"The Danish experts' decision-making process confirmed that we are on the right track," says Dr. Christine Lemaitre, CEO of the DGNB. "The foundation of the DGNB system is thoroughly international. It integrates all of the important requirements imposed by EU legislation and standards. Furthermore, the comprehensive system can be easily adapted to the building culture in another country. It is a second-generation certification system."
The DGNB system has also been applied successfully in other regions such as Eastern Europe. Several office buildings and a shopping mall are already undergoing the certification process in Bulgaria, for example. The Bulgarian Green Building Council, the DGNB's partner organization, has around 45 members and is already able to provide the first qualified auditors for local projects. DGNB auditors are currently involved in the preliminary work for the first certification processes in Hungary and Russia, where auditor training courses are already being conducted locally. A partner organization is being established in Slovenia and auditor training is due to commence shortly in the Czech Republic. "We are actively involved in several places at the same time. There is tremendous interest in the DGNB system at the international level," concludes Dr. Lemaitre.
Dynamic growth is evident in the development of the partner organizations that have already been established in Austria and Switzerland. The Austrian Society for Sustainable Real Estate (ÖGNI) has around 250 members and has certified almost 30 projects. The Swiss Sustainable Building Council (SGNI) has completed the process of adapting the DGNB system to the country's alpine conditions and is getting ready to certify its first projects. The coveted certificate has already been awarded to real estate projects in Luxembourg and - as in Switzerland - these are soon to be followed by city districts.
The DGNB is conducting partnership negotiations with interested organizations in many other countries. One example is the office which the DGNB has set up in China, where the first project is going through the certification procedure.
The DGNB is very actively involved in international networks. One of its members has been elected to the Board of the World Green Building Council, the umbrella association for organizations in the sustainable building sector. The DGNB ensures that a higher level of transparency is maintained in European assessment systems within the Sustainable Building Alliance, an amalgamation of leading European building certification organizations. It promotes common positions on European building policy within the framework of the Europe Regional Network, an amalgamation of 30 sustainable building organizations.
This is supplemented by the DGNB's commitment to EU projects. The non-profit organization is one of the partners in the GreenConServe project, for example. The European Commission program helps small and medium-sized enterprises prepare themselves for sustainable building. The DGNB also contributes its widely diversified expertise in sustainable building issues to EU research and knowledge-transfer projects such as OpenHouse and Construction21.
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