Small residential buildings

Certify sustainable residential buildings (with six or fewer residential units) with the DGNB

Many people spend a large part of their time in buildings – especially in residential buildings. Homes in particular fulfil a fundamental role: for people in a wide variety of life situations, they provide room for recreation and regeneration and offer space for private life. When planning and constructing sustainable residential buildings, the focus is therefore clearly on the comfort and well-being of the users. At the same time, the issue of conversion, low life-cycle costs and a long service life of the building is also central for private builders, who usually only build once in a lifetime. A DGNB Certification of small residential buildings with a maximum of six residential units can provide support as a planning and quality assurance tool. In addition to ecological and economic aspects, one focus of the assessment is on user comfort, both in acoustic, thermal and visual terms, as this has a major influence on well-being.

For small residential buildings, the current DGNB System for New Construction in Version 2013 applies, with the exception of projects that have already been pre-certified with a previous market version. These projects may also be registered for the certificate in the same version. For international projects, "New Construction of Buildings, Version 2020 International" applies.

  • Healthy living environment

  • High living comfort

  • Increased well-being

  • Low CO2 footprint or carbon neutrality

  • High building flexibility due to e.g. easier adaptations in case of changes

  • Lower costs for conversions

  • Low ancillary costs

  • Advantages when selling real estate

  • High sense of security for residents

  • High recyclability of the building

The DGNB Certificate is primarily aimed at all those who want to plan and construct small residential buildings. These can be companies that manufacture prefabricated houses, property developers with standardised residential buildings or individual builders. For those who want to purchase such a property or rent it for use, the DGNB Certificate serves as independently verified proof of the holistic quality of the building.

  • Possible financial support from KfW
  • Differentiation from competitors
  • Holistic consideration of all relevant sustainability requirements
  • Transparent and independent quality award and assurance during planning, construction and operation
  • High value stability
  • Improved market opportunities
  • Advantages when selling real estate
  • Long-term Asset Value
  • Flexibility and convertibility

The scheme emphasises user control and the quality of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Small residential buildings are all buildings that are predominantly used for residential purposes. This use applies to buildings with six or fewer residential units such as single-family houses, terraced houses and small multi-family houses. In contrast to the scheme residential buildings, only buildings that do not meet the requirements with regard to indoor hygiene measurement are excluded from DGNB Certification here.

Selected DGNB certified projects

Ahrenshoop Haus Fischland
Ahrenshoop Haus Fischland, Ahrenshoop
Buildings New Construction
Small Residential Buildings
Baugemeinschaft Goldbeker
Baugemeinschaft Goldbeker, Hamburg
Buildings New Construction
Small Residential Buildings

The criteria sets available

Document|pdf|English|9 MB

DGNB Criteria Set New Construction Buildings, Version 2023

Overview of all
criteria and schemes

In order to address the individual characteristics of your building project, the DGNB System takes into account a variety of criteria and schemes.
You can find an overview here.

Overview of all criteria and schemes

Project registration

To register a project, clients must first hire a DGNB Auditor. This auditor can then register the project. Auditors also accompany the entire process and take over the verification and submission to the DGNB. They are active worldwide and specialise in certain schemes.

Projects can be registered in the current market version "Neubau Kleine Wohngebäude", which is currently only available in German. The DGNB System "New Construction of Buildings, Version 2020 International" is not yet available for this scheme. However, DGNB Auditors with German language skills can combine and adapt the full range of current German schemes with the DGNB System "New Construction of Buildings, Version 2020 International" in order to certify other building types.

Find a DGNB Auditor

scale of fees

Project registration


Your contact

Angelika Bandke

Senior Consultant Serial Certification