Landscape review

State of play in the digitalisation of building permit digitalisation in Estonia, Finland, Germany, the UK, and Spain

According to the ACCORD Landscape Review report, over 80% of Finnish municipalities use an online building permitting system for submitting data needed for receiving the building permit. There are two online building permitting systems in use. Building drawings can be submitted as PDFs, but also as an IFC file in some municipalities, and IFC-based submission will be the new normal in Finland in less than two years, when the new Building Act will be in effect. 

Germany has developed an overall process of a BIM-based building application procedure based on a selection of use cases and implemented it as a prototype of an R&D project, where one construction project in the city of Dortmund in 2021, received a building permit based on BIM planning.



Estonia also has an online building permitting system for PDF or IFC-based submission, which all municipalities use. The building permit process includes 47 automatic checks against the Building Code. In the future, in addition to automated rule checking, technical data about the building will be extracted from the IFC model and sent to the building permit application automatically.

The UK has conducted research on developing building permitting, but currently, the process has a low level of digitalisation. Most local authorities operate and prefer submission via online portals, but paper-based applications are allowed.

In Spain, documents are submitted only in PDF or DWG format and no cases on digital BIM/GIS based permitting or compliance checking exist.