The Nordic countries have agreed to strengthen cooperation around the harmonization of building regulations and standards. Greater harmonization has been found to promote a more integrated market for labor and products, with cost benefits for property owners, contractors and the public sector.
“NCC requested a harmonization of building regulations quite some time ago,” says Christina Lindbäck, SVP Corporate Sustainability at NCC. “In addition to the potential for major cost savings, it plays a crucial role in helping the Nordic countries to meet the emission reduction targets. We will now be able to achieve changes with a real effect on housing construction.”
The harmonization decision is outlined in a declaration presented to the Nordic Council of Ministers on May 29, 2018 in which the Nordic housing ministers describe how the Nordic region will be the world’s most integrated construction market and how they want to stimulate better and cheaper housing by making cross-border construction easier.
The Nordic ministers see a potential for future cooperation in order to reduce the CO2 emissions from buildings across their entire life cycle, from choice of building materials to operation and maintenance. Increasing the focus on sustainable materials, such as timber, in the construction process is also in line with the environmental objectives. The declaration also emphasizes the significance of a better knowledge base, innovation and digitalization as drivers of future legislative developments.
The next step for the Nordic Council of Ministers is to review the various regulations in their respective countries, and to strengthen networks across the Nordic construction industry in order to support a harmonization.