Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen – The German Sustainable Building Council is the youngest certification system for the German and worldwide market. It was developed by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Affairs (BMVBS). As the other certificatation processes is based on the concept of integral planning that defines, at an early stage, the aims of sustainable construction.
As a non-profit and non-governmental organization, the DGNB primarily focus on developing criteria to increase the quality of future buildings in ecological, economic, socio-cultural, and technical terms. It supports good life conditions for users and design with minimal impact on the environment for a feasible price.
DGNB has been launched in 2009 in Germany, followed shortly thereafter by its international launch and soon became one of the leading organization in the field of sustainable buildings. DGNB methodology enables to evaluate the building to the highest standards with regards to the current and future requirements.
Due to its conformity with present and future EU regulations it is the perfect tool to ensure high building quality and performance in Germany and also in rest of the world.
The points granted by the auditor (trained by DGNB), designer, or architect for each individual criterion and the weighting of the criteria collectively produce the score for the overall building and the six topical categories. The score shows the extent to which the requirements are fulfilled. If the score is for instance 50%, the building will receive a bronze certificate. The score can also be based on grades, with grade 3.0 being required for bronze. As the goal is to promote a complex high quality for buildings, there is a minimum level performance for a certificate to gained.
Outstanding buildings are awarded with the categories bronze, silver, or gold in following way:
+ 35% in first five topical categories
+ 50% in first five topical
+ 65% in first five topical categories
The certificate for new constructions of office and administration buildings is based on 49 criteria. 43 criteria describing the building quality are distributed among 5 topics:
- Ecological (22,5%)
- Economical (22,5%)
- Socio-cultural (22,5%)
- Duality of the process (10%)
Six further criteria describe the quality of the location, which is not included in the final grade but is presented separately.
- Ecological - Environmental performance
The assessment uses 15 criteria to check how the environmental impact of the building is kept as low as possible throughout its life cycle - from construction through operation to the demolition. The highest weighted evaluation criteria relate to greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, microclimate effects in and around the building, waste-water cleaning, primary energy use, and land use.
- Economic performance
Two criteria are used to measure economic performance and operation optimization. These are the highest weighted criteria in the whole evaluation. The emphasis is on minimising the costs of the buildings’ construction and operation. Costs are assessed on a life-cycle analyses basis, value retention and stability on the market.
- Socio-cultural and functional quality
A total of 15 criteria asses the effect of the building on users’ welfare, comfort and health. Criteria include thermal, acoustic and visual comfort as well as aesthetic effects. Certification includes users’ influence on their surroundings in the building, barrier free access, flexibility, use of architectural competition to assure the quality of the design and its effective integration into the urban space.
- Technical performance
The assessment of the technical performance involves five criteria. These include assessment of fire and noise protection, the energetic and moisture proofing quality of the building’s shell, ease of cleaning and maintenance of the structure, and the ease with which the building can de deconstructed, recycled and dismantled.
- Process quality
Eight criteria examine the quality of planning processes and two examine the construction processes. The primary goal is to integrate sustainability measures as early as possible in planning and the construction process through for example special consideration in the scope of services and the bill of quantities.
- Quality of location
The quality of the location of the building is assessed using 6 criteria. This includes consideration of ease of access to public transport, proximity to relevant facilities and support services, as well as the image and the condition of the location.
DGNB certification works in four levels
1. DGNB Quick-Check (Pre-Assessment)
Consists of preliminary project assessment in relation to the necessary criteria and an outline cost-benefit analysis.
2. DGNB Management (Design stage)
Here is developed management system to deliver DGNB certification and integrating this into the construction processes with the setting out of management interfaces, responsibilities, deadlines and procedures.
3. DGNB Verification
Acquisition and processing of the evidence needed to support certification based on data from contractors involved in planning and constructing the building. In particular, this information includes life-cycle assessments (LCA) and life-cycle costs analyses.
4. DGNB Certification fees
Completion of the formal certification process starting with the registration of the project through to the submission of all the necessary documents.
For actual information see: