Das System

DGNB certification: a systematic approach to sustainability

To make sustainable building applicable on a practical level, measurable and thus comparable, the DGNB has developed its own certification system. This system offers a variety of options for buildings, indoor environments and districts – not only for new buildings but also for existing ones. The DGNB System works like a planning and optimisation tool, providing help with raising the tangible sustainability of building projects. It also fosters a shared understanding of the pertinent requirements of sustainable building methods, among all parties involved in development projects.

Certification should make an essential contribution to quality across the board in planning, construction and actual use. By reducing risk and the costs associated with it, applying the DGNB System helps tailor building projects to needs on the horizon. An important part of this is our independent certification process, which adds transparency to quality controls. The DGNB Certificate is granted in Platinum, Gold or Silver, so it can also be used as an award and marketing instrument.

The DGNB System is based on three fundamental factors. These set the approach apart from other certification systems in the market:

  • Life cycle assessment
  • Holistic approach
  • Emphasis on performance

As a result, certification always considers the entire life cycle of a project – not only with regard to impacts on the environment and resource consumption, but also regarding the cost of managing or operating a building, as well as maintenance outlays. Assessments revolve around three core sustainability factors, each with an equal weighting: ecological, economical and sociocultural factors. The DGNB System also assesses the overall performance of a development and not just individual measures.

With a market share of 80% for new buildings and more than 60% for the overall market, the DGNB is market leader among organisations offering certification systems in Germany. When it comes to the certification of districts, the DGNB is market leader throughout Europe. More than 8,700 development projects have now been planned, implemented and certified in approximately 35 countries worldwide according to DGNB principles (as of 31 Dec 2021).

The DGNB certification system is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world and is internationally recognised as the global benchmark for sustainability. Applied outside Germany, the DGNB System is adapted to regional requirements. To this end, the DGNB works in close partnership with leading local organisations within individual countries.


Dr. Stephan Anders
Director Network and Consulting
Phone: +49 711 722322-45
s.anders at dgnb.de

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