The German DGNB e.V. (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen – German Sustainable Building Council) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation with the objective of promoting sustainable planning, construction and operation of buildings. At its centre is a certification system with the following topics to be considered:

  • Environmental quality

  • Economic quality

  • Sociocultural quality

  • Technical quality

  • Process quality

  • Site quality

The DGNB certificate is awarded in 4 grades according to overall degree of completion of mentioned requirements:

  • Bronze (from 35%, only for existing buildings)

  • Silver (from 50%)

  • Gold (from 65%)

  • Platinum (from 80%)

The DGNB was founded in 2007. The certification system underwent its most recent fundamental overhaul in 2015. It is continuously amended and expanded.

The rating is based on use profiles. For each use profile, there are definitions of requirements to be fulfilled as well as their weighting regarding the rating. Use profiles are also continuously amended and developed further.

Partner organisations in other European countries are adapting the DGNB certification system. They transfer the concept and adapt it to local legislative specifications and standards in cooperation with the DGNB. On this basis, the DGNB certificate is distributed internationally through national variants.

An international version of the certificate based on European standards can also be awarded. This facilitates a direct international certification without the need for previous adaptation by a partner organisation.

A special feature of the DGNB system is the distinction between a "certificate" and a "pre-certificate". The latter is based on planning data. This enables the building creator to use the awarded rating as early as the marketing phase before building completion. The "certificate" can optionally be awarded additionally upon completion.

Globally, more than 1.300 DGNB certification projects are currently registered, more than 300 of which are in the registration phase.