Header GIB

DGNB Climate Positive award

The DGNB has set itself the goal of highlighting exemplary projects, presenting their success factors and inspiring others in the process. For this reason, the DGNB has created the Climate Positive award. This can be awarded to buildings that are demonstrably carbon-neutral based on their real consumption data. It rewards buildings that already do more today through their carbon-neutral operation and thus make a positive contribution to the climate and energy turnaround.

The Climate Positive award is granted by the DGNB to buildings for a period of one year, which meet the technical requirements and provide the relevant evidence as part of a certification for buildings in use.



The Climate Positive award can only be granted when certifying according to the DGNB system Buildings In Use. For this, the building must have been in operation for at least one year.

Further information on the DGNB System for Buildings in Use can be found here.

When is a building considered carbon neutral?

A building is considered to be carbon-neutral if the difference between the emissions emitted during operation and the emissions saved by the generation and external provision of CO2 free energy is zero or less than zero over a period of one year.

A carbon-neutral building is a showcase for minimised building energy use, user energy and CO2 emissions from supply systems. In addition, the generation and use of renewable energy to cover the remaining domestic demand has been maximised and excess energy has been exported. If the building achieves a balanced CO2 balance through the purchase of remotely generated renewable energy sources, such as green electricity or biogas, minimum requirements for the building envelope must be demonstrated. The inclusion of remote energy sources in the CO2 balance must be communicated and key figures on solar potential, generation and consumption must be disclosed.

What are the specific requirements for the DGNB Climate Positive award?

  • Evidence for a negative annual CO2 balance according to the accounting scope "operation", with measured data of one calendar year.
  • Efficient use of energy to cover own consumption: For all buildings, the minimum requirements for the building envelope from the national energy regulation in 2014 or later must be complied with. Alternatively, if no national regulations exist, the minimum requirements from DGNB System New Buildings, Version 2020/ TEC1.3 – Quality of the building envelope, Appendix 1 can be applied.
  • Cover annual energy consumption by on-site energy generation to a feasible extent.
  • If renewable energy generated off-site is purchased: Compliance with the minimum requirements according to DGNB publication "Framework for carbon neutral buildings and sites", as well as transparency regarding the delivered quantities.
  • Documentation showing key performance indicators "self-generated fraction of consumed final energy" and "realised fraction of solar renewable potential". For further information please refer to the DGNB publication "Framework for carbon neutral buildings and sites".

What evidence must be provided for the award?

The evidence to be provided is:

  • CO2 accounting according to the Framework (accounting scope "operation") and documentation of necessary data in the DGNB-CO2 accounting tool of the criterion ENV1-B Climate protection and energy.
  • Documentation of minimum requirements from ENEV 2014 for the building envelope.
  • If renewable energy generated off-site is purchased: Documentation of minimum requirements according to the Framework.
  • Declaration of indicators "self-generated fraction of consumed final energy" and "realised fraction of solar renewable potential".

Can the award also be granted for entire portfolios?

No. The Climate Positive award cannot be granted for an entire portfolio. The certificates must be checked individually for the operation of all buildings.


Melisa Körükmez
DGNB Navigator / Certification Buildings In Use
Phone: +49 711 722322-52
m.koeruekmez at dgnb.de


Alice Gerstner
Certification Buildings In Use
Phone: +49 711 722322-80
a.gerstner at dgnb.de


Seema Issar
Manager Buildings In Use / Sustainable Finance
Phone: +49 711 722322-63
s.issar at dgnb.de