German environmental label for sustainable architecture
The no profit association DGNB (German Green Building Council) is operating the DGNB certification. The origin of the system is from the private sector. Actually the DGNB certification is also recommended by the BMVBS (Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development) for good planning and building practice. The DGNB system is available for occupancy profiles in high demand: office and administrative buildings, educational facilities, retail buildings, industrial buildings and residential buildings.
The construction and real estate economy are in a state of change: energy efficiency, resource protection, residential and workplace health, value retention and risk mitigation are now in focus. General conditions and market interests are changing. Therefore, in the future buildings will be planned, built and operated differently. Against this background, the German Sustainability Building Council (DGNB) together with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) developed a voluntary certification system for sustainable buildings. It was developed by experts from the complete value chain of the construction and real estate sector and gives a clear orientation for this future-oriented economical sector.
After the „Solar Decathlon„ has already been held in Washington for four times (2002, 2005, 2007, 2009), the „Solar Decathlon Europe„ 2010 is taking place for the very first time in the city of Madrid. The Solar Decathlon, which has been announced internationally by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Spanish Ministry of Construction, is a university competition. Its aim is the development and realization of a small, energy-autarchic and sustainable residential building (approx. 74 m2) operated exclusively by solar energy. An essential part of this competition is the formulation of a vision to define the building of the future. Within the framework of this competition, various universities from all over the world, as for example from the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Finland, England, France, Spain, Israel and Germany, will plan an energy autarchic solar and sustainable residential building and realize that concept, respectively. Thus, by summer 2010, each university will have completed an innovative building in cooperation with its scientific partners, innovative enterprises and sponsors.
About the certificate
Sustainable building means to build intelligently: The focus is on a comprehensive quality concept that serves the building and real estate sectors, as well as society in general. Sustainable properties are beneficial to the environment, conserve resources, comfortable and healthy for their users, and fit optimally into their socio-cultural surroundings.
In the same way, they stand for economic efficiency and long-term value-retention. Sustainable properties are cost effective due to their lower operation and maintenance costs. The manageable additional planning and construction costs will usually amortize in a few years.
The German Sustainable Building Certificate was developed by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) together with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Affairs (BMVBS) to be used as a tool for the planning and evaluation of buildings in this comprehensive perspective on quality. As a clearly arranged and easy to understand rating system, the German Sustainable Building Certificate covers all relevant topics of sustainable construction, and awards outstanding buildings in the categories bronze, silver, and gold. Six subjects affect the evaluation: ecology, economy, socialcultural and functional topics, techniques, processes, and location.
The basis for the system was developed on the building type „New Construction of Office and Administration buildings”. On this basis, further Systems for completely different building types will be developed. As a second-generation certification system, the label excels with a high degree of flexibility. The basis of the evaluation, which was developed with a wide consensus, is a list of topics and the criteria for sustainable construction that are included within that list. These criteria are weighted differently, depending on the building type to be evaluated. Thus, each version of the system, hence each building type, has its own evaluation matrix. An example is the matrix for the evaluation of new office and administration buildings.
Advantages of the Certification
Active Contribution to Sustainability
The certificate demonstrates, in a quantifiable way, the positive effects of a building on the environment and on society.
Cost- and Planning Certainty
The certification process provides, in the early planning stage, a highdegree of certainty that the performance goals of a building can be reached at the time of completion. For example, it helps reduce the energy consumption and costs during operation.
The certification process promotes integral planning during construction. This leads to more transparency and well-defined processes during planning and construction, opens up potentials for optimization, and minimizes the risks during construction, operation, renovations, and removal.
Praxis-oriented Planning Tool
The certificate was developed by practitioners for practitioners. It supports owners and designers in a goal-oriented way in developing sustainable buildings.
Focus on the Life Cycle
The certificate is based on the life cycle of a building, which is indispensable for an evaluation of the sustainability.
Made in Germany
The certificate is optimally adapted to the German and European building environment. This includes building codes and norms, as well as long-term market experience with energy efficient buildings etc.
The certificate serves as a communication tool for investors, owners, and users – it documents their commitment to sustainability. As a sign of quality, it supports export, and it enhances the attractiveness of the German real estate sector for investors.
Comprehensive Quality of a Property
The certificate enhances the chances for sale and rent. The certification makes the high quality of a building tangible for owners and users. Furthermore, it signals a performance-enhancing work environment as well as high user satisfaction.
The Performance is Key
The German certificate evaluates the building’s performance and not merely single measures. Owners and designers are given a large leeway to achieve the targets.
More than „Green Building”
The certificate far exceeds the ecologic aspects of „green building” by also equally including the economic performance, as well as socio-cultural and functional aspects of buildings.
The certificate system can flexibly be updated. It can easily be adapted to technical, social, and international developments.
ROSENHEIMS‘s CONTRIBUTION to the competition SOLAR DECATHLON EUROPE 2010
German Sustainable Building Council – GeSBC