Press release

Product information at the click of a button DGNB Navigator: new online database for building products

Architects and planners are confronted with an overabundance of building products in their day-to-day work. The wide range of information issued by manufacturers, eco-labels and declarations make it difficult to make the right choice sometimes. Without an easily accessible, reliable overview of the sustainability aspects of different products, searching is often very time-consuming and laborious. The DGNB - German Sustainable Building Council - is now closing this gap by presenting its new online database - the DGNB Navigator.

The Navigator is a powerful instrument that offers architects, engineers and auditors, as well as property owners and building contractors, a means of planning sustainable projects. Based on an intelligent product search function, the Navigator enables users to call up essential information concerning the technical features of the products, as well as ecological, economic and health-related aspects. All items of information have been correlated and optimized according to the DGNB criteria, including details of energy requirements, life cycle costs, emission characteristics, life cycle assessments or classification as a pollutant or another hazardous substance. The Navigator supports auditors during the certification process, thereby reducing the effort and expense for the customer as well.

The online platform offers manufacturers a means of presenting all their products and the associated properties from the point of view of sustainability. It also provides space for pictures of the products, detailed drawings, product catalogs, examples of use or reference projects.

As a special service, the DGNB offers manufacturers the DGNB Navigator label for building products that are included in the database. Manufacturers can apply the label to their products or use it in their corporate communications. Each label bears a product-specific registration code. Users are then able to call up all of the information relating to a particular product by entering the registration code in the database.

Manufacturers enter the pertinent information into the online database directly. The DGNB validates the data prior to publication and takes care of quality control. In the DGNB Navigator, information provided by the manufacturer and independently verified information are clearly identified as such and can therefore be easily distinguished from one another by the user.

The Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) plays a crucial role. It contains all of the information that is relevant to the life cycle assessment of a product in the form of a clearly laid-out summary, which has been verified by an independent third party. It constitutes an important foundation for building certification using the DGNB system and is another component that contributes to the overall quality of the internet platform. The DGNB Navigator offers manufacturers who already have EPDs for their products an ideal communication instrument, enabling them to communicate sustainability aspects to their target groups transparently and directly via the online platform.

The IBU – Institute Construction and Environment e.V. - is currently the only organization in Germany that consistently draws up EPDs on the basis of already harmonized international standards and therefore complies with the DGNB's requirements for the quality of the life cycle assessment.

Navigator knowledge platform
Furthermore, the Navigator offers extensive information on sustainable building and gives answers to such questions as "How relevant are building products to sustainable building? What are EPDs and which other labels exist?" It gives interested parties and registered users an opportunity to expand their knowledge continuously. Work is currently in progress to produce a bilingual version of the platform.

Available at

Additional information
DGNB - German Sustainable Building Council
Kronprinzstrasse 11
70173 Stuttgart, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)711 72 23 22-0
Fax: +49 (0)711 72 23 22-99

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