No. 44




Green Transition in Construction

08 December 2021


RiTo No. 44, 2021

  • Jüri Rass

    Jüri Rass

    Deputy Secretary General for Construction at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

  • Ivo Jaanisoo

    Head of Department of Construction and Housing at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

The green transition through the prism of the construction industry is simply a well built and efficient house, park, city street, or block that is in total harmony with its surroundings.

The green transition is not a new distinct challenge but simply a prolongation of the current trends that brings with it options for solving other major problems of our living environment. In Estonia, we need to implement the green transition with a strong dose of the common sense that we value so much. We need to introduce only the aspects that enhance the development of our living environment, ensuring not only sustainability but also long-term financial savings and wellbeing for Estonia’s residents. In this we would be more than happy to match sustainability with style – a great focus in the New European Bauhaus context – to help us best express the Estonian identity in our living environment. Well-built symbols often become international calling cards for countries or cities.

The construction industry would boom if all the parties share the same goals in shaping the best living environment. We must not underestimate the importance of preparation. The state is the most capable party for shaping a good construction culture, ensuring the adequate time frame and other resources for planning new projects. A project that has been well thought out from the point of view of sustainability as well as other high quality space criteria would allow us to build a faultless result without wasting time or money. If the government prefers to plan ahead it has all the means to do so, basing its spatial decisions on international agreements, efficiency, and the human dimension.

The green transition in construction is primarily an economic challenge which can be achieved through smart decisions in investing, planning, designing, and building. We cannot make these decisions in haste because good cooperation will ensure the best quality, and the best use of money and time. The public sector must lead the way in the thorough and long-term planning of this complex sector. The investment decisions made by the central government as well as by the rest of the public sector must be based on a common predictable structure, contributing to achieving the objectives of spatial planning along the way. To build a link between the budgetary decisions and spatial visions, it is crucial and time critical to start a parallel renewing of the national planning activities and draft a high-quality living environment development plan.