Press release

Turnaround in the construction and property industry

The German sustainability certificate for assessing buildings is providing impetus for the sector

Stuttgart, June 2008. The construction and property sector is on the brink of a fundamental transformation: factors such as energy efficiency, protection of resources and a healthy living and working environment are coming to the fore. The sector’s general conditions are changing and as a result buildings will be planned, built and managed differently in future. This radical change calls for an accurate tool for fully assessing the quality of construction work and reporting the findings to the market. A significant hallmark that offers assurance to investors, operators and users in equal measure. For this purpose, the German sustainability certificate is currently being developed jointly by the German Sustainable Building Council (GeSBC) and the Federal Building Ministry.

The GeSBC is backed by major construction and property firms, including renowned architects and planners, and by colleges. Their aim is to propel the sector to a leading position worldwide in terms of sustainability. They have decided to launch a leading quality hallmark for sustainable buildings onto the market. Together, the GeSBC experts asses international developments in legislation, standardisation and science, and analyse best practice examples taken from current architecture.

In particular, the certificate goes beyond the ecological aspects of “green buildings” and effectively includes economic and socio-cultural trends – fully in line with the idea of sustainability.
Rather than debating energy certificates and the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), the GeSBC is opening up a broad perspective for the German construction and property sector. The pivotal point here is the “Made in Germany” label. By taking stock of the entire life cycle, the new sustainability certificate documents high-quality buildings - worldwide.

Compared with other international hallmarks, the German version has further advantages: it deals with economic issues such as property value retention and life cycle costs, and allows greater room for manoeuvre for builders and planners in meeting their objectives. Moreover, it fully incorporates future European legislation and standardisation in terms of sustainable construction, thereby giving assurance to investors, operators and users.

The certificate’s advantages for the construction and property industry can be summed up as follows. It:

  • documents the positive effects of a building on the environment and society
  • makes the high quality of a building visible to owners and users o provides clear support with planning sustainable buildings
  • reassures investors as early on as the planning stage that the performance aims of a building will be achieved upon its completion
  • increases the chances of selling and renting a building
  • reduces the risk of high energy consumption and high costs during useful life
  • guarantees an excellent work environment in commercial properties for staff and customers
  • improves the development chances for architects and planners, and leads to a better appreciation of their planning achievements
  • is based on the life-cycle concept, which is also indispensable for PPP projects
  • boosts exports of German products and services
  • makes the German property market more attractive for foreign investors
  • serves as a corporate communication tool for investors and owners and attests to their commitment vis-à-vis sustainability

This new certificate will be unveiled on 17/18 June 2008 during the Consense International Congress and Trade Fair for Sustainable Building, to be held at the Neue Messe in Stuttgart. At this event, the certification system will be presented to the public for the first time.

Further information
Deutsche Gesellschaft für nachhaltiges Bauen DGNB
Stuttgarter Engineering Park / STEP 9
70563 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 (0)711 72 23 22-0
Fax : +49 (0)711 72 23 22-99


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