What is DGNB?
DGNB is a German certification system that stands for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen, also known as German Sustainable Building Council. DGNB is a voluntary certification system that primarily focuses on bettering the sustainability of construction and buildings. The certificate can, therefore, be seen as being a sustainability certificate that puts sustainability at the forefront of the construction industry.
DGNB’s certification builds upon the sustainability definitions stipulated by the UN. The certification evaluates new builds based on the principles of the six main areas, which are: environmental qualities, economic quality, social quality, technical quality, process quality, and area quality. This can be seen through DGNB’s ranking system, as new builds can be evaluated and placed into one of the three rankings; Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Besides the three main rankings, it is also possible to gain an extra ranking such as Heart or diamond. These rankings mean that the construction industry can achieve a DGNB certification on their projects either new builds or renovations, by gaining points for every sustainable decision made during the entire process.
As written previously, buildings can achieve a DGNB certificate by fulfilling DGNB’s criteria for a sustainable building and thereby rank in one of the three sustainability levels created by DGNB, silver, gold, or platinum. Those three achievements are mainly assigned to new builds if they have reached a certain number of points. The points are achieved by implementing and fulfilling sustainability criteria established by DGNB. The certificate does not only apply to new builds, as DGNB has also taken into consideration ways old constructions can be considered for a certificate. With old constructions, the ranking above does not quite apply because a lot can have changed since the building was built. Therefore, for old constructions, DGNB has imposed an additional ranking: bronze.
As mentioned it is possible for buildings to achieve an additional ranking: heart and/ or diamond. The heart is assigned to those projects who have had an extra focus on consumer well-being and the environment. It is only achieved by the buildings that reach approximately 75% of the criteria indicated as heart points and only if the building is already certified as DGNB. The diamond ranking is assigned to the buildings that focus on unique and aesthetically pleasing architectural work, and like the heart ranking, is simultaneously DGNB certified