History of the DGNB

Founded in 2007, the DGNB is now Europe's largest network for sustainable building.

25 June 2007 | Foundation of the DGNB

16 pioneers of the construction and real estate industry initiate the DGNB. The aim: to promote sustainable building. On 25 June 2007, the German Sustainable Building Council was officially founded with 121 founding members. Since then, the association has established itself as one of the fastest growing civil society organisations in Germany.

1 January 2008 | Partner of the World Green Building Council

The DGNB has become an official German partner of the World Green Building Council, the global umbrella organisation for sustainable building. From the very beginning, the DGNB has provided a member on the Board of Directors and is thus able to promote the interests of the non-profit organisation even more strongly globally. Since 2009, the World Green Building Week has been organised once a year to raise public awareness and enthusiasm for the importance of sustainable building. Since 2011, the DGNB has been the official German partner of this global campaign week.

18 January 2008 | The DGNB's launch event

Six months after the founding of the DGNB, the first 121 founding members met on 18 January 2008 for the official kick-off event. The motto of the event was "Designing living spaces for the future. Sustainable building: Basics of certification".

17 June 2008 | The German certification system enters the market

The German Sustainable Building Certificate, now known as the DGNB Certification System, celebrates its premiere at Consense. For the first time, sustainable building becomes plannable, assessable and measurable with a comprehensive approach. In order to meet the demands of the market, the needs of the industry and the growing understanding of sustainable building, the DGNB System is being continuously developed.

17 - 18 June 2008 | Consense: German construction industry gets a platform for sustainable building

With Consense, the international congress and trade fair for sustainable building, the DGNB is entering into a successful cooperation with Messe Stuttgart in 2008. As a platform for manufacturers, architects, investors and associations, Consense will attract more than 1,000 visitors from all over the world each year until 2014.

6 - 8 October 2008 | DGNB for the first time at EXPO REAL in Munich

Just over a year after it was founded, the DGNB is making its first appearance at the Expo Real trade fair for real estate and investment in Munich. The association is supported by the German Chamber of Architects. At the joint stand, the partners will provide information on the subject of sustainability in construction and, for the first time, explain the benefits for all those involved in construction of using this important platform in the context of project and specialist presentations.

12 January 2009 | DGNB awards first certificates

At BAU 2009, the World's Leading Trade Fair for Architecture, Materials and Systems in Munich, the first 16 buildings will be awarded a DGNB certificate. Furthermore, twelve projects received a pre-certificate in Munich. All 28 projects were offices and administration buildings on which the DGNB System was put through its paces for the first time.

1 April 2009 | Starting signal for six new system variants

With the System for Office and Administration Buildings, the starting signal for the certification of buildings was given in June 2008. Only one year later, the basis has been created for certifying other building types and even entire districts. In addition to office and administrative buildings, these include:

1. commercial buildings (retail)
2. industrial buildings
3. educational buildings
4. residential buildings (multi-family houses with ten or more residential units)
5. urban districts

1 June 2009 | ÖGNI becomes first international System Partner

At Consense, the Austrian Sustainable Building Council, ÖGNI for short, officially becomes the first DGNB System Partner. In the same year, the system developed in Germany is tested for the first time on country-specific building regulations and standards in a pilot project in Austria.

6 October 2009 | The first DGNB Auditors

From the very beginning, the DGNB has focused on knowledge transfer. Nationally and internationally. In October 2009, the first training course for DGNB Auditor and DGNB Consultant ends with 60 successfully trained graduates. The DGNB Consultant is aimed at all those involved in the building process who wish to apply the DGNB System in practice. DGNB Auditors are reserved for submitting projects for examination for DGNB Certification.

6 October 2009 | Premiere: First certificates for industrial and commercial buildings

At Expo Real in Munich in October 2009, certificates for industrial and commercial buildings will be awarded for the first time. A total of more than 30 properties will be awarded certificates and pre-certificates for different system variants.

11 November 2009 | Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects becomes Academy Partner

The training of new DGNB Auditors is central to the success of the DGNB System. Auditors accompany the building owner on the way to certification and are just as familiar with the basic forms of sustainable building as they are with the DGNB Certification System. In 2009, the DGNB cooperated with a strong partner to provide a comprehensive training programme: the Baden-Württemberg Chamber of Architects. This makes the DGNB founding member one of the first Academy Partners and has since been driving the transfer of knowledge for the target group of architects.

22 June 2010 | The DGNB System enters the international market

"We’re now perfectly positioned for the international market," says Dr Christine Lemaitre, today Chief Executive Officer DGNB e.V., summing up the milestone at that time. In June 2010, the DGNB creates a strong umbrella brand also for the international dissemination of the system. Worldwide application was a major goal from the very beginning. Which is why it is structured in such a way that it allows rapid and, above all, transparent adaptation to the requirements of other countries and their individual Baukultur. All DGNB criteria are fully aligned with legal requirements, standards and technical regulations of the European Union. This is a key advantage of the DGNB System International compared to others.

1 July 2010 | Switzerland becomes a DGNB System Partner

One year after Austria, another of Germany's neighbouring countries makes its decision: Switzerland also decides in favour of the DGNB System. Following the founding of the Swiss Sustainable Building Council (SGNI), the official cooperation agreement with the DGNB was signed on 22 July 2010. Together with the ÖGNI and the Bulgarian Green Building Council, they will form the first three official DGNB System Partners once the system adaptation has been completed.

4 October 2010 | Number of DGNB schemes increases continuously

Almost two years after the introduction of the DGNB System, the DGNB can offer eight schemes in 2010. New additions are:

- New Hotel Buildings
- Modernisation of Offices and Administration Buildings

1 January 2011 | The DGNB Navigator for building products

To facilitate the planning of sustainable buildings, the DGNB Navigator, an online database for building products, will be presented at BAU 2011. The main aim is to create transparency for planners and architects, who can use the DGNB Navigator to obtain relevant information on technical properties as well as ecological, economic and health-related aspects of building products. The online database is optimally adapted to the DGNB Certification System.

1 June 2011 | Focus on existing buildings

For many new buildings, it is a matter of course to consider sustainable construction methods already in the planning phase. Therefore, it is now even more important to focus on optimising existing buildings. With the Certification of Existing Buildings and a tool for the analysis of existing buildings, the DGNB is focusing on this building segment and offering new solution options.

29 June 2011 | Denmark becomes DGNB System Partner

After Austria and Switzerland, the Green Building Council Denmark will become the next DGNB System Partner in summer 2011. The great similarity with Danish building culture as well as the flexibility and future viability of the system made the difference in the end.

4 October 2011 | DGNB quality in series

Supermarkets, residential buildings and hotels are often built identically, but at different locations. Planners, developers and investors who want to build sustainable are particularly interested in efficient certification options that take these special concerns into account. With the DGNB Certification of Master Plans, the DGNB is introducing a precisely fitting solution for buildings that are almost identical in construction.

4 October 2011 | Certification of Mixed City Districts

With increasing urbanisation, living and working spaces are growing ever closer together. Future-oriented districts are in demand, which on the one hand are characterised by resource-saving, energy-efficient construction and operation and on the other hand combine this with a high quality of life and stay - throughout the entire district and with a long-term perspective.

19 - 20 June 2012 | World Green Building Congress

For the first time in 2012, the annual congress of the World Green Building Council, the WorldGBC Congress, will take place in Europe, more precisely in Stuttgart. It is docked to Consense, the international trade fair and congress for sustainable building, investment and operation, which is organised by the DGNB in cooperation with Messe Stuttgart. In the lead-up to the two-day event, the World Green Building Night took place with invited guests to set the mood.

20 June 2012 | DGNB official partner in China

In summer 2012, the DGNB signs a memorandum of understanding with Chinese representatives to realise the construction of the "Sino-German Ecopark" in Qingdao in accordance with the DGNB System. In general, there is great interest in the Asian region in the comprehensive knowledge of sustainable building from Germany and in the DGNB. In the same year, the DGNB System will also be adapted to the country-specific characteristics in Thailand and the first pilot project as well as a DGNB training are in preparation.

1 October 2012 | DGNB System for Laboratory Buildings and Logistics Buildings

With the scheme for Logistics Buildings, the DGNB is the first and only certification provider to enter an attractive and promising market.  In close cooperation with the Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development, the DGNB has also developed the scheme for laboratory buildings, which will start its pilot phase in June 2012.

15 January 2013 | Healthy living with the DGNB System for Small Residential Buildings

Living in a healthy environment is one of the most important basic human needs. Small residential buildings with up to six residential units can be certified with an own scheme since 2013.

18 June 2013 | "Departure of Ideas" with DGNB Impulse 2013

With a new, interactive event format, the DGNB invites you to Stuttgart in June for DGNB Impuls. Central elements of the congress were co-designed in advance by DGNB members and students. Actor Hannes Jaenicke will open the event with a keynote speech calling for a more conscious use of resources.

21 - 22 November 2013 | DGNB "Sustainable Building" Award

For the first time, the DGNB and the Stiftung "Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis" ( i.e. German Sustainability Award Foundation) are awarding the DGNB "Sustainable Building" prize. 40 projects applied for the first edition of the annual award. The first winner is the Ravensburg Art Museum. All previous winners

1 July 2014 | Launch of the DGNB University Cooperation and the DGNB University Day

An important pillar of education for sustainable building are universities. The DGNB has set itself the goal of making sustainability in the building process an integral part of university education. Concrete content around the topic of sustainability should thereby become an important part of the self-image of future architects and engineers.

7 July 2014 | The DGNB relocates

The DGNB moves into its new office in the heart of Stuttgart. For the first time in the history of the DGNB, the association is located in a DGNB-certified building. The special feature: to show how the principles of sustainable building can be implemented in practice, the DGNB is realising the sustainable interior design of the office together with 32 member companies of the DGNB e.V.. The result is a living showroom in which sustainable building can be experienced directly.

8 - 9 July 2014 | BAU Congress China

For the first time, the BAU Congress China will take place under the motto "The future of Building", organised by Messe München. The DGNB is a partner of the congress and will be exhibiting together with the Fraunhofer Allianz BAU with a joint special show.

In 2017, the event, which is organised by a subsidiary of Messe München, will merge with FENESTRATION BAU China, the leading international trade fair for windows, doors, skylights and façades, technology, components as well as prefabricated parts and building materials. The DGNB and the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance are participating as official partners of the trade fair.

6 October 2014 | DGNB as first and only certification provider for industrial sites

To kick off Expo Real 2014, the DGNB will award the first certificate for an industrial site on 6 October. With the scheme for Industrial Sites, the DGNB has further developed its certification system to specifically address sites with industrial goods production as well as commercial areas without residential units. Industrial sites certified to date include the VW Crafter plant in Września, Poland, and that of PCI Augsburg GmbH.

15 October 2014 | Start of first training courses for sector-specific DGNB Consultants

In the training of consultants, the DGNB is increasingly focusing on a sector-specific orientation in order to meet the needs of the market. At the end of 2014, the first training courses for DGNB Consultants for Planning and Architecture and DGNB Consultants for Building Product Manufacturers and Building Contractors will be offered.

15 June 2015 | The DGNB Blog: The new online platform for sustainable building

The DGNB Blog highlights sustainable construction in all its facets. Leading experts from the construction and real estate industry discuss topics that move the industry. Pioneers in sustainability provide impulses that inspire to rethink and reflect.

13 August 2015 | DGNB focuses more on discourse in future

Discourse is the keyword under which the DGNB e.V. is placing many of its future activities. The association wants to provide more impulses on current topics and initiate open-ended discussions. The first DGNB discourse event took place on 22 October 2015 on the topic of "Architecture as a space for movement - a paradigm shift?"

11 September 2015 | New award logic: DGNB introduces platinum certificate

The DGNB is renewing its award logic for the certification of buildings and urban districts. Platinum is introduced as the highest rating level. The requirements for a platinum certificate correspond exactly to the previous conditions for a gold award. In addition to platinum, there will also be DGNB Certificates in Gold and Silver for new buildings in the future. A bronze certificate will only be awarded for existing buildings.

1 October 2015 | Pilot phase for the assessment of design and architectural quality

To supplement the existing certification system, the DGNB has introduced an assessment of the design and architectural quality of buildings. With the so-called recommendations for action, the Commission for Design Quality advises pilot projects. The DGNB successfully initiated this process together with the German Federal Chamber of Architects and with the expert support of the Association of German Architects.

5 - 7 October 2015 | The 1,000th DGNB Certificate

At Expo Real 2015, the 1,000th DGNB Certificate will be awarded to the Central Workshop and Administration Building of the Parks Department in Frankfurt am Main. It receives the DGNB Certificate in Platinum.

24 April 2016 | New system version for districts

With the reduction from 46 to 30 criteria, the revised system version for districts is launched. By March 2016, 36 districts had been certified by the DGNB, which makes us the market leader in Europe and puts us in second place worldwide.

2 May 2016 | DGNB demands further development and realignment of the EnEV

In the opinion of the DGNB, the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) no longer corresponds to the current state of knowledge after its tightening and is neither target- nor future-oriented. The DGNB therefore advocates for a fundamental reorientation and further development of the instrument. One of the central DGNB demands is a fundamental openness to technology for more innovation. To the position paper (only available in German)

28 July 2016 | German Climate Action Plan 2050: A signature as a signal

As 195 countries sign the Paris Agreement on climate protection in New York at the end of April, the goals defined there become binding. But action is needed not only globally, but also nationally. Therefore, the DGNB, along with more than 50 other organisations, signs the German Climate Action Plan 2050 of German civil society. In ten central demands, the signatories define concrete proposals to the German government to tighten the national climate protection targets and make them legally binding. To this day, the changes made by the German government to the climate action plan are controversially discussed.

4 October 2016 | Market version Buildings in Use

In order to specifically improve the operation and qualities of existing buildings, the DGNB is introducing a certificate for Buildings in Use. The system, designed as a planning and optimisation tool for efficient building management, helps operators, owners and users to increase the real sustainability of Buildings in Use.

The market version of the DGNB Certificate for Buildings in Use is published. 13 projects successfully participated in the pilot phase and were awarded the first certificates for Buildings in Use at Expo Real in Munich. The feedback from the first-time users: consistently positive.

6 October 2016 | First DGNB Diamond goes to Berlin

"The DGNB has set itself the goal of promoting the design and building culture quality of the built environment and providing concrete assistance with implementation," said DGNB Vice President Martin Haas. For this reason, the DGNB is the first organisation in the world to award the "Diamond", its own supplementary award for design and building culture quality, which goes beyond the awarding of certificates for sustainable construction. The 50Hertz Netzquartier in Berlin is the first project to receive this award.

9 November 2016 | DGNB out and about

In Berlin, we kick off our new series of events "DGNB out and about", a format exclusively for our members. Spread across Germany, we give our members the opportunity to find out about the latest DGNB news, get to know the people behind the association better and network with other members. Berlin was followed by Dusseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

5 January 2017 | DGNB launches certification system for sustainable interiors

The DGNB has developed a new variant of its certification system for sustainably developed and furnished interiors. This focuses on the well-being of building users, rewards offerings for employees and considers the new building materials introduced into the interior as well as the furnishing of the rooms. It can be used as a supplement to the DGNB Certification Systems for New and Existing Buildings, although it can be used for interiors in non-certified buildings.

13 January 2017 | DGNB Certification eligible for funding under KfW

Great news for private builders: the DGNB System New Construction for Small Residential Buildings will be eligible for funding under KfW in future following recognition by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. For each building project, this covers 50 percent of the eligible costs up to a maximum of 4,000 euros. The grant is linked to the KfW product "energy-efficient construction and refurbishment" and can relate to various services within the scope of DGNB Certification, such as auditor services, specialist planning and the performance of measurements of indoor air quality or air tightness.

31 January and 1 February 2017 | DGNB Committee Days: Lively participatory association

We welcomed more than 100 participants to our Living Showroom for Sustainable Building in Stuttgart over two days. The focus of the first committee days was on our four guiding themes: "Climate, Energy, Resources", "Future Housing - Future City", "Digitalisation" and "Health, Comfort, Performance". These will set the direction for the DGNB's activities in the coming months and years. They are topics that move the DGNB as part of the construction and real estate industry, but also as part of society. Topics that place sustainable construction in a wider context. Topics that are highly relevant to the future viability of the DGNB.

1 April 2017 | DGNB is market leader in Germany

With a market share of over 80 percent in new construction and over 60 percent of the total market, the DGNB is the undisputed market leader for commercial real estate in Germany compared to other certification systems. This is the result of the current market report "Market Focus: Green Buildings 2017" by BNP Paribas Real Estate. Read more

1. June 2017 | Pre-release version of the new DGNB System Version 2017 available

The pre-release version of the new DGNB System Version 2017 (later Version 2018) will be available from mid-year. The system has been further developed in such a way that it more clearly than ever represents the DGNB's understanding of sustainability and as a tool helps to find appropriate answers to the most important questions of the future in planning and building practice.

This manifests itself in the following central topics:

- Focus on people
- Circular Economy
- Building culture and design quality
- Sustainable Development Goals of the UN
- EU conformity
- Innovation

25 June 2017 | 10 years of DGNB

June marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of the DGNB. We can proudly look back on a decade of unique association development, from which Europe's largest network for sustainable construction has emerged. Since our founding, we have decisively advanced and established the understanding of sustainable construction in the building and real estate industry. Numerous milestones mark this path that you have travelled with us. As a moment of thanks, but also as a starting point for new and trend-setting things, this is what the anniversary celebration stands for. In addition to numerous guests from politics, business and society, we are pleased to welcome Federal Environment Minister Dr Barbara Hendricks and the President of the World Green Building Council, Tai Lee Siang, to the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

4 - 6 October 2017 | Expo Real 2017: DGNB with record certification numbers

90 projects, more than ever before, will receive a DGNB award at Expo Real 2017 in Munich. Among them are the first pre-certificates based on the new 2017 version of the DGNB Certification System. Another premiere is the award of the first DGNB Certificate for Sustainable Interiors.

8 December 2017 | DGNB "Sustainable Building" Award goes to wagnisART in Munich

In its fifth round, the DGNB "Sustainable Building" Award goes to the cooperative housing project wagnisART from Munich. At the award ceremony on 8 December 2017 in Düsseldorf, the project prevailed over the 50Hertz Netzquartier administration building in Berlin designed by LOVE architecture and urbanism ZT GmbH with kadawittfeldarchitektur and the "Bremer Punkt" serial housing project planned by LIN Architekten Urbanisten and Kahrs Architekten.

1 January 2018 | DGNB System Version 2018

The certification of sustainable buildings has successfully established itself in the German construction and real estate industry in recent years. However, the actual goal of certification, as understood by the DGNB, is still too often in the background for building owners. Thus, the DGNB is concerned with constructing better and quality-assured buildings. The new version of the DGNB System emphasizes this motivation and sets new standards for building certification in international comparison.

9 February 2018 | DGNB develops alternative draft to the Building Energy Act on three pages

The DGNB has published an alternative to the draft Building Energy Act developed by the German government in 2017, condensed into three pages. The Building Emissions Act 2050 (GEG 2050) serves as a basis for discussion in order to develop an effective, simple and understandable instrument for achieving climate protection targets. One of the core requirements is that the CO2 emissions of a building become the target value and that the assessment is not based on theoretical reference buildings but on absolute limit values. In addition, a CO2 tax must be paid if the target values are not met.

15 Feburary 2018 | Guideline on the use of life cycle assessments

To ensure the environmental sustainability of our buildings, it is essential that the entire life cycle of a building and the materials used are analysed and the results incorporated into the planning process. The DGNB publication of the same name explains the potential of a lifecycle approach and why it is a useful planning and optimisation tool for clients and planners, and is available to download free of charge from our website.

7 May 2018 | DGNB launches process for recognition of product labels in certification

Building products play an important role, especially when it comes to sustainable construction. Within a DGNB Certification, for example, the materials and products used play an essential role. For this reason, we have introduced a procedure for the recognition of product labels for the first time with the new 2018 version of our certification system. Six labels have already been awarded the title "DGNB recognised standard".

18 May 2018 | DGNB publishes framework for carbon neutral buildings and sites

"If we want to make fundamental changes by 2050, we need to start now. A reliable framework that provides guidance on how to continuously reduce CO2 emissions to the extent necessary is indispensable," said Dr Christine Lemaitre, CEO of the DGNB. For this reason, the DGNB has developed a framework for carbon neutral buildings and sites that will make the decarbonisation of the building stock by 2050 a practical reality.

31 July 2018 | DGNB makes certification more flexible for more building uses

The DGNB System is applicable to over 20 building types. For each of these types, there is a separate catalogue of criteria that is aligned with the individual requirements of the types of use. To ensure that developers of building types not yet included in the DGNB System can plan and build their projects in accordance with DGNB criteria, a new procedure is now available that makes the application of the certification system more flexible and thus opens it up to other forms of use: DGNB Flex.

3 September 2018 | Cost trap refrigerants: What builders and planners should know

The warmer it gets outside, the greater the demand for cooling: In homes, hotels, offices or supermarkets, where people and food need to be protected. Air conditioning and refrigeration systems are often used, and their refrigerants can have a negative impact. An EU regulation controls the use of harmful refrigerants and sets limits so that climate change targets can still be met. In a recent publication, we have summarised what natural refrigerants are available today and what building owners and designers should know.

10 October 2018 | German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) and DGNB publish declaration on sustainable building

The DGNB and the BMI have been working together for more than ten years to promote a sustainable built environment. This cooperation has been further consolidated with a published declaration on the quality of sustainable building rating systems. In it, both institutions formulate a German methodology for sustainability assessment and promote a holistic and life cycle-oriented planning and building practice that makes an active contribution to climate and resource protection. The form of future cooperation between DGNB and BMI is also defined in the document.

23 October 2018 | No more excuses

We knew long before the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that our current lifestyle is not helping the environment. But when it comes to actively tackling solutions, too many people hide behind two little words: "yes" and "but". Our new booklet aims to show why it's time to turn the "yes, but" into a "yes, I'll do it" and how to do it. It dispels the most common myths about sustainable building and shows why it is essential. The publication is available from our website.

4 December 2018 | DGNB nominated for the Baden-Württemberg Environmental Award 2018

As a living showroom for sustainable construction, the DGNB Office makes it possible for more than 2,000 visitors a year to experience the possibilities and advantages of sustainable construction. This commitment and exemplary, environmentally-oriented corporate management earned the non-profit organisation a nomination for the 2018 Baden-Württemberg Environmental Award. For this, the DGNB Office was visited by a camera team for one day.  To the video (only in German)

7. December 2018 | DGNB "Sustainable Building" Award for Freiburg City Hall

The new town hall in Freiburg has been awarded with the DGNB "Sustainable Building" prize. The prestigious architectural award was presented jointly by the DGNB and the Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e.V. for the sixth time in 2018. The Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection Dr Katarina Barley and DGNB President Prof. Alexander Rudolphi presented the award in front of 1,200 invited guests at the 11th German Sustainability Day in Düsseldorf.

16 January 2019 | DGNB and Sentinel Haus start cooperation for healthier building

The DGNB and the Sentinel Haus Institut have signed an agreement on future cooperation during the BAU fair in Munich. The overall aim is to optimise indoor air quality from a health point of view in new construction, renovations and refurbishments. This will be achieved, among other things, through the development of uniform assessment criteria for the health quality of indoor spaces and the transfer of knowledge about the requirements for construction processes as well as suitable products for low-pollutant buildings.

20 January 2019 | Circular Economy and People in Focus: New DGNB Reports published

Sustainability has become increasingly important in the design and construction industry in recent years. On the one hand, people are at the centre of sustainable building; on the other hand, it is about the responsible use of resources and the diverse requirements of a circular economy. Two recent DGNB reports deal with these challenges and provide architects, planners and developers with important impulses for more sustainability in their projects.

26 February 2019 | DGNB introduces recognition of sustainability ratings for lending purposes

As an important component of its commitment to the topic of "Sustainable Finance", the DGNB has launched a procedure for the recognition of sustainability ratings for construction financing. In this procedure, a credit institution receives official confirmation that the requirements formulated in its own rating system have a defined correspondence with the criteria of the DGNB Certification. At the same time, the lender recognises the DGNB Certificate as proof when granting the financing. The first sustainability rating that has successfully passed the DGNB's test is from the UmweltBank AG.

8 April 2019 | DGNB develops dual certification with Chinese Green-Building Standard

As part of the 15th International Conference on Green and Energy-efficient Building in Shenzhen, two building projects were awarded both a DGNB Certificate and a certificate under the Chinese Three Star system for the first time on 3 April 2019. The award was presented by the Chairman of the China Society for Urban Studies (CSUS), Dr Qiu Baoxing, and Johannes Kreißig, Executive Director of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). In addition, the DGNB and CSUS signed an agreement on closer cooperation. The aim is in particular to achieve greater harmonisation of the two systems in order to establish a methodology for dual certification.

25 June 2019 | DGNB Sustainability Day

On 25 June 2019, the DGNB held its own Sustainability Day for the first time at the FORUM Haus der Architekten in Stuttgart (i.e. FORUM Stuttgart House of Architects). As a central event for the DGNB community, this day served to network and exchange ideas with like-minded people and brought together all players in the construction and real estate industry with a focus on sustainable building.

Together with our members, we started the day with the yearly general assembly. The afternoon programme was then open to all interested parties: exciting keynote speeches from innovative companies, start-ups and researchers. The audience was able to decide the winners of the DGNB Sustainability Challenge and the day ended with a summer party.

7 July 2019 | Happy Birthday DGNB Living Showroom

On 7 July 2014, the DGNB moved into its new office in the heart of Stuttgart. Since then, the association is located in a DGNB certified building. The special feature: to show how the principles of sustainable building can be implemented in practice, the DGNB is realising the sustainable interior design of the office together with 32 member companies of the DGNB community. The result is a living showroom in which sustainable building can be experienced directly. Since moving in, the DGNB has already welcomed almost 10,000 visitors, including numerous delegations from all over the world.

12 July 2019 | DGNB cooperates in Spain: Green Building Council España becomes new partner

The DGNB and the Green Building Council España (GBCe) have agreed on a comprehensive partnership. During the DGNB Sustainability Day on 25 June 2019 in Stuttgart and on 11 July in Madrid, both organisations signed corresponding cooperation agreements. In the course of the cooperation, the DGNB System for the certification of sustainable buildings will be adapted for the Spanish market. A link to the VERDE system developed by GBCe is also planned. In the future, the Council will act as a certification body for DGNB certified projects in Spain. The overall aim of the partnership is to establish a common European understanding of sustainable building requirements.

9 October 2019 | New DGNB award "Climate Positive" for buildings with an active contribution to climate action

Many studies show that the real estate sector has a key role to play in achieving climate action goals. What is often not mentioned is that there are already buildings that are making an active contribution. Against this background, the DGNB has created the "Climate Positive" award. This means that the CO2 emissions caused by the building and its use must be lower than the emissions avoided by the building's own production and export of greenhouse gas-free energy. The first eleven projects, which demonstrate that this is already possible today, have now been awarded by the DGNB at Expo Real in Munich.

22. November 2019 | German Sustainability Award Architecture 2020 for the Alnatura Campus in Darmstadt

Germany's most important architecture prize for sustainable buildings 2019 goes to the new Alnatura Arbeitswelt building in Darmstadt. The jury honours the overall concept and the extraordinary sustainability quality of the first large administrative building with rammed earth façade in Europe. The award is presented for the seventh time jointly by the Stiftung "Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis" ( i.e. German Sustainability Award Foundation) and the DGNB. Former German Environment Minister Klaus Töpfer presented the award in front of 1,200 invited guests at the 12th German Sustainability Day in Dusseldorf.

26 November 2019 | We say thank you to 10,000 visitors to the DGNB Living Showroom for sustainable building

Since July 2014, we as the DGNB have been in our office in the heart of Stuttgart. Together with 32 member companies of the DGNB community, this has been expanded into a Living Showroom where sustainable building can be experienced directly. As of 26 November 2019, 10,000 people from all over the world have visited our DGNB Office.

5 December 2019 | Action instead of big words: DGNB and German Chamber of Architects launch "Phase Sustainability"

Together with the German Federal Chamber of Architects, the DGNB has launched the new initiative "Phase Sustainability". The aim is to achieve a transformation of planning practice towards sustainability as a new normal through a solidarity of the architectural community. Instead of just signing another climate manifesto, the participating offices commit to pushing the most important sustainability issues in their discussions with clients. The focus is also on the exchange of knowledge and experience between the participants of the initiative. The official launch took place in October, and the first renowned architectural firms are already involved.

21 January 2020 | 5,000 and more: DGNB continues success in certification of 2019

"In less than eleven years, we have managed to reach the extraordinary mark of 5,000 DGNB Awards," said DGNB President Professor Alexander Rudolphi. "This is both recognition and motivation at the same time. After all, it shows what is possible in sustainable building when conviction and the will to create come together."

The anniversary certificate was presented to the new laboratory building of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Office for Nature, Environment and Consumer Protection (LANUV) in Dusseldorf on 20 January 2020 with prominent support from two ministers from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

10 March 2020 | DGNB Certification systematically leads existing buildings into carbon neutrality

Climate action is increasingly becoming the focus of attention in the building sector as well. Until now, however, there has been no instrument with which a systematic approach to existing buildings is possible. That is why the DGNB is publishing a new version of the certification system for Buildings in Use in 2020. It supports owners, operators and users of buildings in developing a sustainable real estate strategy for their existing buildings that is geared towards climate action. As a management tool, it helps with the identification of sensible optimisation measures, the implementation of a continuous improvement process and active risk management on a property-specific basis. The certification is applicable to entire portfolios and individual buildings, regardless of their use type. Buildings that are already operated in a carbon neutral way receive the "Climate Positive" award in addition to the DGNB Certificate.

24 March 2020 | DGNB with extensive new offers for more climate action in the building sector

The time for waiting is long gone! This is especially true for the construction and real estate sector, which is a major source of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. The DGNB has initiated a wide range of activities around consistent climate action in order to systematically bring about the necessary transformation in the way we deal with our buildings. These include the new publication "Climate positive: now!" and the further development of the Framework for carbon-neutral Buildings and Sites. There is also an online resource with information and practical tools for developing building-specific climate action strategies.

27 May 2020 | DGNB with new international version of building certification - also system for districts revised

The DGNB has completed two important further developments of its certification. Firstly, the international version of the DGNB System for New Construction was published, which can be applied internationally to a wide range of different building uses for the first time. With its holistic, life-cycle and performance-oriented sustainability approach, it is considered the most advanced certification system for buildings worldwide. It covers all important future topics such as Climate action, Circular Economy and Health. There is also a new version of the DGNB System for the certification of sustainable districts. As a planning and optimisation tool, it helps to develop urban districts, commercial areas and industrial sites in such a way that they meet people's needs while being economically sensible, resource-saving and climate-friendly.

29 July 2020 | New DGNB Certificate promotes resource conservation during building deconstruction

The DGNB has developed a new certification system that is specifically dedicated to the deconstruction of buildings. As a quality assurance tool, it provides incentives to increase the sustainability of deconstruction processes that take place prior to new construction or renovation measures in a holistic manner. This goes beyond the simple separation of waste by type or the reuse of materials:  it also focuses on issues such as the remediation of hazardous substances, risk assessment and cost certainty. The innovative system is aimed at municipalities, building owners, planners and deconstruction and recycling companies alike.

21 September 2020 | Amandus Samsøe Sattler elected new DGNB President

With architect Amandus Samsøe Sattler, now professor, the DGNB has a new president. In this position, he succeeds Professor Alexander Rudolphi, who will continue his work on the association's Board of Directors. The change was announced during the DGNB Sustainability Day 2020 in Stuttgart. The election was held on the evening before the event by the ten members of the DGNB Executive Committee. Samsøe Sattler will hold the position until the next DGNB General Assembly in the middle of next year.

2 December 2020 | DGNB publishes report on the Sustainable Development Goals

In the DGNB Report "Building for a better world", the DGNB shows how buildings can contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. This also highlights the great importance of the construction and real estate sector in achieving these goals: up to 15 of the 17 SDGs are addressed as part of the DGNB Certification of a building project.

4 December 2020 | German Sustainability Award for Architecture goes to the SKAIO wooden high-rise building in Heilbronn

Germany's most prestigious architecture prize for sustainable buildings will go to the SKAIO timber high-rise in Heilbronn in 2020. The jury praises the award winner as a model project for the performance of urban timber construction. The German Sustainability Award for Architecture was jointly awarded for the eighth time jointly by the DGNB and the Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e.V. (German Sustainability Award Foundation). The award ceremony took place as part of the 13th German Sustainability Day in Dusseldorf.

16 December 2020 | DGNB and IBA'27 cooperate for more sustainable construction

The DGNB and the Internationale Bauausstellung 2027 StadtRegion Stuttgart GmbH (IBA'27) will be working closely together in future. The two organisations have signed a cooperation agreement to this effect. The aim of the cooperation is to anchor ambitious sustainability goals in the IBA projects. In addition, the existing standards for sustainable building are to be reviewed and further developed through the monitoring of selected projects. Eventually, a new and particularly ambitious certification system for building projects is to emerge from the cooperation: the "DGNB System IBA'27".

15 January 2021 | Foundation of the non-profit Knowledge Foundation

"It is often said that we need to rethink and research everything over and over again. But we can already plan and build good, sustainable and high-quality buildings today," says DGNB Chief Executive Officer Dr Christine Lemaitre. To make this less difficult, the newly founded Knowledge Foundation provides compact, directly applicable knowledge - free of charge and available at any time. Based on the open-source idea, anyone can become a knowledge donor.

16 March 2021 | Position Paper on Building Renovation

Together with the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany (DUH)) and the Bundesarchitektenkammer (German Chamber of Architects), the DGNB has written a position paper in which we demand decisive and systematic action along the lines of an immediate action programme for the building sector from the upcoming German government. The Action Alliance summarises the four immediate measures in a rule of thumb: 1 million carbon neutral renovations per year, 1 million renovation roadmaps, 100 percent transparency, 100 days for setting the course (1:1:100:100).

19 March 2021 | DGNB study on EU taxonomy: companies only partially prepared

Together with the Green Building Council España (GBCe), the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) and the Green Building Council Denmark (DK-GBC), the DGNB has investigated the transformation potential of the EU taxonomy criteria for more sustainability in the finance and real estate industry. The study came to two conclusions: On the one hand, the EU criteria need to be adapted in terms of better applicability and marketability. "If the impression is created that the requirements can not be met anyway, there is also a lack of motivation to even set out to make it work," explained Dr Christine Lemaitre. On the other hand, companies have a lot of catching up to do in terms of transparency and data collection, as the survey showed.

29 March 2021 | Climate Positive Europe Alliance founded

The Climate Positive Europe Alliance, or CPEA for short, sees itself as a think tank that brings together expertise and market-based practical solutions and translates them into concrete recommendations for action. "Together we want to massively accelerate the transformation of the European construction and real estate market towards sustainability," explained DGNB Chief Executive Officer Dr Christine Lemaitre, who has taken over the chairmanship of the alliance. The newly founded organisation is backed by the DGNB, the Green Building Council España (GBCe), the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI) and the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (REHVA). Other partners will follow.

10 June 2021 | DGNB Sustainability Certificate for Construction Sites

The DGNB has developed a new certification system for sustainable construction sites. As a planning and management tool, the certification helps with quality assurance and risk minimisation on the construction site. The focus is on resource protection, health and social issues as well as communication with the local public. The new system is intended for building construction and civil engineering projects and is applied throughout the entire construction site. The target group for the new service is building owners, municipalities and construction companies. The first award-winning projects are a construction site of Lidl near Winnenden, the large-scale project "Westfield Hamburg Überseequartier" and a residential project as well as a basic certificate for sustainable construction sites of Ed. Züblin AG.

23 July 2021 | ESG verification on the EU taxonomy for the real estate sector

Financial market participants, project developers and property owners can have the conformity of their properties with the requirements of the EU taxonomy verified by the DGNB. The new ESG verification, which is offered jointly by the partners of the Climate Positive Europe Alliance (CPEA), can be used for companies with individual buildings and entire portfolios in the areas of new construction, refurbishment and acquisition and ownership. The assessment can be carried out both in parallel with and independently of DGNB Certification.

3 August 2021 | New version of the certification system for renovations

The DGNB has further developed its certification system for renovations, taking into account current market requirements. With this system, building owners, municipalities and project developers can plan and carry out their building refurbishments under holistic sustainability aspects and have them independently audited. A special focus of the reworked system version is on the topics of climate action and resource conservation as well as the consideration of requirements for the preservation of historical monuments. In addition, the criteria are harmonised with the requirements of the EU taxonomy and the European Level(s) framework. The preparation of a building-specific climate action roadmap is now a requirement for receiving a certificate.

7 September 2021 | DGNB introduces recognition of services within the scope of certification

Providers of services related to sustainable building operation now have the opportunity to have these recognised as part of DGNB Certification. In this process, a specifically defined range of services is checked and it is shown for which criteria it makes a positive contribution to the certification result. With this new form of DGNB Recognition, verification procedures for the application of the DGNB System for Buildings in Use are simplified and the workload reduced.

6 October 2021 | DGNB launches partnership in Croatia

The DGNB and the Croatia Green Building Council (CGBC) have signed a partnership agreement. The focus is on adapting the DGNB Certification System to local requirements in Croatia. In addition, CGBC is to act as an independent certification body for local projects in the future. After Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and Spain, Croatia is the fifth European country in which the DGNB is working strategically with a system partner.

8 October 2021 | DGNB Certification as proof for subsidies

As part of the new federal funding for efficient buildings (BEG), a special sustainability class (NH class) was introduced in 2021. The current certification systems of the DGNB serve as official verification procedures for this. The possible funding bonus is building-specific and depends on the number of residential units as well as the services actually provided. Buildings that successfully complete the process receive the "Sustainable Building Quality Seal" introduced by the federal government in addition to the DGNB Certificate.

10 November 2021 | DGNB publishes study on CO2 emissions of buildings

In a study, the DGNB assessed the carbon footprint of 50 certified buildings. One of the key findings was that just over a third of a building's greenhouse gas emissions occur before it is actually used. The levers for reducing these CO2 emissions lie in the construction method, high-mass components and the service life of building materials, among other things.

3 December 2021 | German Sustainability Award for Architecture for "Einfach Bauen" (Building Simple)

The "Einfach Bauen" project in Bad Aibling, Bavaria, has been awarded Germany's most prestigious architecture prize for sustainability. The jury sees the project as an important impulse generator for the planning sector and the construction industry, with the potential to launch a new building development in connection with the circular economy. The German Sustainability Prize for Architecture will be awarded jointly by the DGNB and the German Sustainability Prize Foundation for the ninth time in 2021. The award ceremony took place during the 14th German Sustainability Day in Dusseldorf.

27 January 2022 | First Digital DGNB Annual Congress highlights current debates on sustainability in building

"Interest in sustainability topics has increased immensely across all sectors of the construction and real estate industry in 2021," explained Dr Christine Lemaitre, Chief Executive Officer of the DGNB. "With our annual congress, we want to bring together the most diverse strands of discussion and give all interested parties a classification of where we currently stand with the topics in Germany and beyond."

7 April 2022 | The new DGNB Navigator is online

The DGNB has published a new version of its building products platform DGNB Navigator. In addition to a completely renewed appearance with improved user friendliness, there are also functional enhancements. In the DGNB Navigator, manufacturers have the opportunity to present their building products with all relevant sustainability indicators required for DGNB Certification. This makes it easier for architects and planners to select products according to the most important criteria of sustainable construction. In the future, DGNB Auditors will make even greater use of the Navigator for documentation purposes as part of the certification process, particularly with regard to the harmful and risky substances of the materials used.

3 May 2022 | DGNB offers a new further education for ESG-compliant real estate management

As part of the DGNB Academy, the DGNB is now offering training courses for the sustainable optimisation of real estate. The two-stage training offer includes a compact course on the essential compliance and risk management requirements of sustainable buildings in use. Building on this, a two-day advanced training course imparts the necessary expert knowledge to manage real estate and portfolios in practice in an ESG-compliant manner. The newly introduced qualification "DGNB ESG Manager" can be acquired via a following exam. This qualification entitles the holder to audit certification projects in accordance with the DGNB System for Buildings in Use and to carry out the associated ESG verification for the EU taxonomy, which the DGNB offers together with European partners.

2 June 2022 | "Phase Sustainability" initiative grows: structural design as a new discipline

More than 250 architecture and planning offices are involved in the initiative Phase Sustainability. Together, they are committed to transforming the planning practice towards sustainability as a new normal. The Initiative now includes structural engineers and offers a suitable Declaration of Sustainability for this target group (available in German only). Last week in Stuttgart, numerous renowned offices became the first signatories of the initiative. The initiative was launched jointly by the DGNB and the German Federal Chamber of Architects in 2019. It is supported by the Association of German Interior Designers (BDIA), the Association of German Architects (BDA) and, most recently, the Association of German Master Builders, Architects and Engineers (BDB).

29 July 2022 | DGNB develops building resource passport and starts commenting on it

In the coalition agreement, the new German government announced that it would introduce a digital building resource passport without specifying its content in more detail. The DGNB has published a proposal for the content of this passport and put it up for discussion.  The newly founded DGNB Committee for Life Cycle and Circular Construction participated in the design of the Building Resource Passport.

8 August 2022 | DGNB sets incentives for implementing more climate action measures in current building projects

In the latest revision of its certification systems, the DGNB has integrated a Climate+ Package. This is intended to appeal to the construction managers of projects that are already in progress or are just beginning, in order to increase their climate action ambitions in a targeted manner. In its current system variants for new buildings, renovation, buildings in use and districts, the DGNB has introduced various bonuses for measures that make a positive contribution to climate action. Projects that are already registered for certification have the opportunity to have their climate protection roadmaps checked for plausibility by the DGNB free of charge.

9 September 2022 | Building products with sustainability in mind: new DGNB Report on material selection

Selecting building materials in such a way that the end result is a holistically sustainable building is not trivial. The DGNB has therefore published a report entitled "Building products with sustainability in mind: what really matters when choosing materials". It provides planners and builders with principles and methods that help in the selection of building materials. At the same time, it creates a basis for communication between planners and building product manufacturers. In a compact form, with clear graphics and a checklist, it encourages concrete implementation.

20 September 2022 | DGNB offers tools for sustainable procurement as part of EU project

After three years, the EU-funded project "LIFE Level(s)" was completed at the end of September 2022. The DGNB was significantly involved in this and makes the results available on its website. On the one hand, it offers tools for life-cycle-oriented planning and procurement in construction projects. This addresses municipalities, planners and building product manufacturers. On the other hand, tools were developed that help to bring certification systems such as that of the DGNB into line with the European Level(s) framework. Level(s) aims to create a common language and methodology for sustainability reporting of buildings in Europe. In addition to the DGNB, seven other European Green Building Councils were involved in the LIFE Level(s) project.

22 November 2022 | Milestone reached: DGNB with more than 2000 member organisations

More and more companies from the construction and real estate industry are actively committed to greater sustainability. In November, the 2000th organisation decided to become a member of the DGNB. This means that the association has already welcomed more than 500 new members only in 2022. The enormously positive development is also reflected in all other areas of the network: the courses of the DGNB Academy have been largely fully booked for months and DGNB Certification is reporting record registration figures.

28 November 2022 | DGNB publishes guide to a climate-positive building stock

The construction and real estate sector is facing a huge task: the transformation of the entire building stock towards carbon neutrality. In its latest publication, "Wegweiser Klimapositiver Gebäudebestand" (Guide to a Climate-Positive Building Stock), the DGNB identifies concrete fields of action as well as the most important measures that will make this transformation possible. Companies, municipalities, political decision-makers and many other stakeholder groups will find information on how they can take concrete action and what they should prioritise. The publication's motto is "Act now, break down barriers now, work together now" and is available free of charge online or in print.

2 December 2022 | Conversion of a special kind: Hotel Wilmina wins German Sustainability Award for Architecture

The winner of Germany's renowned architecture prize for sustainable buildings in 2022 is the Hotel Wilmina in Berlin. In the successful conversion of a former women's prison, the jury sees an outstanding example of redensification in existing buildings while at the same time dealing responsibly with a difficult heritage. The German Sustainability Award for Architecture, which is also awarded by the DGNB, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2022. The award ceremony took place during the 15th German Sustainability Day in Dusseldorf.

14 February 2023 | DGNB publishes final version of the Building Resource Passport

At the DGNB Annual Congress 2023, the DGNB presented the final version of the Building Resource Passport. "The creation of a Building Resource Passport is worthwhile in many respects and for different stakeholder groups," explains Dr Anna Braune, Head of Research and Development at the DGNB, under whose leadership the documentation format was developed. Owners of new or existing buildings receive information about the actual materials used, possible harmful substances and information about the material potential and values in the building. Contractors can use the format to systematically document the measures they have implemented and to clearly present the services they have provided. Local authorities can also benefit from the creation of project-specific building resource passports. These can be used, for example, as a basis for the construction and management of urban mines.

22 February 2023 | Circular Economy Taxonomy Study: buildings do not meet EU requirements

"We’ll only succeed with the transformation to sustainable building if there’s a shift in our business practices to the principles of circularity," states DGNB CEO Dr Christine Lemaitre. "That’s why it’s right that the European Union has been using the EU taxonomy framework to develop criteria to promote circular building. Our aim with the study was to gauge whether the building sector is in a position yet to meet requirements and whether the taxonomy is achieving its goal of making a broad impact." The result of the Circular Economy Taxonomy Study: More than half of all new buildings meet less than 50 percent of the requirements. The study consortium derived concrete recommendations from the results, which were already submitted to the EU Commission in October 2022. These include adapting the criteria in terms of marketability, providing clear definitions and methodologies, and setting benchmarks.

7 June 2023 | DGNB special award Ecolabel: joint building certificate of the DGNB and HafenCity Hamburg GmbH

DGNB and HafenCity Hamburg GmbH presented their joint building certificate at the Building Green sustainability conference in Hamburg. The certificate is called "DGNB special award Ecolabel" and can be acquired as a supplement to the DGNB Certificate for New Construction of Buildings. The new special award was developed specifically for projects in the four Hamburg development areas of HafenCity, Billebogen, Grasbrook and Science City Hamburg Bahrenfeld. It takes key sustainability aspects from the previously independently administered Umweltzeichen (i.e. eco-label) HafenCity and links them to the internationally recognised DGNB System.

13 June 2023 | DGNB launches new website and myDGNB networking platform

DGNB e.V., DGNB Certification and DGNB Academy can now be found together at www.dgnb.de. With the relaunch of its website, the DGNB is bringing together the three previously separate DGNB worlds of association, certification and academy. The "How to use the DGNB correctly" section is completely new. Here, the DGNB offers help in finding the right offers depending on personal background.

Together with the new website, the DGNB is also presenting its network platform myDGNB (German only). This can be used free of charge by all interested parties. Various open and exclusive groups offer space for joint exchange. Newsletter subscriptions and unsubscriptions can also be made via myDGNB.

5 October 2023 | DGNB publishes new system variant for biodiversity-promoting exterior spaces

In close cooperation with the Lake Constance Foundation and with the involvement of numerous experts, the DGNB has presented a certification system focussing on biodiversity. The DGNB System Biodiversity-promoting exterior spaces focuses on the landscaping and maintenance of areas on built-up properties, façades and roofs and is therefore based on the principle of recertification. The aim is to support the conservation of species and ecosystem diversity.

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