was designed on the basis of the UN’s Central Product Classification CPC (Provisional Central Product Classification. United Nations, 1991) so that the CPC division 52 Constructions with its sub-divisions is used as the basis of the EU's Classification of Types of Constructions. The latest version of the present CPC is from 2015 (version 2.1).
      In the Classification of Buildings, in the CC and CPC classifications, house-type buildings can be classified into residential buildings and other than residential buildings. The Classification of Buildings follows the principle of the CC to separate residences for communities from residential buildings into a specific category. For both residential buildings and other than residential buildings, the Classification of Buildings is much like the CC. However, heavy industrial production buildings, mining and quarrying buildings or complex constructions on industrial sites are not considered buildings in the CC.
      The main categories of the Classification of Buildings can to a large extent be combined with the main categories of buildings in the EU's INSPIRE directive (Residential, Agriculture, Industrial, Commerce and Services, Ancillary).
      The Ministry of the Environment has published instructions for supplementary regulations by which it can be seen what types of buildings are suitable for which plan area. In the instructions, the buildings are classified at a considerably less detailed level that in Statistics Finland's Classification of Buildings.

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