The RTS certificate provides a domestic guarantee for sustainability

RTS is a Finnish environmental certification system that best takes into account the domestic special features of real estate in terms of sustainable construction. The certification was introduced in 2016, which means it is still very recent, but the system is growing in popularity all the time.

The same certification for the entire life cycle

The RTS certificate has been developed by Rakennustieto Oy. The criteria used for certification are suitable for utilizing best national methods and practices from a domestic perspective. The certification system is specially designed for non-commercial sites. It is well suited for municipalities, for example. It is also a good idea to choose the RTS rating if there is no global market involved in the project or maintenance phase of the property or if there are no requirements set by foreign property investors.

The certification system has mainly been used to guide the construction project phase. In RTS certification, the certificate is granted during the completion of the building. The tool also has a voluntary certification part during the operational phase, in which the fulfilment of the requirements can additionally be verified. The environmental rating of the project is assessed on a star scale, from one to five stars. A five-star property must also be verified during the warranty phase. This means the full five stars come from a combination of the project phase and use of the property. An operational evaluation tool has also been published for RTS certification in 2019, but implementation of it has been minor.

Straightforward and tailored evaluation criteria

The environmental certification system emphasizes the management of indoor climate, energy efficiency and humidity risks. Unlike other certification systems, Finland places particular emphasis on humidity management and maintenance, and at higher levels of certification, the requirements for energy efficiency are high. The system is tailored for domestic design guidelines, for example in terms of indoor air classification and energy efficiency. The tool has its own evaluation criteria for business premises and service buildings and residential properties.

The RTS environmental certification system is straightforward, but some of the criteria are tied to the various stages of planning. This means that the consultant in charge of the certification process must be involved from the beginning of the project, so that all stages are taken into account and no criteria are missed.

Designed for the special features of Finland

The RTS classification can be used to ensure that sustainable development is taken into account in projects, while focusing on nationally significant aspects. The new certification system created for Finland’s special features considers national conditions, practices and the requirements and challenges set by the climate. Certification is also likely to have a positive effect on the Finnish building stock, as the certification criteria guide planning and requirements for a better outcome than the Finnish regulatory level.

Currently, there is one certified building in Finland and 120 ongoing certification processes have been registered. Raksystems GBP has been involved in the development of the certification system and the steering group.

RTS certification in brief

  • domestic certification system
  • introduced in 2016
  • developed by Rakennustieto Oy
  • especially suitable for non-commercial sites and municipalities
  • takes into account national special features in construction and maintenance

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