Case Finland

The launch of the Permit Point brought an end to traditional paper permit applications and transferred the service to a new digital era.

Municipal authorities process many different types of permits concerning construction and communal areas. In addition to permit processing, the building inspection unit receives questions and requests for construction advice. In Finland, they get over 1,5 million customer contacts and handle over 100 000 permits per year. It has been common for customers to visit municipalities’ service desks, and get in contact via phone and email. Applications and documents have been paper-based, and staff have had to manually enter information into their systems.

Our goal was to create a new web service that would make construction-related permit processes faster and easier. Together with The Finnish Ministry of the Environment, we created a service to meet the diverse needs of citizens, municipal authorities, architects and other construction business experts. As a result, the processing times are significantly shorter and applicant satisfaction has increased.

Build your home at one address

The Finnish Ministry of the Environment is responsible for several massive projects that digitize services relating to the built environment. Together with the ministry, we started to create a new electronic service, Lupapiste, which gathers all parties working with construction-related permits at one web address. Lupapiste is a meeting place for municipal authorities, citizens, designers and construction business professionals. It enables rapid and straightforward electronic access to vital information services, application processes and transactions.

Painless electronic transactions for builders

Construction companies and architects use Lupapiste to prepare project plans for the handling process – together with authorities. Applications and supporting documents are relayed directly to municipal systems in electronic formats. After a decision concerning a construction project, all construction-related municipal transactions can be made within the service. Lupapiste makes it possible to follow the permit and project process, and to see other parties’ comments and changes – in real time.

The service covers construction and operational permits, as well as environmental, investment, excavation and general area usage permit processes. Lupapiste also works as a national communications channel for construction permit-related information and customer service.

The service is intuitive and guides the applicant through various application processes. This has resulted in a dramatic improvement in the quality of applications. Electronic processing has also decreased the volume of phone and email enquiries. This has enabled municipal staff to focus their time on specialist tasks.

90% faster processing times

60 % of Finnish municipalities already use Lupapiste. Feedback on the user experience has been extremely positive. Lupapiste makes permit processes smoother and faster. It saves time for both the applicant and the municipality. Permit processing times have typically reduced from several weeks to just a few days. All documents and comments are clearly displayed in the service, and this means that the costly and time-consuming sending of paper documents and attachments to different parties is no longer necessary.

Results

  • National digital service for construction permit applications in Finland
  • In use already in almost 200 municipalities
  • All documents electronically processed, directly into municipal systems
  • Real-time permit follow-up process, with visibility to changes and comments
  • Application process times have decreased remarkably – up to 90% faster
  • Massive efficiency savings for authorities – and time savings for applicants
  • Significant improvements in application quality
  • Very high customer satisfaction
  • Easy-to-use for all stakeholders
  • 24/7 service availability