On the move, around the globe
DGNB launches pilot phase for International System/international training begins

Munich/Stuttgart, November 2010. "The internationalization of the DGNB Certificate has made tremendous progress," says Dr. Christine Lemaitre, Chief Executive Officer of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). The organization is focusing its efforts intensely on two fronts: first, it is expanding its network of international partner organizations, and together with these partners it is adapting its certification system to fit the building practices and statutory frameworks of the countries involved. Second, the DGNB is preparing an international certification system for all of the countries which are not yet represented in the network. This system is based on current European standards and building regulations and will include the necessary European data sets for preparing life cycle assessments.

The DGNB presented its International System for evaluating sustainable buildings for the first time in June 2010. Just a few months later, it unveiled the first version of the system manual at Expo Real in Munich. Practical testing of the system will start during the final quarter of 2010. This means that as of now, projects can be submitted for certification under the International System.

"This is an important step towards increased recognition and use of the DGNB Certificate", Dr. Lemaitre emphasizes. "The market is waiting for the DGNB International System because it offers its users many advantages. The DGNB Certificate takes into account all of the relevant aspects of sustainable building. It documents the building quality much more comprehensively than a Green Building Label; it takes into account the entire life cycle, including the economic aspects, and evaluates the performance of a building holistically, not just in terms of individual measures."

The international training is set to commence at the same time as the International System first comes into use. The first training course for the qualification of DGNB International Auditor or Consultant was held in Russia in September, organized by the Russian Green Building Council with the support of the Russian Chamber of Architects and the Club of German Architects and Engineers (KdAI) in Moscow. The next courses are to be held in Stuttgart and Berlin.

The partner organizations of the DGNB are also making a major contribution to the international spread of the certification system. Three highlights by way of example: the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNI), with almost 200 members, has adapted the certification system of the DGNB to local conditions and has already awarded a series of certificates, including five of the much sought-after awards to projects at Expo Real 2010; The partner organization in Bulgaria will shortly be completing its adaptation of the DGNB System, which will be undergoing its first practical test in several projects; And finally SGNI (the Swiss Sustainable Building Council) is also making intensive efforts to adapt the system.

The network of the DGNB at the international level has many facets. Just recently, Board member Johannes Kreißig was elected to the Board of the World Green Building Council. The DGNB is also represented in important standardization committees for sustainable building and is involved in research projects. This includes, for example, the "Open House", a three-year project of the European Union to which the DGNB is applying its extensive knowledge of methodology to evaluate sustainable building construction.

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