We advised the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications on the digitisation of the construction industry.

A step towards a more efficient construction sector

The digitalisation of the construction sector makes it possible to make the operation of the construction sector more efficient during the life cycle of the building. Problems hampering the development of the sector include its environmental footprint and high energy consumption’ wasting time, money and materials; poor occupational safety; and low productivity, entrenched patterns of thinking and patterns of behaviour, and a lack of cooperation between the various parties are also significant problems.

The aim of digitisation is to ensure that the various parties involved in the design and use of a building understand the information relating to the building in the same way and can process it using similar methods.

Our role

We supported the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications with the analysis of various legal issues arising from the implementation of the legal framework for digitisation in the construction sector and the Construction Code.

We also advised the client on issues connected to making information related to the design and use of the building more readily available, and on restrictions on the disclosure of information. In addition, we analysed the problems encountered in the implementation of the Building Code, such as the distinction between a building and a structure, the distinction between reconstruction and the erection of a new building, the practice of granting design conditions, the time required to carry out procedures, and problems related to special buildings.

Within the framework of digitisation and the EhS audit, we cooperated with professional organisations, local government and relevant government agencies. Within the framework of the analysis, the University of Tartu analysed the economic effects.

Impact on the entire Estonian economy

The project is significant, providing a retrospective assessment of the Building Code and related legislation. As part of our advice, we also prepared proposals to amend the Building Code, as well as preparing overviews of the impact of the amendments.

The construction sector plays a very important role in the Estonian economy. In 2019, the share of Estonia’s GDP made up by the construction sector was 7%. In 2018, there were more than 11,000 companies (13% of all Estonian companies) operating in the construction sector, employing one tenth of the Estonian workforce, almost 50,000 people.

Our client team

The Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications was advised by our construction law experts: senior associate Sandra Mikli and associate Andra Grünberg.