We’re now perfectly positioned for the international market,” says Dr. Christine Lemaitre, CEO of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). Under the general management of board members Dr. Peter Mösle and Johannes Kreissig, the DGNB has been developing its certification system to meet international requirements, and to allow for transparent adaptation to the requirements of other countries and building cultures. The newly developed international core system for the certification of sustainable buildings forms the basis for these adaptations. All DGNB criteria are fully geared towards the European Union’s legal provisions, standards and technical regulations.
The DGNB’s international partner organizations work with the DGNB to adapt the certification system to their respective countries. If, for instance, no standard for adapting a certain DGNB criterion exists at the local level, reference can be made to the requirements in the DGNB’s international core system. With key calculations, such as life cycle assessment, the procedure is the same; if there isn’t any country-specific data for a certain construction material, the core system’s corresponding international dataset can be used.
The local baseline is set by the DGNB Bronze Certificate, with requirements based on current construction practices in the relevant country. By contrast, the DGNB Gold Certificate is measured against a unified international standard, which is adjusted to the global climate and market. A “Gold” building in southern Europe therefore represents the same quality as a “Gold” building in East Asia.
The system is already being adapted, with partner organizations, for a number of different markets, including Austria, Bulgaria and China. The Russian Green Building Council (RuGBC) has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the DGNB, and is now forming a working group which will adapt the DGNB’s system to Russian construction projects, standards and regulations.