In order to be able to record and present the sustainability of one or more buildings in as differentiated a manner as possible, the DGNB System assesses buildings and districts in different phases of their life cycle using numerous criteria from a total of six thematic fields. These topic areas reflect the DGNB's holistic understanding of sustainability and include ecological quality, economic quality, socio-cultural and functional quality, technical quality, process quality and location quality. Depending on whether the project to be certified is a new construction, a building in use, an existing building, a renovation, an interior, a deconstruction, a construction site or an entire district and which scheme it corresponds to in each case (e.g. an office building), the criteria and topic areas are weighted differently.
The degree of fulfilment of the criteria and requirements in the individual topic areass determines which award level a project achieves. Essentially, these are the award levels bronze, silver, gold or platinum. The requirements for the respective total and minimum performance index must be taken into account.
The total performance index shows how many of the system's requirements a certified project fulfils in total across all topic areas. The minimum performance index refers to the fulfilment of the requirements of individual topic areas.
This means that for certification in Platinum, a project must not only fulfil 80 percent of all DGNB requirements of the respective system, but also at least 65 percent of all topic areas.
DGNB award for Sustainable Construction Sites
The evaluation in the DGNB System for Construction Sites is divided into minimum requirements and variable measures. The minimum requirements comprise 20 indicators, the fulfilment of which already achieves 35 percent of the maximum possible points. Further points can be achieved through variable measures. It is not decisive in which of the criteria how many points are achieved.
The DGNB award for Sustainable Construction Sites is granted from an overall degree of fulfilment of 65 percent. However, the decisive factor for receiving and maintaining the award for the duration of the building project is the verification during construction. A missing or incomplete verification leads to the withdrawal of the award.
Other awards within the DGNB System are the DGNB Diamond, the DGNB Climate Positive award and the DGNB special award Ecolabel. These are additional awards that are given in combination with the regular DGNB Certificate.
This award system has been in force since 1st July 2015. With the change in the award system, the DGNB has introduced Platinum as the highest award level (previously Gold). The DGNB System with the evaluation criteria as well as the evaluation system itself remained unchanged. Only the award levels were reclassified:
- Platinum is awarded to projects that fulfil the same conditions as projects with Gold status to date
- Gold is awarded to projects with previous Silver status, Silver is awarded to projects whose assessment result had previously achieved "Bronze".
- The Bronze award level does not apply to the award for new construction of buildings.
- For the certification of existing real estate, the lowest award level "Certified" is replaced by Bronze. Otherwise, the same award logic applies as for new construction of buildings.
Adaptation of already certified projects to the current award system
The current DGNB award system automatically applies to all projects registered for certification from 1st July 2015. All projects certified according to the previous award system have the option of switching to the current one. This is done on a voluntary basis and upon explicit request. An application in the form of a project declaration must be submitted to the DGNB for the adjustment of the award level.
The adjustment of already certified projects is carried out without further testing and costs. An expense allowance at cost price is charged for the exchange of the award plaque and certificate.