The DGNB System for New Construction

Fully implementing sustainability in a construction project from the very beginning, i.e. right at the start of the planning phase, is a major advantage of the DGNB Certification. For new construction this is confirmed by a DGNB pre-certificate. It gives all those involved in the construction process certainty during the early planning phase as to which performance goals of a building can be achieved on its completion and provides a common understanding of the associated requirements. On this basis, the risks involved in the construction of the building, its operation and during conversion and deconstruction can be minimized.

The DGNB Certification for New Construction, focuses on buildings, up to three years following their completion.

The DGNB System for New Construction has been completely revised. As the DGNB System Version 2018, it underpins the status of the DGNB System as a "Global Benchmark for Sustainability". With this version, the system has been further developed in such a way that it stands more clearly than ever before for the DGNB's understanding of sustainability and, as a tool, helps to find the right answers to our most important future questions in planning and construction practice.

The Criteria

The DGNB System does not evaluate individual measures, but rather the overall performance of a building based on criteria. A total of 37 criteria are taken into account for the new building, addressing six topics: ecology, economy, sociocultural and functional aspects, technology, processes and site.

The weighting of the individual criteria varies depending on the type of building. What all uses have in common, is that if the criteria are fulfilled in an outstanding manner, the project receives a certificate or pre-certificate in platinum, gold or silver.

view all criteria


In order to make worldwide application of the DGNB System even easier, the DGNB has published a new, improved international version of the certification system for new buildings in 2020. This includes all criteria that are available in the German version as well as a criterion concerning fire safety. The difference is that international standards are almost exclusively used for the evaluation. In a few cases where no ISO standards were available, European standards were chosen or the German DIN standards were adapted in the best possible way.

The special feature of the DGNB International System Version 2020 is the maximum flexibility with regard to country-specific conditions. Depending on general conditions, it may be necessary to adapt the criteria or reference values and the weighting of criteria to create tailored solutions for different countries. This can be easily done within the system in consultation with the DGNB certification body.

DGNB International System Version 2020 is an "umbrella document" for all new building schemes available under the DGNB Certification System. It currently covers nine new building schemes. Additionally, several new schemes are currently under development and will be integrated in this version of the system.

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Overview of all schemes that can be certified according to DGNB New Construction


As part of the DGNB Certification for New Construction, there are further awards and application possibilities that can address potential special features of construction projects.

Multiple and Serial Certification

For certain schemes, such as shopping centres, building owners or investors, who have different building types at different locations, would use multiple and serial certifications. You can learn more about these special certification options here.

Building Ensemble Certification

Building types that are identical in construction at the same location, such as residential buildings, can also be planned and evaluated by means of a so-called building ensemble certification according to DGNB. All requirements and details can be found here.


To ensure that in the future, building owners of building types that have not yet been considered in the DGNB System will also be able to plan and construct their projects according to DGNB criteria, a new procedure is now available that makes the application of the certification system more flexible and thus possible for other kinds of use: DGNB Flex. Learn more here.