The statistics on building activity are compiled on the basis of the 1998 Law on Statistics of Building Construction. These statistics cover the permits issued for building construction (Permissions) and the construction work completed (Completions). The item directly surveyed is the building, which is either classified as residential or non-residential and further categorised by type of building. Residential buildings are thus classified as one-, two- or multifamily houses or as residential homes.
Residential Buildings are all buildings with at least 50% residential use (referring to total floor space)
Dwellings are defined as a unit of one or more rooms, including a kitchen or kitchenette. Apart from mandatory water supply, toilet and sink a dwelling must have lockable access from either a stairway, a vestibule or outdoors.
Rooms include all rooms with at least 6 sqm living space, including kitchens.
The statistics on building activity only record building projects requiring a building permit or equivalent construction works whose aim is to create or alter housing space or usable space. The majority of those projects are new structures, while the remaining part encompasses additions and alterations to existing buildings such as building rooms into the attic. The decisive criterion is that a building permit is required for the project. Consequently, the extensive sphere of maintenance and repair is not covered by the statistics on building activity. Nor do the statistics on building activity supply data for building construction as a whole - that kind of information has to be collected mainly through the surveys taken at local units. In essence, the statistics on building activity record additions to and retirements from the stock of buildings, using indicators such as the number of buildings, dwellings, living floor space, useful floor area and walled-in space. Hence, they present a substantial part of the building activity primarily in terms of quantity.
The results of the statistics on building activity, or more specifically, the data on building permits are in great demand especially as early indicators of the economic development.