Certification requirements

The purpose of the DGNB and the DGNB System is not to provide certification for certification's sake, solely as a marketing tool or to demonstrate leadership; instead, it uses certification as a means by which a consistent overall quality standard can be ensured. Of course this also entails transparent quality control by means of an independent, neutral certification process. The DGNB System is intended to be used both as motivation and as a planning tool, enabling demonstrably better buildings to be built and managed. Sustainability must be approached as an integral part of every building project rather than being an add-on or an optional consideration.

If the DGNB system is to be applied, there are certain requirements that must be met:

New construction

System boundary and minimum requirements

Unless otherwise specified in the individual criteria, only the building and open spaces directly allocated to it are taken into consideration for the assessment. Some criteria stipulate or allow for the assessment of outdoor areas.

The building will be primarily used in accordance with its scheme.

In addition, the following DGNB minimum requirements apply:

  1. Indoor air quality (minimum requirements in accordance with SOC1.2 criterion)
  2. Design for all (minimum requirements in accordance with SOC2.1 criterion)
  3. Fire safety (minimum requirements in accordance with TEC1.1 criterion)
  4. Statutory requirements: The statutory requirements that apply to the building to be certified must be fulfilled.

Where individual regulations with regard to minimum requirements exist, these are listed in this document in the section titled "Scheme-specific information".

Current validity of expert reports, analyses and simulations:

Expert reports, analyses and simulations must make reference to the current planning status or the building as it was actually constructed. If expert reports and simulations made reference to a previous planning status, evidence must be provided to clearly demonstrate that they continue to be valid and relevant.

Required documentation that must be submitted for the project (certificates)

The required documentation must be produced in accordance with the requirements described in the criteria.
Alternatively, the following forms of documentation can be provided:

Alternative evidence

The requirements of the criterion/indicator remain unchanged.
The criteria specify the required or permissible forms of documentation. The evidence can be provided in another form as long as it clearly demonstrates that the objective of the criterion/indicator has been achieved. Before submitting documentary evidence in an alternative form, the proposed alternative form must be agreed with the DGNB certification body. The decision lies with the DGNB certification body.

Documentation for innovation areas (to replace "Individual project solutions")

If a criterion for an indicator allows for an alternative solution in the form of an innovation area, the indicator in question can be fulfilled by this solution. This enables the objective of a criterion/indicator to be fulfilled by a quality of the building that has previously not been described in this way in the criterion/indicator. Before submitting documentary evidence in an alternative form, the proposed alternative form must be agreed with the DGNB certification body. The decision lies with the DGNB certification body.

Simplified means of providing documentary evidence

Instead of the required documentation, documentation for some criteria can be supplied using a documentation template (can be downloaded from the internal section of the DGNB website). The template must be signed by the people named on the template. By signing the document, the signatories confirm that the requirements listed in the criterion have been fulfilled. The DGNB reserves the right to request individual pieces of documentary evidence on a random basis at a later date as part of the conformity assessment.

Mixed use

Minimum requirements

The DGNB minimum requirements must be met according to each criterion of the respective DGNB scheme, both for the primary use and for all secondary uses.

Secondary requirements

Secondary requirements for all topics apply to the building as a whole.

Part certification

If mixed use certification is not considered appropriate or desirable, a certification in part may be possible:

  • Buildings comprising various parts can be certified in part if the following conditions are met:
  • Buildings/building parts must have separate and independent entrances
  • The separation between buildings/buildings parts must recognisable
  • Buildings/building parts must have separate mechanical and electrical building systems
  • Buildings/building parts must have separate energy certificates

Buildings in use

At time of certification, the building has been in operation for minimum 1 year.

DGNB minimum requirements

The building to be certified must fulfil all legal requirements.

Up-to-date evidence

Evidence submitted during the certification should refer to the current building condition. If evidence is submitted, which refers to the previous building condition, its validity must be demonstrated plausibly.

Primary and secondary use

The criteria of the Buildings in Use scheme allow for an evaluation according to surface areas. The criteria set is applicable to all building types.

In case of uncertainty, the auditor can submit a project certification query (PCQ) prior to registering a project.


German Sustainable Building Council

Phone: +49 711 722322-0
info at dgnb.de