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Building information standards can slash hospital bills

  • Published 10/11/2017
A recent study shows that building costs for Nordic hospitals could be reduced by 20 percent by implementing building information standards.

The Nordic Innovation funded project Building Information Standards and Innovation (BISI) has studied the use of building information standards and its impact on innovation. Standards are here understood as classification of information and rules for building processes.


Implementing information standards could enhance innovation and add significant value to companies and public services. A recent study carried out by Chalmers University of Technology, NTNU, K-Jacobsen A/S, Projectspine A/S and Astacus AB shows that Nordic hospitals could reduce their building costs by 20% by using such standards for classification and process management.

Download the final project report (PDF)


The study looked at three Nordic hospital cases: New Hospital West Gødstrup in Denmark, University Hospital North in Norway, and Karlskrona Hospital in Sweden. Results show that when building information standards were required, innovation happened. One example is the data system Cuneco Classification System, which was created to support the design process and building operations. Another example is the Tverrfaglig Merkesystem, a system coordinating several building standards, which makes the design process easier and more efficient.


“Building new hospitals is often associated with high costs. However, we see an immense value potential in the way they are built,” says projects manager Christian Koch, professor at Chalmers University of Technology. “Implementing standards proposes an estimated 20 percent cost reduction in such projects,” he continues.



"Implementing standards proposes an estimated 20 percent cost reduction"

Christian Koch, professor at Chalmers University of Technology



There is a vast potential for innovation and value creation in using standards in building projects. Clients rigorously demanding the use of standards in their project are likely to reap the financial benefits of implementing such guidelines and rules in building processes. However, a successful implementation requires management attention and resources in both projects, companies, as well as in regions and nations.