Vertical Cities

Certify sustainable Vertical Cities with the DGNB

Global urbanisation calls for new living spaces that enable a high quality of life and stay in a confined space and make efficient use of the available local resources. With the vertical cities scheme, the DGNB, as the only system provider worldwide, provides answers to the challenges of high-density high-rise ensembles. The scheme covers all relevant topics of sustainable construction and supports as a planning tool: from location and energy supply, to quality of stay, mixed use, sustainable mobility and minimising costs over the entire life cycle.

The current DGNB System for Districts, version 2020, applies to Vertical Cities.

  • Contribution to climate action through reduced emissions of greenhouse gases over the entire life cycle
  • Area as an inspiration for neighbouring districts
  • Promoting synergies on a social and technical level (e.g. neighbourhood advisory board, childcare, use of waste heat)
  • Contributing to healthy nutrition through urban gardening and vertical farming
  • Efficient use of soil as a resource
  • Facades as energy producers
  • Roof surfaces as meeting places
  • Use of rainwater
  • Promotion of biodiversity (e.g. through greening)
  • Car-free living
  • Infrastructure for daily needs within walking distance
  • Attractive private open spaces

The certificate is aimed at project developers and investors.

  • Holistic consideration of all relevant sustainability requirements
  • Increased market opportunities with rising demand
  • Transparent and independent quality assurance
  • Reliable planning and clear definition of objectives from the outset
  • Low effort due to combination of building and district criteria compared to a separate consideration
  • Risk minimisation
  • Sustainable buildings and districts
  • Communication of the project to the public and increase of acceptance
  • International applicability and comparability
  • Contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The scheme focuses on high-density building ensembles. The following criteria must be met to qualify as a vertical city:

Briefly explained – the DGNB System for Districts

Get a first insight into the DGNB System for Districts, Version 2020 in this short video: Which criteria are relevant, which types of districts can be DGNB certified?

Selected DGNB certified projects

Quartier Four (Gesamtquartier)
Quartier Four (Gesamtquartier), Frankfurt am Main
Districts New Construction
Vertical Cities

The criteria sets available

Document|pdf|English|10 MB

DGNB Criteria Set Districts, Version 2020

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 with the current DGNB System for Districts.

Find a DGNB auditor

Scale of fees

project registration

Your contact

Dr. Stephan Anders

Director Network and Consulting