Certification requirements for urban districts

Certification requirements for urban districts

  • The minimum size of a urban district is 2 ha of gross development area (GDA).
  • The district consists of a number of buildings and at least two development sites and has public or publicly accessible spaces and related infrastructure.
  • The residential element (based on the gross floor area in accordance with the DGNB) is no less than 10% no more than  90%.
  • The client is responsible for ensuring that there is no opposition to the certification by the owners of the area throughout of the certification phases. This rule applies to private property in the district or to public property that does not serve the public interest. 
  • In addition to that, the following limit values apply within the criteria:
Nature conservancy ENV1.4 Biodiversity and networking 10 EP* Overall criterion for ensuring at least the minimum environmental compatibility
Location EVN1.5 Consideration of potential environmental impact 4 EP*
10 EP*
Avalanche hazard ("blue zone")
Flood risk ("GK3 zone") „GK3“
Climate protection ENV2.2 Total primary energy requirement and percentage of renewable primary energy 5 EP*

5 EP*
LCAQ, total = 1.4 * LCAQ, REF
percentage share of renewable primary energy for total primary energy demand
2,0 – 3,9 %
Social SOC1.2 Social and commercial infrastructure 5 EP*
5 EP*
Local services
Circulation TEC3.3 Quality of the short-distance public transport infrastructure 10 EP* Overall criterion for safeguarding the minimum access to public transport
Process PRO1.1 Participation 10 EP* Overall criterion for ensuring at least the minimum public participation

*EP = Evaluation points

Delimitation of the scheme

The urban district profile supplements the building profiles in accordance with DGNB principles. It focusses particularly on the areas between the buildings, the infrastructure as well as the location of the district. These factors substantially influence the quality of a urban district and define the framework for the sustainable development of the buildings. Likewise, overriding concepts are examined - for example for managing energy, water and waste. The buildings themselves need not be certified in order to obtain district certification and only their basic performance data is taken into consideration in the assessment.

  • The "newly constructed urban districts" scheme refers to newly built and planned districts.
  • The "newly constructed urban districts" scheme specifically assesses the infrastructure and public areas within the planning area.
  • The buildings are incorporated using basic performance data. Likewise, the surroundings are also taken into partial consideration.
  • There is no age restriction for the completion date of the district.


  • The area should essentially correspond to the boundaries of the development design (phase 1) or the development plan (phase 2 + 3).
  • All areas within the zone must be assessed. If a property owner refuses certification or if there are legal reasons opposing this, an application for an exception to the zoning can be submitted to the DGNB office, which the DGNB may approve on a case-by-case basis where adequately justified.
  • If public streets are adjacent to the area and make the area accessible, one lane will be included in the considerations in addition to the development plan.
  • If bodies of water are adjacent to the area, a five meter wide section of these water bodies will be included in the considerations. Bodies of water within or by the project area are a part of the project area.  
  • The auditor determines the project area or planning area that is to be assessed at a single point in time at  project registration. It is not possible to change the project area once the project registration has been made.
  • In the case of project sites with a gross development area greater than 10 acres, it is possible to carry out phases 2 and 3 of the certification process in smaller segments in coordination with the DGNB office, if those sections meet the DGNB requirements for newly constructed city districts on their own.



We use cookies in order to optimise and continuously improve the design of our website. By continuing to use the website, you agree to the use of cookies. More information can be found in our privacy policy. Please click “OK” if you wish to view our website. You can prevent cookies from being stored using your browser settings.