DGNB Award "Climate Positive"

Making climate-friendly building operation visible

The DGNB has set itself the goal of highlighting exemplary projects, presenting their success factors and thus inspiring others. For this reason, there is the DGNB award "Climate Positive". It can be awarded to buildings that are demonstrably operated in at least a climate-neutral manner on the basis of their real consumption data and thus distinguishes buildings that are already making a positive contribution to the climate and energy transition through their operation.

For the award, the building-specific CO2 balance is considered. This always refers to a specific year under consideration. On the one hand, the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the energy consumption of the building's use are compared with the emissions avoided by the building's own energy production at the site.

The award is only given in addition to the certificate for Buildings in Use and is valid for the current year. If a building meets all the requirements for the "Climate Positive" award, it automatically receives at least one DGNB Certificate in Bronze in the System for Buildings in Use. The exact technical requirements for submission can be found in the Criteria Catalogue for the DGNB System for Buildings in Use.

  • Evidence of a negative annual CO2 balance in accordance with the balancing framework for operation based on measured values over a whole year
  • Efficient use of energy to meet own needs
  • Covering own needs calculated over one year
  • When purchasing renewable energy generated off-site: compliance with minimum requirements for energy suppliers as well as high transparency with regard to quantities
  • Disclosure of the degree of solar utilisation or the degree of self-generation as well as the degree of self-sufficiency.

  • Calculation of the CO2 balance according to the balancing rules of the framework (accounting scope operation) and necessary input data into the DGNB CO2 balancing tool of criterion ENV1-B Climate Protection and Energy
  • Evidence(s) of compliance with the minimum requirements of the 2014 Energy Saving Ordinance for the building envelope
  • For the purchase of renewable energy sources produced off-site: Proof of exclusivity (coupled supply of guarantee of origin and energy source) and additionality of production according to the framework - applies e.g. to green electricity, biogas, long-distance district heating.
  • Disclosure of the "degree of self-sufficiency" and "solar utilisation" key figures

According to the DGNB Framework, a building or site is operated in a carbon-neutral manner if the difference between the emissions emitted and the emissions saved through external CO2-free energy generation and provision is zero or less than zero over the course of a year.

A carbon neutral building has demonstrably minimised the energy consumption of the building, the energy consumption of the occupants and the CO2 emissions of the supply systems. In addition, the generation and use of renewable energy has been maximised to meet the building's remaining own needs, and surplus energy has been exported. If the building achieves the balanced carbon footprint by purchasing off-site renewable energy such as green electricity or biogas, minimum requirements for the building envelope must be demonstrated. The inclusion of off-site energy sources in the carbon footprint must be communicated and key figures on solar potential, generation and consumption must be disclosed.

No. The "climate positive" award cannot be granted for an entire portfolio. The evidence must be checked individually for the operation of all buildings.


DGNB Award "Climate Positive": Statements from experts in the field

How can we achieve a carbon neutral building stock? And what can we learn from buildings that are already operated in a carbon neutral manner?


Your contact

E-Mail: gib@dgnb.de