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Vertical Cities

Global urbanisation requires new living spaces that enable a high quality of life and stay at close quarters and make efficient use of available local resources. The DGNB scheme for vertical cities is the only system in the world to provide answers to the challenges posed by dense high-rise building ensembles. The scheme covers all relevant issues of sustainable construction from location and energy supply, quality of stay, mixed use and sustainable mobility to minimising costs over the entire life cycle.

Characteristics of sustainable vertical cities

  • Promotion of synergies at the social and technical level (e.g. district advisory council, childcare, use of waste heat)
  • Contribution to healthy nutrition through urban gardening and vertical farming
  • Efficient use of soil as a resource
  • Façades as energy producers
  • Roof areas as meeting points
  • Use of rainwater
  • Increasing biodiversity at the site
  • Car-free living
  • Infrastructure for daily needs within walking distance
  • Attractive private open spaces
  • Trend-setter for neighbouring districts

Target group of the certification

The certificate is aimed at private project developers and investors.

Advantages of certification

  • Holistic consideration of all relevant sustainability requirements
  • Increased market opportunities with rising demand
  • Sustainable buildings and districts
  • Contribution to risk minimisation.
  • Transparent and independent quality award
  • Can be applied and compared internationally
  • Planning reliability and clear definition of targets from the very beginning
  • Low expenditure through the combination of building and district criteria compared to separate consideration
  • Communication of the project to the public and increase of acceptance
  • Contribution to the sustainability goals of the United Nations

Distinction from other schemes

The scheme focuses on high-density building ensembles. The following criteria must be fulfilled in order to be considered a vertical city:

  • There are more than two buildings, which together form an ensemble
  • One of them is a high-rise building
  • In addition, the minimum requirements from the DGNB System for districts and buildings apply.


Dr. Stephan Anders
Director DGNB Certification
Phone: +49 711 722322-45
s.anders at dgnb.de

Added value of certified districtrs

Learn about the added value for projects resulting from sustainable planning and implementation as well as certification.

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Explained briefly - the DGNB System for districts