Ways in which we can contribute to the preservation of biodiversity with the built environment

Stable, biologically diverse ecosystems provide fresh air and clean water, remove CO2 from the atmosphere, offer protection against erosion, ensure pollination of (useful) plants and harvests and, last but not least, are attractive places for recreation and leisure. They are therefore of high economic and emotional value to humans. However, the diversity of species and ecosystems is rapidly dwindling. Since a loss of biodiversity and climate change are mutually negative, the biodiversity crisis is not only a growing economic problem, but also a humanitarian problem that needs to be solved.

The building industry in particular has a special responsibility here: buildings and infrastructure can contribute a great deal to the protection and promotion of biodiversity - for example, through bird-friendly window and façade planning and the installation of nesting boxes or insect hotels. In addition, green roof and façade areas not only offer animals a place to rest, but also contribute to better air quality.

Biodiversity in the DGNB System

With the explicit criteria "biodiversity" for districts and "biodiversity on site" for buildings, the influence on the surrounding ecosystems is taken into account in a DGNB Certification. This also takes into account aspects that are less visible at first glance, such as biotope networking, so as not to isolate plant and animal species, or long-term biodiversity strategies and care instructions. The protection of biological-ecological diversity and quality is also implicitly anchored in other DGNB Criteria. Furthermore, the DGNB recently developed a a variant of its DGNB System specifically focused on the promotion of biodiversity in exterior spaces. However, it is just as important for us as the DGNB to impart concrete knowledge on the subject of biodiversity. That is why the DGNB Academy is dedicated to this topic with a wide range of seminars.

DGNB Holzplakette, Zertifizierung in Gold

DGNB System for Biodiversity-Promoting Exterior Spaces

The DGNB has developed its own system variant for the promotion of biodiversity in order to increase the use of biodiversity in the construction…

DGNB's commitment to the protection of biodiversity

Network "Unternehmen biologische Vielfalt"

The protection of biodiversity is an issue that concerns the DGNB. This is why we are involved in the "Unternehmen biologische Vielfalt" network, among others. This brings together stakeholders from business, nature conservation, science and politics to exchange knowledge and experience. The network also supports business associations in establishing and expanding environmental management and the protection of biodiversity in their member companies. It is supported by the Federal Biological Diversity Programme.

Learn more

Biodiversity Commitment

The Earth's biodiversity carrying capacity has already been exceeded and there is a sharp decline in biodiversity worldwide. This is why we, the German Sustainable Building Council, have made a Biodiversity Commitment in the run-up to the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD-COP 15), in order to actively campaign for the preservation and protection of biological diversity and to motivate others to become active as well. You can also find out more about our commitment and the voluntary commitment on the DGNB Blog.

Become active yourself

If you want to become active, you can...

You can send us further suggestions and examples via We look forward to your feedback!

Biodiversity in practice: How to design exterior spaces with a positive impact

Biodiversity and its protection is a key issue for the DGNB. At the DGNB Annual Congress 2024, we dedicated a themed room to this topic, where we not only presented the DGNB Certification for Biodiversity-Promoting Exterior Spaces, but also discussed with stakeholders from the fields of practice and politics what experience and knowledge they have gained in the context of promoting biodiversity in practice. The discussion made it clear that the enormous importance of preserving ecosystem and species diversity is being increasingly understood. But how can those involved in shaping the built environment make a difference?

The discussion is in German.

Publication|pdf|English|3 MB

Building for a better world

Publication: 16.02.2021
The publication "Building for a better world" shows how buildings can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It introduces the reader to the topic of sustainable development and highlights that up to 15 SDGs are addressed through sustainable construction. Using the example of erecting new buildings, using and operating buildings and developing districts, the report shows that the DGNB certification system can be used as a planning tool to translate the SDGs into real projects. Sustainable development thus becomes tangible.

Your contact

Carla Schweizer

Project Manager Research Projects