Press release

New: DGNB’s International Core System

“We’re now perfectly positioned for the international market”, says Dr. Christine Lemaitre, CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), summing up the productivity of the past few months.

Under the general management of board members Dr. Peter Mösle and Johannes Kreissig, the DGNB has consistently developed its certification system to meet international requirements. “Worldwide application of the DGNB certificate was our aim from the outset”, emphasizes Lemaitre. “The DGNB System has therefore been developed to allow for quick, and above all, transparent adaptation to the requirements of other countries and their building culture.”

The newly developed international core system for the certification of sustainable buildings forms the basis for these adaptations. All DGNB criteria are fully geared towards the European Union’s legal provisions, standards and technical regulations. “This sets the DGNB certificate apart from any other label on the market”, states board member Peter Mösle.

The DGNB’s international partner organisations enjoy great benefits as a result. Together with DGNB, they adapt the certification system to their respective countries. If, for instance, no standard for adapting a certain DGNB criterion exists at the local level, reference can be made to the requirements in the DGNB’s international core system.

With key calculations, such as life cycle assessment, the procedure is the same; if there isn’t any country-specific data for a certain construction material, the core system’s corresponding international dataset can be used.

But the DGNB system goes even further; with a forward-looking approach, it takes into account the structure and philosophy not only of current, but also of anticipated European standards. The basic EU-compliant principles include, above all, the approach to rating buildings according to their lifecycle; and evaluating building performance holistically, not based on individual measures.

Comparability with high value – for investors, clients, and occupants
For international users, the DGNB system has the great advantage of allowing maximum adaptability to country-specific building cultures, while at the same time forming a consistent basis for the comparison of buildings in different countries. The local baseline is set by the DGNB Bronze Certificate, whose requirements are based on current construction practices in the relevant country. By contrast, the DGNB Gold Certificate is measured against a unified international standard, which is adjusted to the global climate and market. A “Gold” building in southern Europe therefore represents the same quality as a “Gold” building in East Asia. “This differentiated approach is a powerful tool for the evaluation of building performance when making international comparisons”, stresses Mr. Mösle. “And it’s a unique feature of the DGNB certification system.” The quality of the DGNB system ensures the same standards are met everywhere, and guarantees the required transparency and safety for investors, clients, and occupants.

International board guarantees quality
The DGNB System is already being adapted, with partner organisations, for a number of different markets, for instance in Austria, Bulgaria and China. “Many other countries have also expressed interest”, says Christine Lemaitre. “They see the great advantage with the system that not all buildings in all countries are unfairly measured by the same yardstick. The differences in climate, building culture, and many other areas are simply too extensive. This is where the DGNB system really shines.” Quality assurance during the adaptation and certification process is guaranteed by the DGNB through an internationally assembled committee, the International Board.

International training
Closely associated will be the internationalization of DGNB training. The English-language curriculum for the first training course is ready. Together with the partner organizations, a series of international courses will be initiated. “We’re well-prepared for the next steps on the international stage”, says the DGNB’s CEO.

The international core system was unveiled for the first time at Consense (the DGNB’s annual congress), which was held at the new Trade Fair Centre in Stuttgart, on 22 and 23 June 2010. Here, new cooperation contracts with partner organizations in Switzerland, Hungary and Thailand, as well as a memorandum of cooperation with the Russian Green Building Council were signed.

Further information
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V.
German Sustainable Building Council
Kronprinzstraße 11
70173 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 (0)711 72 23 22-0
Fax: +49 (0)711 72 23 22-99

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