FAQs on serial certification

For which type and scheme is this form of certification applicable?

For the new construction of small residential buildings/prefabricated houses (≤ 6 residential units) - new construction of small residential buildings, which are identical in construction at different locations.

For which type of prefabricated houses is it applicable?

For all types (wooden, solid houses etc.).

Which implementation levels can be certified?

Turnkey ready, ready to paint / almost finished and bare-bone houses. The possibility of a combined basic certification must be agreed with the DGNB.

What are the prerequisites for the applicability of serial certification, or when does it make sense?

The general system principles for new construction of small residential buildings must be fulfilled.

The processes, building qualities and properties defined in the model building description must apply as far as possible to all projects to be certified, which thus cover a large number of specified DGNB Criteria. Building criteria that cannot be represented in a standardized way are handled and submitted on a project-specific basis. These deviations should be coordinated with the DGNB.

Advantages for the prefabricated house manufacturer

The DGNB offers a widely recognised and independent certificate that is defined by clear guidelines and processes. Serial certification creates a common basis of proof for all projects, which is documented in the model building description or in the specification sheet.


  • greatly reduced documentation effort
  • faster handling of the certification processes
  • lower certification fees
  • for follow-up projects, an individual DGNB Certificate and a plaque will also be issued

Further benefits:

  • independent quality award and comparability
  • thus better market positioning
  • increased market opportunities with rising demand
  • documentation for CSR reports
  • sustainable buildings
  • higher client satisfaction

Benefits for home builders

The DGNB Certificate offers a higher efficiency of the construction project, a higher building quality through energy-efficient and low-emission houses and thus makes a relevant contribution to active environmental protection. In addition to low energy costs, it creates a considerable plus in the quality of life and living.

  • monetary added value for the owner-occupier through
  • any advantages in terms of financing
  • if applicable, advantages with regard to the further sale of the building (letting, sale)

Is a DGNB auditor necessary to carry out serial certification?

Yes, a DGNB auditor is required to submit the supporting documents for the basic certificate and subsequent projects. In addition, he is an important consultant and sustainability expert for the assessment (pre-check) of the certification classification and optimisation potential of the model building description. In cooperation with the auditor, the client optimizes the model building description with variant investigations and the resulting minimum requirements for achieving the desired certification or the overall degree of fulfillment.

What does the DGNB understand by a model building specification for certification?

In cooperation with the auditor, the client compiles the model building description with variant investigations.
The model building description consists of:

  • Service description: It describes already existing standard processes, applied materials, building components (heating, ventilation systems, fittings...), operating concepts and quality measures (blower door test, sound insulation etc.)
  • Architectural guidelines, excerpts if necessary
  • Care instructions, if applicable
  • Quality standards, if applicable
  • Descriptions of building automation, if applicable

Who prepares the model building specification?

As a rule, the applicant/manufacturer of prefabricated houses already has it and will be adjusted/optimized in coordination with the auditor in accordance with the DGNB Certification.

Is it possible to consider several sales divisions and building types in one serial certification?

In cooperation with a DGNB auditor, the client defines which criteria can be verified in a variant study by means of the model building specification or on a project-specific basis.

Depending on the relevance, the assessment is performed according to the "worst case scenario", the frequency (for serial production) or standard principle, or according to a purely project-specific approach.

In this context, the auditor must demonstrate how the common features of the individual building variants (including the inclusion of several distribution chains and building types for serial certification, etc.) can be ensured. The Serial Certifications carried out so far has shown that approx. 85% of the criteria and their documentation are covered by the underlying model building description. For this, no further proof is required for the projects to be certified.

Common/general valid bases can be e.g. the building description, the used building materials and executing companies/operators etc.

Examples of verification:

  • Life cycle assessment: Submission of a sample calculation with variant studies, including different energy sources and building materials.
  • Pollutants: Preparation of a list of relevant materials and substances and with proof of conformity with regard to the objective of the quality level to be achieved in accordance with DGNB requirements (information on VOC content and GISCODE-s).
  • Drinking water requirements: sample calculation with variant investigations (due to different number of users and fittings etc.) with indication of the upper limit.
  • Life cycle costs: Sample calculation taking into account regional variance of costs and price increase index.
  • Thermal comfort: the worst case scenario (worst case) is usually proven.
  • Process quality: definition and proof of standard processes

The DGNB minimum requirements for the specific evidence must be checked by the auditor (indoor hygiene measurement).

What is a specification sheet?

After basic certification, the project-specific specifications are compiled by the DGNB. It serves as the basis for the corresponding individual certifications of the buildings and defines the type and scope of the submission documents that are still required. Lists are used to present, among other things, fixed and variable or purely project-specific criteria.

What does serial certification cost?

The costs consist of the certification fees and the fee costs for the auditor's services. The certification fees depend on the number of individual certifications per year and the type of DGNB membership.

to the certification fees


Angelika Bandke
Senior Consultant Serial Certification
Phone: +49 711 722322-44
a.bandke at dgnb.de