German tech is famous for its high quality standards. Germany first granted certificates for sustainable buildings in January 2009. Standards for these certificates were first developed by the DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V. or German Sustainable Building Council) and the BMVBS (Bundesministeriums für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung or Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs). The DGNB continues to monitor and improve these standards and has extended the scheme internationally.
Christophe Daudigny, RealCorp’s Head of Project Management, is one of Luxembourg’s first qualified DGNB consultants.
Why is DGNB a good provider?
DGNB is the most recent green certificate to be developed and incorporates the latest research and understanding of sustainability issues. It aims to offer “objective description and assessment of the sustainability of buildings and urban districts” and to base assessment on the quality in use of the building or district, i.e. the overall performance of the property or area, over its entire life cycle, rather than on specific items.
On its website, the DGNB describes itself as follows:
The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V.) was founded in 2007 by 16 initiators from various subject areas within the construction and real-estate sectors. The aim was to promote sustainable and economically efficient building even more strongly in future. The reaction to the founding of the DGNB was extremely positive. By the beginning of 2008 121 organizations had already joined the DGNB. Today the association has more than 1,100 members throughout the entire world, because we see ourselves as a German and international knowledge platform. Our vision for 2050: a sustainably built and liveable future. There are more than 500 experts who support us on a volunteer basis: architects, investors, project developers, scientists, builders and other specialists from the construction and real-estate sectors.
Visiting a DGNB Very Good building, such as SolarWind in Windhof, is a noticeably positive experience. Last year, 52% of German new buildings were subject to DGNB assessments, because its standards are recognised throughout the country. It has been proven in Germany that in 2012 the financial value of DGNB-compliant buildings was 25% more than that of normal buildings for 2010 constructions. A DGNB building is better for users, better for the planet and better for economy (People, Planet, Profit)!
What specific issues does DGNB certification address?
Assessors look for evidence of “outstanding fulfilment” (that is to say, indications that developers are “voluntarily outperforming” today’s norms) of up to 50 sustainability criteria, to measure Quality in Environmental, Economic, Sociocultural and Functional, Technical, and Process approaches.
For buildings, depending on their age and use, criteria applied might include Thermal Comfort, Access for All, Space Efficiency, Appearance and Noise Protection. Examples of criteria for a district include items related to environmental quality, location, climate protection, social and commercial infrastructure, circulation, and public participation.
What are the possible DGNB certifications?
Bronze, Silver or Gold certificates are granted via more than fifteen Schemes specific to particular building or district use types. Schemes are constantly under review, with new ones being developed as differentiating principles and demand are clarified.
Current Schemes include Industrial buildings, Office and administrative buildings, Retail buildings, Residential buildings, Small residential buildings, Assembly buildings, Educational facilities, Hospitals, Laboratory buildings, Mixed use and Tenant fit-out, as well as Business districts, Industrial locations and Urban districts.
What is the benefit of having DGNB advice/certification in Luxembourg?
The DGNB System can be tailored to country-specific requirements, taking into account legal, cultural, environmental and building issues and contexts. However, it certifies “buildings throughout the world according to the same standard and approach, thus achieving comparability, transparency and reassurance for investors, building owners and users alike”.
For Luxembourg, a small country at the heart of Europe that attracts both local and international investors who have exposure to other options in other countries, this easy-to-comprehend certification provides reassurance and simplifies decision-making.
DGNB can now certify shopping centres, offices or residential buildings, and both new or refurbishment projects, all of which are very active areas of development in Luxembourg. Luxembourg already has several DGNB-certified and pre-certified Buildings and Urban Districts, for example:
- Administration de la nature et des forêts, Diekirch
- Atert-Lycée, Redange
- Espace Grégoire, Strassen
- Solarwind, Windhof
- Verwaltungsgebäude Editus, Kayl
- Dienstleistungszentrum, Gasperich
- Ban de Gasperich, Luxemburg
- Stadtquartier ARBORIA, Differdange,
Why is RealCorp a reliable provider of this advice?
RealCorp is one of only three firms in Luxembourg who are ahead of the curve in offering official DGNB consultations with an agreed provider, our very own Christophe Daudigny, who qualified with DGNB in 2011.
As a hands-on Head of Project Management, Christophe is intimately involved with the practical and financial issues that affect the setting up and running of offices and other projects for many different types of clients. So not only is he a qualified DGNB Consultant, his daily experience also ideally equips him to advise how sustainability initiatives may impact the bottom line in your project. He can steer you through all the stages of a DGNB label:
- Choice of targets
- Choice of German advisor for all exchanges with Stuttgart head of certification
- Follow up during design stage
- Optimization and cost control of the project
- Follow up during works stages
- Final certificate
- Communication about this high-level certificate.
Post updated 16 June 2015