DGNB: German Sustainable Building Council 2020


DGNB was developed by the German Sustainable Building Council, founded in 2007 with the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs. With a share of over 80 percent in new buildings and over 60 percent in the overall commercial real estate market, the DGNB is the market leader among providers of certification systems in Germany. The DGNB refers to the Environmental Product Declarations developed according to the standards ISO 14025 and EN 15804 and is mostly based on quantitative measures calculated using the life cycle assessment approach. The substantive basis of the DGNB is a holistic understanding of sustainability that includes ecological, economic and socio-cultural issues with equal weights assigned to each of those categories in the assessment.

LCA credits are integrated into a single credit, ENV1.1, in DGNB. Product-specific EPDs must comply with EN 15804 and be valid at the time the product is used (or at the time of the decision to purchase the product). Data sets with expired validity can only be used in justified exceptional cases. EPDs in accordance with German standard DIN EN 15804 have a validity period of 5 years, but the validity can be extended, if necessary, in individual cases.

Points are awarded for incorporation of the life cycle assessment results in the early planning process and use of an energy consumption analysis with a scope that goes beyond the statutory requirements (indicator 1).

In addition, implementation, and comparison of variants with life cycle assessment calculations is evaluated positively (indicator 2).

The results of a complete building life cycle assessment, calculated in accordance with predefined conventions, are evaluated on the basis of the comparison values which are the benchmark (indicator 3).

If the target values for the life cycle assessment have been exceeded, up to 20 additional points can be awarded. In addition, an “Agenda 2030 bonus” is awarded if the operation or construction of the building is climate-neutral, or if the final values are equal to or below the half of the GWP construction benchmark (indicator 4).

The use of reused components or elements is included in the life cycle assessment calculation. Contribution to the circular economy is thereby fully implemented in the “Life cycle assessment comparison calculation” indicator. In this criterion, a maximum of 100 points can be achieved in total without bonuses, or a maximum of 130 points including bonuses.

Table: DGNB Summary of Embodied Carbon Credits

Summary of Embodied Carbon Credits
Indicators Indicator Description Achievable Points
1 LCA in planning Up to 10 Points
2 LCA Optimization Up to 18 Points
3 Comparative LCA calculation


Up to 100 point


4 Agenda 2030 bonus climate protection targets Up to 30 Points

1) DGNB – German Sustainable Building Council (Germany) 2020.

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