Key people

Essential roles

Swedish building legislation defines several roles that are necessary for a construction project to be completed in a safe and appropriate matter. These roles also bear certain responsibilities and may require certain certifications. Some positions are mandatory by law, it is for that reason that it is important to understand the differences and responsibilities that each role entails.

    Building committee


    Every municipality is expected to have a building committee, these are usually compromised of locally elected representatives and politicians. Decisions that are considered exceptionally significant are made at the committee level by voting instead of being left to individual permit issuers or inspectors. Adopting a new detailed development plan and providing exemptions to development plan regulations for large projects are examples of decisions typically made by building committees.



    In Sweden a developer is defined as any person or company that executes a construction project or has one performed on their behalf. Legally, the developer is also the entity that bears the most responsibility. It is the developers obligation to ensure that the project follows allow applicable building codes and applicable legislation, including health and safety regulations. Developers are also liable to pay citations if a construction projects breaks the law.

    Project controls manager KA


    A special type of inspector that is independent from both the municipality and developer is required by law when building in Sweden. These inspectors are often simply referred to as a KA (an abbreviation for kontrollansvarig) and can loosely be translated as “project controls manager” or “statutory control inspector”.

    Duties of a KA include drafting an internal test plan and following up this plan. An internal test plan is a list of tests that should be conducted to ensure that exceptionally important building codes (relevant to that project) are fulfilled. Visual inspection of smoke detector placement, door widths, and HVAC diagnostic are all examples of tests that can be on an internal test plan. It is the developers responsibility that that these tests are conducted, the KA signs off on the internal test plan once the developer has presented proof to the KA that all tests have been conducted. A signed internal test plan is almost always required by the municipality as a prerequisite for receiving a certificate of occupancy.

    A KA has to be certified by an approved certification board, certification is granted after the candidate passes a written exam and can prove they have enough relevant work experience and education.

    Certified specialists

    Certifierad sakkunnig

    A certified specialist is someone that has the necessary certifications and has a certain level of expertise within a certain area. All specialists have to be certified by an approved certification board, certification is granted after the candidate passes a written exam and can prove they have enough relevant work experience and education. There are numerous types of certified specialists including fire (SAK), ventilation (OVK), historically and culturally significant buildings (KUL), energy (CEX), and handicap accessibility (TIL).

    Depending on the complexity of a project, a certified specialist my be required to review and issue a statement regarding a certain aspect of the project. Often when a project is of a certain scale the local municipality will require statements from numerous specialists since building inspectors often do not have sufficient knowledge in such specific areas of expertise.

    Building inspector


    A building inspector is a type of building official and municipal employee. Building inspectors conduct site visits to ensure that permits are being followed on top of issuing both starting and final clearances. Should they notice that a project is deviating from a permit, they can alert the building council and have the construction site shut down.

    Permit issuer


    Permit issuers are another type of building official, many municipalities use the title building inspector and permit issuer interchangeably. Permit issuers will be the first to receive and review permit applications. If they deem a permit application complete and up to code they will issue a building permit. If they do not have the authority to make a permit decision, then the application will be sent to the local building committee for further reviewal.

    Key terms and their Swedish translation

    Research Institutes of Sweden
    RISE : primary body for certifications in Sweden related to construction, includes project controls managers and specialists.

    National Board of Housing, Building and Planning
    Boverket : the Swedish national agency for supervision and advisory related to the Planning and Building Act.

    Kommun : local government body that governs on a city and town-wide level.

    Sveriges Riksdag : national legislature and highest decision making assembly in Sweden

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