Guide to Climate Positive Building Stock

Setting goals, identifying tasks and taking effective action with the proper measures!

The effects of climate change are already perceptible to many people today and will affect everyone in the future. Stabilising the climate is the major task of this decade. On the one hand, this requires rapid, far-reaching measures in all sectors that lead to an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, it is necessary to adapt our society to the changing climate and to maintain and build effective greenhouse gas sinks. The construction and real estate industry plays a crucial role in this.

The declared goal: a climate-positive building stock. Buildings must be transformed from the largest source of CO2 into active elements of the building and energy transformation.

To ensure that this transformation succeeds, the DGNB has developed a guide with the broad participation of active members of the organisation and external experts as part of the joint European project #BuildingLife.

Our joint path

As a common basis, an overview of essential regulatory framework conditions at German federal and EU level that are of interest to the building sector can be found here, among other things. In addition, an insight into the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the German building sector is provided and the status quo of the building stock is shown. The DGNB then summarises 50 top measures for our joint path to a climate-positive building stock, structured along four overarching strategic goals and a total of 15 fields of action. For each measure, it is clearly defined for which stakeholder group it is relevant.

Publication|pdf|English|2 MB

Guide to Climate Positive Building Stock

Publication: 27.04.2023

Strategic goal 1

Eliminating emissions associated with energy consumption and making a positive contribution to the energy transition with renewable energies

Strategic goal 2

Preserving the value of existing buildings, minimising the use of resources and ensuring long and intensive use of buildings

Strategic goal 3

Renovating existing buildings and building necessary new buildings emission-free and with climate positive materials

Strategic Goal 4

Creating political and financial framework conditions for trans-formation

Action area 1
Capturing the current situation with climate action roadmaps and planning climate neutrality in specific terms

Action area 5
Reducing land requirements and using land intensively
Action area 9
Manufacturing climate action-oriented, carbon-free materials and products
Action area 12
Setting the course for immediate climate action in the building sector at regional and national level

Action area 2
Reducing energy demand and consumption of buildings

Action area 6
Preserving existing buildings or using them as a source of raw materials
Action area 10
Planning and implementing climate action-oriented renovations and new buildings
Action area 13
Putting municipalities on a climate positive course
Action area 3
Using 100% renewable energies and acting as an active element in the energy transition
Action area 7
Strengthening longevity with adaptable and circular structures and components
Action area 11
Using buildings as carbon sinks and stores
Action area 14
Promoting and financing sustainable solutions

Action area 4 
Establishing climate-neutral and efficient energy supply systems

Action area 8
Building simply, adding on, redensifying - creating qualities using less resources
 Action area 15
Reducing subsidies harmful to the climate and aligning tax policies with climate action

The measures in detail

The top 50 measures are described again in detail in the second part of the publication. An even more comprehensive collection of key measures can also be found here. In addition, there are further preparatory and information-providing measures for the ambitious that will only have an effect later, but which should also be implemented for a complete and consistent orientation of the sector towards carbon neutrality or climate positivity.

Please note: The publication is currently only available in German.

Publication|pdf|German|3 MB

Guide to Climate Positive Building Stock Part 2

Publication: 28.11.2022

From the common path to one's own contribution

In order to provide even more practical support in taking action, the DGNB has also developed stakeholder-specific programmes of measures for owners and owners of existing buildings, manufacturers, planners and builders in workshops together with representatives of the industry. Users will find concrete objectives for their own actions, the most important ten measures for immediate implementation, as well as other effective measures prioritised according to their own sphere of influence.

We invite all interested parties to use these programmes and to further adapt them individually for their own organisation. Further programmes of measures are being planned. Until then, people from all other stakeholder groups are called upon to take the time to create their own programmes of measures based on the second part.

Background information: #BuildingLife
The #BuildingLife campaign was launched by the World Green Building Council with funding from the IKEA Foundation, the Laudes Foundation and the European Climate Foundation in the run-up to the COP26 global climate conference. The campaign focuses on calling on national governments and the European Commission to support bold and ambitious policies that take into account greenhouse gas emissions over the entire life cycle of a building and bring them to net zero.
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Your Contacts

Dr. Anna Braune

Director Research and Development

Miriam Laudien

Project Manager Research Projects