Inter­operability of the built environment information

The built environment involves a lot of information that is important for society and must be easy to access and use. Interoperability means that, when information is transferred between organisations, both the sender and recipient understand and interpret the information in the same way. In addition, the meaning of information does not change when information is transferred from one information system to another. 

The aim of the work on interoperability is to streamline the operations of the built environment sector even better by making the information used and produced by organisations and customers interoperable. When information is in an interoperable form, time and costs will be saved in the utilisation of the common information capital in both the private and public sector.

The Public Information Management Act (906/2019) obliges the ministries to maintain the general strategies for interoperability within their respective mandates. The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for information management and interoperability concerning the built environment. The project on the built environment information system Ryhti promotes interoperability and lays the foundation for better and more accessible information. The data models and lists of codes produced in the interoperability work serve as the basis for the Built Environment Information System created in the Ryhti project. 

Interoperability work based on close cooperation between the public and private sector 

Cooperation on interoperability takes place on a voluntary basis in working groups composed of more than 260 experts who are interested in interoperability. The organisations represented include the central government, municipalities, NGOs and companies. 

The work on the interoperability of information on the built environment is done through stakeholder cooperation in three thematic groups: semantic interoperability, enterprise architecture and standardisation. Besides these, there are sub-groups for promoting interoperability in the different fields of the built environment, i.e. land use, buildings and constructions, transport and regions, technical networks and the cultural environment. 

The work of the thematic groups is an open process of overall development where all those who are interested can register to participate - either in an active role or as an observer. The working language of the groups is Finnish. If you wish to register, send an email to [email protected]. The experts on interoperability of the built environment at the Ministry of the Environment can be reached at the same address. 

Interoperability is promoted in the built environment sector by drafting proposals and agreeing on common definitions for the concepts, lists of codes and data structures as part of the work of the thematic groups and in cooperation with the real estate and construction sector. Cooperation is also done on operations, processes and services, data, information systems and the services produced by these. 

Glossaries, lists of codes and data models produced in the interoperability work

More information

Juha-Pekka Maijala, Senior Engineer 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Built Environment, Housing and Cultural Environments Telephone:0295250173   Email Address:

Anssi Hänninen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Built Environment, Housing and Cultural Environments Telephone:0295250451   Email Address: