For an entire decade now, the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) has done more than any other organisation in Germany to shape sustainable building. The DGNB has also been the undisputed market leader for many years. As the largest network for sustainable building in Europe, we bring the pioneers of the construction and property industry around a single table. To mark our tenth anniversary, we invited some 300 guests to celebrate this milestone with us at the Academy of Arts in Berlin (Akademie der Künste).
“I’m really happy to see many of faces here today that were also at the DGNB kick-off ten years ago. This shows true loyalty, or true adherence to our principles. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today.” With these words, Prof Alexander Rudolphi, DGNB President, opened celebrations marking the tenth anniversary of the non-profit organisation in Berlin in June.
The celebration was a good chance to express thanks, but also launch new ideas and blaze new trails. It was also a good time to showcase the issues surrounding sustainable building for the many renowned guests at the event.
“An important driver of sustainability across national borders”
“In a short period of time, you’ve succeeded in pooling different fields of expertise, forging a wide-ranging network and becoming an important driver of resource conservation and sustainable building across national borders. You can be proud of everything you have achieved. You’ve assumed responsibility without developing tunnel vision, providing solutions for making the environment we build around ourselves more pleasant to live in and urban areas more attractive.” These words of praise for the DGNB’s commitment were delivered by Dr Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, in her welcoming address at the anniversary celebration.
Before the celebratory event, we managed to get an interview with her about the expansion of the DGNB. Among other points, she emphasised the importance of the DGNB Certificate to the property industry and the special place it holds compared to other systems. She also talked about how important it will be to readjust incentives and the subsidy system to make existing buildings carbon-neutral by 2050, also explaining why we have to work together and think more about efficiency and the way we use energy.
“It’s not about how, it’s about why”
Tai Lee Siang offered a global perspective on developments in sustainable building. “To increase understanding for sustainability we cannot stop at the building industry. We need to reach out for the end users because that is where we still have the biggest challenge today,” he explained. As President of the World Green Building Council (WGBC), the global umbrella organisation for sustainable building, he is aware of the opportunities as well as the hurdles facing sustainable building methods in different countries.
In the interview, he highlighted the special contribution made by the DGNB in moving green building away from being just a concept in theory towards the well-functioning process it is today. He also told us how important it is to educate the general public on issues surrounding sustainability, explaining the role played by Green Building Councils and sharing his personal anniversary wishes for the DGNB.