DGNB at a glance
Stuttgart/Munich, 17 January 2011.

The beginning: The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) was founded in Stuttgart on 25 June 2007. In an effort to promote sustainable building, the Council resolved to develop a certification system to honour particularly environmentally friendly, economically efficient buildings that conserve resources and have been optimized in terms of user comfort – the DGNB Certificate. 120 members attended the DGNB kick-off event in Berlin in January 2008; by January 2011 this number had grown to over 900.

Membership structure: All areas of the building and real estate sectors are represented among the members of the DGNB. These include architects, engineers, construction companies and building contractors, manufacturers of building products, investors, property owners, proprietors, project managers, building operators, supply and disposal service companies, members of public authorities and non-governmental organizations, scientists, and representatives from testing institutes.

Organizational structure: The DGNB is organized as a Board of Directors and an administrative office. Its content-oriented activities are bundled into working groups, expert groups and committees. Professor Manfred Hegger is the Chairman of the DGNB and Dr. Christine Lemaitre is its CEO.

Events: In addition to general meetings, local DGNB events, and workshops, another permanent entry in the DGNB calendar is Consense – the International Trade Fair and Congress for Sustainable Building, Investment, Operations and Maintenance. First held in 2008, and organized jointly with the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre, Consense has become established as Europe's central sustainable building event. The next Consense is being held in Stuttgart on 29 – 30 June 2011.

The certificate: The first DGNB Certificates were awarded for new office and administrative buildings at the BAU trade fair in Munich in January 2009. Buildings can now be awarded certificates under the occupancy profiles "New Office and Administrative Buildings", "New Retail Buildings", "New Industrial Buildings", "New Educational Facilities", "New Residential Buildings", "New Hotel Buildings", "New Mixed City Districts" and existing buildings in the category "Moderni­zation of Office and Administrative Buildings". Other occupancy profiles are currently in development.

175 buildings have so far been awarded DGNB Certificates or pre-certificates, and another 115 projects have been registered for certification.

Sixteen certificates and pre-certificates are to be awarded at the BAU trade fair in Munich in January 2011. A further five certificates have been awarded since the last awards ceremony was held at the Expo Real, including those conferred within the framework of local DGNB events.

Internationalization: The Core System of the DGNB allows rapid, and above all transparent adaption of the system to the requirements of other countries and their building cultures. The Certification System is currently being adapted to local conditions in countries such as Austria, Bulgaria and Switzerland, in close cooperation with the international partner organizations in each country. Many other countries have also shown interest in the DGNB System; a memorandum of understanding was signed with Turkey in November 2010, and another will be signed with Greece at the BAU trade fair in January 2011.

More detailed information concerning the DGNB International network can be found at www.dgnb-international.com..

As of October 2010, the DGNB has made an international certification system available to all of the countries which are not yet represented in the international network. It is based on current European standards and building regulations and contains the European data sets required to carry out life cycle assessments.

Training: The DGNB Academy imparts comprehensive knowledge concerning the DGNB Certification System and sustainable building on three levels - it offers training for accreditation as a DGNB Auditor, Consultant, or Registered Professional; it offers courses in English for accreditation as a DGNB International Auditor or Consultant; and it also offers an extensive range of seminars on detailed subjects related to sustainable building. The DGNB Academy works with recognized training institutions, such as the IREBS (International Real Estate Business School) and the architectural associations of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria in order to ensure comprehensive knowledge transfer. More than 300 Auditors and Consultants have been accredited by the DGNB so far.

Plan ahead:
Consense 2011 - International Trade Fair and Congress for Sustainable Building, Investment, Operations and Maintenance in Stuttgart on 29 and 30 June 2011.

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