Sustainable Building, Worldwide
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The DGNB is still on the rise in China

The DGNB has now certified buildings or districts in around 30 countries. People from more than 40 countries were trained to become experts in sustainable building by the DGNB. One country that occupies a special position is China. The DGNB’s approach is attracting increasing interest in the world’s largest construction market. This became clear once again at the recent visit to China by DGNB’s CEO Johannes Kreißig.

The visit of DGNB certified projects, important meetings with customers, building authorities and possible training partners. Lectures on the International Conference on Green and Energy-efficient Building as well as a series of award ceremonies for certified buildings. The schedule of Johannes Kreißig and our Chinese colleague Kai Zhang was packed with stops in Shanghai, Xi’an, Shenzhen.

DGNB certification is gaining increasing attention in China

A highlight of the current trip was the award ceremony for the Suqian Yang River Logistics Hub Building 1 & 2 as well as the Gezhouba Purple County Residence Shanghai residential project by the China Gezhouba Group Real Estate Corporation. They are the first in the world to be certified according to the DGNB system as well as the China Three Star local standard.

Suqian Yang River Logistics Hub Building 1 & 2 | Copyright: SPIP

Suqian Yang River Logistics Hub Building 1 & 2 | Copyright: SPIP

Gezhouba is an important partner of the DGNB in China. The company has firmly anchored the DGNB certification in its business philosophy and has meanwhile pre-certified a whole series of construction projects according to DGNB, which are among the largest DGNB projects ever planned.

There are now more than 20 projects with a certificate or pre-certificate from the DGNB in China. Among them and throughout the country are numerous residential projects of China Gezhouba Group Real Estate Development. In Xi’an, two buildings of the world’s largest construction company CSCEC under the Xinfulindai project received a DGNB pre-certificate in platinum. A DGNB gold certificate was issued for the Sino-German Ecopark in Qingdao. It is the first city district in China that has been awarded by the DGNB.

The positive development of the DGNB certification in 2018 was also noticeable in China. Here, the certified area has almost tripled in comparison to the previous year.

DGNB with new and growing partnerships in China

But not only the certification progressed. Numerous important partnerships have been deepened, in particular with the China Society for Urban Studies (CSUS), the China Academy of Building Research (CABR) and the China Green Building Council (CGBC).

An important element for the further development of the DGNB in China is the close cooperation around the Chinese Three Star green building certification system. Here, the DGNB is working in partnership with CSUS on a comparison of the content of the two standards and an associated evaluation with the aim of being able to offer double certification in the future. The freshly honored projects have shown it works. Now it’s time to fine-tune the systems to make double certification more attractive for a broader application.

Joint initiative for more sustainability

This joint initiative is particularly important given the limited comparability of internationally available certification systems, such as DGNB, LEED or BREEAM. This often makes it difficult for investors to tell which system is right for them. Creating more transparency in the Chinese real estate market by offering double certification is an important step and benefits all parties involved. This is especially true for sustainable building, because it shifts the focus back to the actual value of certification as a planning and optimization tool for the implementation of holistic quality.

With its activities, the DGNB wants to make an important contribution to sustainability in China. The responsibility for the sustainable development of the Chinese construction and real estate industry, especially in the global context, cannot be overestimated. Partnerships, such as those built by the DGNB in recent years, are fundamental here. The DGNB is in pursuit of a common goal that can only be achieved through cooperation: the goal of securing the future of our planet.

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