Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the database created?

In the past, there have been no openly available data on emissions from construction products and construction in Finland. Therefore, a national database was set up to calculate the carbon footprint and carbon handprint of buildings. These calculations will be needed as the legislative control of the whole life-cycle carbon footprint of buildings will be in place by 2025.

The low-carbon assessment method for buildings developed by the Ministry of the Environment has been tested by construction projects since 2019. The renewed Land Use and Building Act provides for regulations promoting low-carbon construction, such as on the climate assessment of buildings and design based on digital information models.

What does the database contain?

The database shows, among other things

  • the carbon footprint of construction products
  • the carbon handprint of construction products
  • the scenarios for the recycling and recovery of construction products at the end of their life cycle
  • the waste percentages on construction sites
  • the technical lifetimes of frequently replaced products
  • the transport emissions data
  • the construction emissions data
  • emission data for different forms of energy and scenarios for the development of their carbon footprint for the coming decades
  • emission data on waste treatment

The database contains only general and typical information describing Finnish construction. It does not contain information about individual products or companies.

Who is it made for? Who uses it?

  • Designers (architects, structure, building services engineering)
  • Construction companies
  • Construction environmental consultants
  • Researchers
  • Cost accountants
  • Product manufacturers
  • Project management

Who made it?

The database has been compiled by the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) in close cooperation with the experts in the construction industry. The client is the Ministry of the Environment.

Does it cost to use the database?

No. Access to the database via the user interface and the use of the information via the interfaces provided is free of charge.

How is the database compiled and what is information based on?

The data in the database have been compiled in collaboration with environmental experts and construction professionals. More than 100 experts and professionals have participated in the creation of the database.

The database is based on existing public information and has been compiled from various sources, mainly environmental statements (including RTS EPD, EPD Norge, Environdec, IBU, other generic data if necessary, e.g., ÖkobauDat, ICE, VTT, IVL). Based on this, comparisons, selection and calculation of averages have been made. Industry expert groups from different product categories have been involved.

Data on construction, transport, demolition and waste management are mainly based on Finnish statistics and surveys. The database has been created together with the Swedish authorities and experts.

What does it mean in practice that the database was created together with Sweden?

The Nordic ministers responsible for the construction industry have agreed to work to harmonize future legislation on low-carbon construction and related development work to facilitate the construction business between the Nordic countries.

Finland and Sweden have jointly designed the data structure and user interface and will be the first to publish them. Feedback has been sought from other Nordic countries and information has been provided on the various stages of the work. The objective is a common format at the application developer interface, open information exchange and comparison, and the sharing of best practices.

What is the database information used for? Does the database create new obligations?

The database does not create any new obligations. However, it allows for regulatory control of future low-carbon construction.

The intention is that in the next few years, a precondition for obtaining a building permit would be to prepare a climate report. The climate report would show the harmful and beneficial effects of the building on the climate or the building's carbon footprint and handprint. These would be calculated using data from the construction emission database or, alternatively, environmental statements for construction products. A climate report should also be prepared for renovation projects subject to a permit.

Legislation on climate reports is to be adopted in connection with the reform of the Land Use and Building Act. Read more about the law reform:

In addition to regulatory development, the database provides information for research and product development needs.

Does the database contain all construction products in use in Finland?

The database contains the main construction products but does not cover every possible product. The database has sought to cover the most important generic products, services and processes for calculating. The coverage of the database will be developed in the future according to needs.

How do I add my product to the database?

Data for individual products is not stored in the database. The database contains only general or generic product information. The database does not contain environmental statements for individual products.

Do I have to provide information about my product?

Data for individual products is not stored in the database. The database contains only general or generic information about products and construction processes.

How often is the database information updated?

Based on feedback received at least once a year.

What is the schedule for further development of the database?

In spring 2021, feedback will be sought on the data content's technical implementation and connectivity. The final production environment is built on the basis of the feedback received. The first update of the content will be made on the basis of the feedback collected in the autumn of 2021.

How will the database be developed in the future? How to get involved

Feedback is collected continuously. In addition to collecting targeted feedback, discussion events are organised as needed. In spring 2021, the focus will be on technical implementation and connectivity.



Published 2021-03-04 at 15:34, updated 2023-04-11 at 11:15

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