The DGNB Certification System: A Unique Approach to Sustainability
The DGNB certification system stands out as the only one fully aligned with EU regulations and norms. This alignment has led the Croatia Green Building Council to shift its focus to promoting this specific certification after a decade of active advocacy.
Introduced to the market in 2009, this system was developed by the German Council for Sustainable Construction, from which it derives its name (DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen).
Over the years, it has evolved into a global benchmark for sustainability, celebrated for its comprehensive approach to evaluating both buildings and urban areas. What sets it apart is its equal emphasis on economic and environmental aspects within the realm of sustainable construction. The DGNB certification offers several variants tailored to buildings, neighborhoods, urban areas, and interiors.
Key distinctions of the DGNB system include:
- Lifecycle Assessment: It assesses the entire lifecycle of a building, encompassing planning, construction, use, and demolition.
- Holistic Evaluation: The system takes a holistic approach, considering all construction aspects in alignment with end-users and the social dynamics of the space.
- Effectiveness of Design: It evaluates the overall design quality of a building, urban area, neighborhood, or interior.
Sustav također počiva na tri polazna stupa održivosti; ekologija, ekonomija i društvo te se svaki od navedenih jednako vrednuje.
Još u samom početku sustav je izrađen tako da bude primjenjiv na međunarodnoj razini, odnosno da se jednostavno može prilagoditi klimatskim, strukturnim, pravnim i kulturnim uvjetima širom svijeta.
The system is built on three core sustainability pillars: ecology, economy, and society, with each pillar given equal weight. From its inception, the DGNB system was crafted for international applicability, making it adaptable to diverse climatic, structural, legal, and cultural conditions worldwide.
In the assessment process, we take into account the entire lifecycle of the building, spanning from the planning and design phase, through construction and the operational phase (building use), to the end of the building’s lifecycle (demolition).
Based on predefined criteria and target values, buildings can attain different classifications. The efficiency index determines whether a building earns a platinum, gold, silver, or bronze certificate.
Local consultants, well-versed in the DGNB certification system and the specific regional conditions, propose tailored optimizations for local implementation. These optimization proposals are subsequently subject to approval by DGNB.
Are you interested in certifying a project, building, neighborhood, or interiors according to comprehensive European sustainability principles?
Register your project here:
Since 2016, the Croatia Green Building Council has proudly held the designation of DGNB Academy Partner. This status empowers us to address the specific requirements and educate local experts in the field of the built environment, equipping them with the knowledge and criteria necessary to attain DGNB certification.
Currently, there are 26 certified DGNB consultants actively operating in Croatia. You can find the complete list here:
Example of a Project with a DGNB Platinum Pre-Certificate: Neubau Bürogebäude, 3.BA Vector Regensburg, RB01; Vector Informatik GmbH
Pilot Phase in Progress
During the pilot phase of adapting the DGNB system to the Croatian market, all clients, registered projects, and consultants stand to benefit. The inaugural DGNB certificate will be conferred upon the Matrix C office building in Zagreb.
If you aspire for your project to champion a sustainable and environmentally friendly future, seek out a Croatian consultant who can expertly guide you through the process. The DGNB certificate provides investors with market-recognized quality assurance, particularly significant in the current era of climate challenges. Users of these spaces also appreciate the significance of occupying environments that positively impact health, overall well-being, and the environment.
The pilot phase is well underway, and we invite you to join us as advocates for sustainable change!
DGNB Academy: Building Expertise
Since 2016, the Croatia Green Building Council has proudly held the title of DGNB Academy Partner. This distinction empowers us to address the specific needs of our local experts in the built environment, offering comprehensive education about the criteria and evaluation processes required to attain the coveted DGNB certificate.
Discover more about the education and training opportunities available for DGNB Registered Professionals and DGNB Consultants here
All DGNB publications can be downloaded directly from DGNB web page free of charge in PDF format. All you need to do is log in with your DGNB User Account. In addition, you can order a printed copy of selected publications free of charge from the DGNB.
DGNB brochures can be read online:
The property market has quite a bit of catching up to do if it wants to work through the taxonomy criteria laid down by the European Union. This is partially because stakeholders lack the information they need to fulfil verification requirements. In addition, the way some of the criteria are currently formulated, they are practically impossible to fulfil. This is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by the DGNB in collaboration with partners from Denmark, Austria and Spain. It also includes concrete recommendations to the EU Commission and market stakeholders aimed at making it easier to apply the criteria in the future.
These guidelines aim to promote the increased use of life cycle assessments in the planning process, by demonstrating the relevance and potential of this tool. Designers and building contractors are additionally provided with arguments for employing these methods as an optimisation tool as early as possible in the planning and implementation process, and the sustainability effects that can be achieved as a result of this are emphasised. Furthermore, the reader is presented with examples of how the results of life cycle assessments are communicated and can serve as supporting arguments for making more environmentally sensible decisions in the course of the planning process.
In recent years the term “circular economy” has become more widespread and has also become a relevant topic in construction. The concept upon which the circular economy is based has great potential: The availability of resources should be ensured for future generations through their appreciation, as well as reuse and recovery. The circular economy is therefore an elementary building block of sustainability and it transfers sustainability to society and its individual sectors.
In the Framework, the DGNB has compiled its definition of carbon neutrality as well as the corresponding explanations regarding procedures. The aim is to create clarity on the market and to educate all stakeholders with regard to effective optimisation approaches for reducing the CO2 emissions of their properties. Among other things, the Framework describes the rules for CO2 accounting of buildings and sites. It also serves as a basis for developing building-specific climate action strategies. Additionally, requirements and possibilities for CO2 reporting and quality assurance are presented.