Skip to content

Glossaries on built environment adopted for use

Ministry of the Environment
Publication date 5.4.2024 10.01
News item

On 3 April 2024, the Ministry of the Environment approved a number of glossaries on the built environment for use. These include the Terminology of Built Environment with concepts related to land use, construction and housing, which has now been published in the Sanastot (Terminology) tool of the interoperability platform. Common definitions of the key concepts are required for digitalisation, and they also streamline the exchange of information between organisations as all parties understand the concepts used in the same way.

Work on glossaries on the built environment has been done since 2021 in connection with the interoperability work of the project on the built environment information system Ryhti. The terminology projects were completed in October 2023 and, after the quality assurance by the Ministry of the Environment, the glossaries are now available as ‘valid’ in the Sanastot (Terminology) tool of the interoperability platform. It is no longer necessary to redefine the key concepts related to the built environment in different organisations as they are now available in the common glossaries.

In total, there are almost 900 concepts in the four glossaries that have been published. The largest one is the Terminology of Built Environment, which contains more than 670 concepts ranging from land use planning to zoning and from construction permits to housing. The definitions are based on the concepts used in the Construction Act and Land Use Act that are being reformed. The three smaller glossaries on more limited topics are the Glossary of Cultural Environment, Accessibility Glossary and Glossary of Acoustics and Noise Abatement. 

Besides the terms, definitions and notes in Finnish, translations into Swedish and English are provided for all terms. In the Glossary of Cultural Environment the definitions and notes are also given in Swedish.

The terminology work was led by the Finnish Terminology Centre. Work was done in 11 working groups composed of about 70 experts from the Ministry of the Environment and several other organisations. Opportunities to influence the content of the glossaries were offered through consultations organised for each glossary. 

Terminology work on the built environment will continue in 2024–2025. The topics include construction and land use. Glossaries on the concepts related to transport and public areas and to technical networks should be ready in summer 2024. 



Anssi Hänninen
Senior Specialist
tel. +358 295 250 451
[email protected]

For any errors or needs for revision, please contact the Ministry of the Environment via email: [email protected].