DGNB initiatives, projects and more

"We bring together all those who have understood that 'business as usual' has no future".

The DGNB's commitment is multifaceted. Among other things, it has helped to launch various initiatives in recent years and actively promotes work in these. It is also part of international cooperation projects and co-initiator of other non-profit organizations.


Climate-positive cities and communities

The Climate Positive Cities and Communities initiative was launched in 2020 by the DGNB with the aim of helping municipalities to implement the issues of climate protection and sustainability more quickly, more broadly and in a more goal-oriented manner. The background to this is the conviction that climate protection is decided at the municipal level. It is therefore important that cities act beyond individual lighthouse projects. They must make climate protection the standard and have the opportunity to benefit from the experience of others. This requires an implementation-oriented exchange of knowledge. This is precisely where the initiative comes in. Learn more (Content available in German)

Contact: Matthias Schäpers, Senior Project Manager Climate Positive Cities and Communities

Phase Sustainability

Together with the German Chamber of Architects, the DGNB has launched the "Phase Sustainability" initiative. The aim of the initiative is to transform current planning culture and Baukultur to make sustainable building the new normal. Instead of signing another climate manifesto, architects and planners commit themselves to promoting the most important sustainability issues of the Declaration of Sustainability in their discussions with clients. In the meantime, the initiative also includes the fields of interior design, landscape architecture and structural design. Learn more

Contact: Jasmin Uhrig, Project Manager Phase Sustainability

Building Sense Now

Building Sense Now started in 2017 as a self-organizing grassroots movement. Its goal is to create a broad network of like-minded architects, engineers, and designers who want to advocate for climate- and culturally-sensitive buildings around the world. In addition, the initiative shares knowledge and experience. Good design is about climate-resilient and culturally-responsive design - the very message it aims to bring to everyone who plays a role in shaping our cities and buildings, from governments, to manufacturers, to builders, to young designers, architects and planners of the future. Learn more

Contact: Simone Pitzal, Project Manager Trade Fairs and Events


Wissensstiftung (Knowledge Foundation)

We can already design and build good, sustainable, high-quality buildings. So why do we do it so rarely? One key reason: sustainable building is complex. The knowledge to make quick and confident decisions is not always available. This is precisely where the Wissensstiftung comes in. Under the motto "Saving the world is not easy, but with the right knowledge it at least becomes easier", it provides directly applicable knowledge, checked by experts, free of charge on the Wissensstiftung platform. DGNB is one of the initiators of the organization. Learn more (Content available in German)

Contact: info@wissensstiftung.eu

Climate Positive Europe Alliance

The Climate Positive Europe Alliance (CPEA), AISBL is a non-profit, membership-based think tank located in Brussels. It addresses the most urgent challenges facing stakeholders in the construction and real estate industry, such as sustainable finance, circular economy or the intelligent handling of building data. At the core of its activities are collaboration and the establishment of a cross-sector dialog between business and politics. The Brussels-based organization is backed by the DGNB, the Green Building Council España, the Austrian Society for Sustainable Real Estate and the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (REHVA) and the Green Building Council Denmark. Learn more

Contact: Simone Pitzal, Project Manager Trade Fairs and Events



Research projects

Urban Factory II - Resource-efficient city districts through urban production

In the past, the development of neighbourhoods and urban production sites were often considered separately. The project "Urban Factory II - Resource Efficient City Quarters through Urban Production" considers them as one system, the "city-factory-system". The aim of the project is to synergistically connect the two levels of the system - city and factory - in order to benefit from each other and to implement additional (resource) efficiency potentials for a sustainable factory-city system. Learn more

Duration: 1 July 2021 to 31 July 2025

Your contact:  Svenja Dickmann, Sustainable Districts

NaiS - Sustainable smart renovation measures

The Nais research project won the "GreenTech" innovation competition of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in 2023 and will be funded by the BMWK in the period from May 2023 to April 2026. A consortium of nine project partners is involved in the project. In addition to the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), these include: CAALA, Concular, Hof University of Applied Sciences with a research group from the Institute for Information Systems iisys, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT with the Institute for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB), the Institute for Automation and Applied Informatics (IAI) and the Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI), as well as STRABAG and Züblin. Learn more

Duration: 1 May 2023 to 30 April 2026

Your contact:  Janine Gölz, Manager Digitalisation


To support and implement the European Green Deal, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has brought together European Green Building Councils (GBCs) under the #BuildingLife campaign to drive climate action in the building sector through the development of national and regional decarbonisation roadmaps and their implementation. At the heart of the campaign is a call for national governments and the European Commission to support bold and ambitious policies that address life-cycle emissions from buildings. Learn more

Duration: December 2020 to November 2022 (#BuildingLife), June 2023 to May 2027 (#BuildingLife2)

Your contact: Dr. Anna Braune, Director Research and Development

LIFE Level(s)

Level(s) is the name of an EU approach to reporting on the sustainability performance of buildings over their entire life cycle. The Life for LCA LCC Level(s) project (LIFE Level(s) for short) aimed to mainstream sustainable buildings in Europe through greater awareness and use of the specific indicators of the Level(s) framework. The project focussed on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Costing (LCC) and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) indicators. Learn more

Duration: October 2019 until September 2022

Your contact: Dr. Anna Braune, Director Research and Development

More Life 2 Level(s)

The EU's voluntary Level(s) reporting framework aims to make the sustainability performance of buildings transparent across the EU over their entire life cycle. In the More Life 2 Level(s) research project, the Level(s) framework is now to be applied to ten selected buildings and construction projects. Case studies are to be developed from the application examples. The DGNB's task is to accompany three projects in the application of the Level(s) framework, to answer technical questions and to ensure quality assurance. Learn more

Duration: May 2023 until May 2027

Your contact: Dr. Anna Braune, Director Research and Development


The joint research project CREATEdeals with climate-neutral buildings and sustainable real estate financing. In particular, the objective is to develop and optimise finance and insurance products that conform to the EU taxonomy so that they can precisely address the refurbishment backlog of real estate in Germany and thus develop the highest possible decarbonisation potential. Learn more

Duration: October 2022 until September 2025

Your contacts: Dr. Anna Braune, Director Research and Development, Eva-Maria Stumpp


Cambodia’s traditional architecture took lokal climate conditions into account. Today dynamic economic growth affects the way buildings are built and operated which is not energy-efficient nor tropical climate adapted. The Build4People project therefore aims to support Phnom Penh in its transformation into a sustainable city with a high quality of life. Special focus is placed on the construction and real estate sector. Learn more

Duration: 2021 until 2025 (Research and Development phase)

Your contacts: Dr Stephan Anders, Director Network and Consulting

Project: Awareness-raising and capacity-building for stakeholders in the building sector – implementing a system for assessing the sustainability of buildings for future-oriented development in Croatia

Funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation, this project sets out to develop a methodological framework for assessing the sustainability of buildings on the property market in Croatia. Assessments are based on the entire life cycles of buildings. In addition to offering its expertise, the DGNB has been providing access to its empirical know-how, literature and publications, all of which has been received by a variety of specialist committees and adapted to the requirements of the Croatian market.

Durationt: Dezember 2022 until 2024

Your contact: Levan Ekhvaia, Manager International Certification


The research project "TMon – Wissenschaftliche Evaluation von Leistungen zum Technischen Monitoring und Inbetriebnahmemanagement" (TMon – Scientific Evaluation of Services for Technical Monitoring and Commissioning Management) addresses the question of how quality management services (QMS) can close the gap between a sustainable concept for the operation of buildings and their actual performance. The background to this is that both the requirements of what a building should be able to achieve in terms of energy efficiency, comfort or flexibility, and the complexity of technical solutions are increasing. At the same time, actual sustainability in operation is becoming increasingly important - especially with regard to energy costs and regulations such as the EU taxonomy. The aim is to evaluate 100 buildings and the QMS applied. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action. More about the project (German only)

The DGNB is participating in the call for projects that would like to take part in the evaluation. Register buildings for the research project (German only)

Duration: November 2022 until October 2026

Your contacts: Seema Issar, Manager Buildings In Use / Sustainable Finance; Franziska Bockelmann, SIZ



GROUNDBREAKERS is a joint initiative of the DGNB, the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO together with partners from business, science and education. The aim of the initiative is to actively shape the transformation of the construction industry towards digitalisation and sustainability by supporting early-stage start-ups and accompanying innovations on their way to market maturity. GROUNDBREAKERS is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism. Find out more (German only)

Your contacts: Felix Jansen, Director PR, Communications and Marketing; Dr. Stephan Anders, Director Network and Consulting

Klimaneutral Massiv Bauen@skills.BW

The knowledge platform "Klimaneutral Massiv Bauen@skills.BW" is a digital and practical training programme focusing on innovative, climate-friendly solid construction. Participation is free of charge. The target group includes architects, planners and construction companies.

In addition to the DGNB, the following partners are involved in the knowledge platform: Architektenkammer Baden-Württemberg, Bauwirtschaft Baden-Württemberg e.V., Ingenieurkammer Baden-Württemberg, solid UNIT Baden-Württemberg e.V..

The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Tourism as part of the "BAU.weiter.BILDEN@BW" funding programme. More about the project (German only)

Your contact: Mario Schneider, Director DGNB Academy

Networks initiated by the federal government

Unternehmen biologische Vielfalt

In 2013, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), together with business and nature conservation associations, launched the action and dialogue platform Unternehmen Biologische Vielfalt - UBi. The project is funded by the BfN and the BMUV as part of the Federal Programme for Biological Diversity. UBi supports business associations in establishing and developing environmental management and biodiversity protection in their member companies. It pursues a partnership approach that emphasises individual initiative and synergies. UBi's supporters include numerous institutions, including the DGNB. As a committed member, we are actively involved in UBi's circle of supporters and make our knowledge and experience available. Find out more (German only)

Your contact: Carla Schweizer, Project Manager Research Projects

Gebäudeforum klimaneutral

The DGNB is part of the network Gebäudeforum klimaneutral. It's aim is to multiply knowledge and thus accelerate the progress of the energy transition in the building sector by joining forces and exchanging information to promote climate neutrality in the building sector. To this end, the DGNB distributes publications on the subject, as well as tools and guidelines via the network, and contributes its expertise.

Your cantact: Dr. Anna Braune, Director Research and Development