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  • Building designer

    The certification of a Building designer is based on the Land Use and Building Act (in Finnish), as well as the decrees and guidelines complementing it (Ministry of the Environment: Legislation on land use and building (in Finnish). In accordance with Section 120 b of the Act, a Designer responsible for building design shall be named in a building project.

    Certification of a Building designer can be applied separately for new building (U) and for repairs and alteration works (K).

    In conjunction with the application for certification of a Building designer, it is possible to apply for registration as Architect in accordance with the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications (2005/36/EU).

    Application form

    Certification grades

    The certification grades in new buildings (U) and in repairs and alteration works (K) are:

    • Conventional
    • Difficult
    • Exceptionally difficult

    The certification grades are based on the requirement classes of design duties stated in the Land Use and Building Act.

    Certification requirements

    The certification requirements consist of requirements on education and work experience. A summary of certification requirements by certification grade is presented below. The requirements applied for repairs and alteration works (K) are presented separately to the extent they deviate from the requirements applied for new buildings (U).

    1. EDUCATION

    The requirements for education consist of a degree and studies. The required degree is based on the qualification requirements for designers, set in Section 120 e of the Land Use and Building Act. The requirements on the degree and studies complementing it are in accordance with the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the qualifications of designers of buildings (YM2/601/2015).

    Table. Requirements on degrees and studies by certification grade.

    GRADE DEGREE STUDIES
    Conventional A construction-related or technical degree appropriate for the building design task in question, at the minimum equivalent to an earlier technician’s or another relevant degree. A minimum of 90 credits in studies relating to building design and construction engineering, which shall include the following study credits:
    housing design, architectural construction and structural engineering, building service systems.The tasks of interior repair and alteration works can also be performed by a person who has completed the degree of a designer (Applied Univ.) including 90 credits of studies in interior architecture and construction engineering.
    Difficult A construction-related university degree appropriate for the building design task in question, or an earlier construction-related higher-level vocational or other degree. A minimum of 120 credits in studies relating to construction design and architecture, which shall include the following study credits:

    • history and theory of architecture,
    • design of public and service buildings,
    • housing design,
    • building service systems,
    • architectural construction and structural engineering.

    The tasks of interior repair and alteration works can also be performed by a person who has completed the degree of a Master of Art and Design or Interior Architect, including 120 credits of studies in spatial planning, interior architecture and construction engineering.

    Exceptionally difficult
    A higher university degree appropriate for the building design task in question A minimum of 150 credits in studies relating to building design and architecture, which shall include the following study credits:

    • history and theory of architecture,
    • design of public and service buildings,
    • housing design,
    • building service systems,
    • architectural construction and structural engineering.

    Regarding the degrees in architecture performed in the member countries of the European Union, the Annexes of the Directive on the recognition of professional qualification shall be applied (Professional Qualification Directive, 2005/36/EU. annexes V/ 5.7.1 Architects and VI Evidence of formal qualification of architects, subject to recognition on the basis of coordination of minimum training conditions). A comparison made by the Finnish National Agency for Education on the comparison of the degree with a Finnish degree shall be provided for a foreign degree.

    2. WORK EXPERIENCE

    The work experience required for the verification of certification of a Building designer is in accordance with the requirements on work experience stated in the qualification requirements for designers, set in Section 120 e of the Land Use and Building Act. The assessment of building design experience is based on the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the qualifications of designers of buildings (YM2/601/2015) and the Ministry of the Environment’s guideline on the requirement classes of design tasks (YM1/601/2015).

    Table. Requirements on work experience by certification grade in the certification of new building (U) and repair and alteration works (K).

     GRADE NEW BUILDINGS U REPAIR AND ALTERATION WORKS K
    Conventional A minimum of 3 years of experience in assisting with design tasks relating to at least conventional design tasks. The majority of the experience in design work shall be performed in building design tasks. * The same as in new building, but so that at least one (1) year of the experience shall be performed in design tasks of repairs and alteration works. *
    Difficult A minimum of 4 years of experience in conventional design tasks (this may include both assisting with design tasks and acting as Responsible Designer) and a minimum of 2 years of experience in assisting with difficult design tasks. In total, there shall be 6 years of work experience. * The same as in new building, but so that at least two (2) years of the experience shall be performed in design tasks of repairs and alteration works. *
    Exceptionally difficult
    A minimum of 6 years of experience in difficult design tasks ((this may include both assisting with design tasks and acting as Responsible Designer). A minimum of 4 years of the above-mentioned experience shall be performed as Responsible Designer in at least difficult design tasks. * The same as in new building, but so that at least three (3) years of the experience shall be performed in design tasks of repairs and alteration works. *

    *) In addition to the experience presented in the table above, relating to all grades, the applicant shall have experience at least in one project in assisting with building design tasks of the grade the verification is applied for.

    In the conventional or difficult grade, a minimum of 2/3 of the work experience shall be performed after completing the degree. Work experience performed during the studies shall only be accepted for the part of work experience performed after fulfilment of the required credits and that can be deemed as designing work (e.g. final draughting of designs is not accepted as designing). In the Exceptionally difficult grade, all work experience shall be performed after completing the degree that is required for the work task in question.

    3. TESTIMONIES

    The person applying for a certification shall name and provide contact information of a minimum of 2 persons issuing a statement, from which the certification board may request testimonies relating to the applicant’s qualification as a building designer in the requirement class the application is issued for. One of the persons issuing a state shall be an entity undertaking a construction project and/or their representative. The persons issuing the testimonies may not be from the same company/organisation as the applicant.

    4. APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION BASED ON TRANSITIONAL PROVISION

    The Act on the Amendment of the Land Use and Building Act, 41/2014, includes a transitional provision, according to which a person who prior to the effective date of the Act (1 September 2014) has been approved as certified for extremely difficult design tasks by the building inspection authority and thus can be deemed to have the requirements required for an exceptionally difficult design task, can be considered as a designer fulfilling the certification requirements. The certification in the Exceptionally difficult grade shall be delimited to apply for corresponding design tasks that were the basis for verifying to certification.

    The applicant’s education shall be at least a former degree of a Construction Architect. Regarding experience, the applicant shall fulfil the requirements set forth under item WORK EXPERIENCE.

    5. APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AS ARCHITECT

    In conjunction with the application for a Building designer, persons who have performed the degree of an Architect and prior to 2014, the degree of a Construction Architect, also have the opportunity to apply for the registration as Architect in accordance with the Directive on the recognition of professional qualifications (2005/36/EU). This registration cannot be applied for without the certification as a Building designer. The registration identification granted will be valid for the same period of time as the verified certification.

    Renewal of certification

    A verified certification will be valid for a period of 7 years at a time, after which the certification shall be renewed.

    By renewing a certification, the applicant shall prove that he/she has worked actively in the task determined by the verified certification. The application shall provide information on employment, work experience and updating training during the certification’s period of validity.

    1. WORK EXPERIENCE

    The requirement is a minimum of 3 years of work experience in certification grade in accordance with or higher than the certification, during the certification’s period of validity.

    2. UPDATING TRAINING

    The requirement is a minimum of 35 training hours of updating training that supports building design for the previous 7 years’ registering period.

    If the verification of certification is applied for in a requirement grade higher than before, it shall be applied for as new certification.

    3. RENEWAL OF REGISTRATION AS ARCHITECT

    The membership in the architects register will be valid for a period of time corresponding to the verified certification. The registration will be renewed in conjunction with the renewal of the certification. The renewal requires participation in qualification training supporting building design for a minimum duration of 105 training hours during the previous registering period. In addition to seminar and training events relating to design, building and construction managements, among others, research and development projects, as well as teaching tasks in the branch are also considered updating training. In addition to these, also architectural competitions and study trips are considered as updating training. One competition or a guided study trip will account for a maximum of 15 training hours. However, the requirement on updating training cannot be fulfilled solely by architectural competitions and guided study trips.

    Application instructions

    A certification or renewal of a certification is applied for using an application form that can be accessed by depressing the button APPLICATION FORM FOR CERTIFICATION at the top of this page. The application form provides detailed certification requirements and the instructions for applying for the certification.

    The processing and registering fees for the Application of certification are given under APPLY FOR CERTIFICATION

    Additional information on the application for certification as Principal Designer are given by the secretariat organization SAFA (In Finnish) responsible for maintaining the certification board of building designers.

    80 CERTIFICATION DESIGNATIONS