Leave a comment

The year 2020 – Highlights of DGNB certified projects

2020 was also an unusual and challenging year for the construction industry. Nevertheless, projects were realised last year that were impressive and most importantly demonstrate what is possible in terms of sustainability. Clear the stage for a selection of DGNB-certified building projects that prove that 2020 was far from being a lost year in sustainable construction.

New Construction

Eisbärhaus Building C

© Niels Schubert Fotograf I BFF

When we talk about excellence in sustainable new construction projects, one project should probably be at the top: the Eisbärhaus Building C. As the “most sustainable building in Europe”, it was frequently mentioned in the media in 2020. The overall degree of fulfilment of 94.2 % is unique in the history of the DGNB. Performance values of 100 % in both ecological and economic qualities will probably remain exceptional in the future.

Hugo Boss Factory Outlet


The new Hugo Boss Factory Outlet Center is platinum-certified according to the new commercial buildings scheme and, with a degree of fulfilment of 98.5 % in the ecological quality, has an unusually high performance. The façade, framed in a type of fabric band, refers to the former textile factory that once was on the site in Metzingen, Baden-Württemberg. With a value of 90 %, the entire building also achieved an impressive overall degree of fulfilment among the New Construction projects.

Lister Dreieck office building

© Roland Halbe

The new office building Lister Dreieck is a real eye-catcher. Office and administration buildings are one of the most frequently certified building type at the DGNB. In addition to an energetically high-quality building envelope, low-pollutant material selection, low life cycle costs and the resulting platinum certification, among other things, the project also impresses with its architectural ambition. The red clinker brick building with its generously rounded corners not only has a high-quality yet pragmatic design on the outside, but also on the inside. An inner courtyard with a stretched roof construction in lightweight design welcomes visitors and serves as a communication zone. The interior design and room furnishings remain in a harmoniously coordinated colour concept.

© Roland Halbe

Buildings In Use

Zedler Institute

Certification according to the Buildings In Use scheme optimises existing buildings . A remarkable project in this type of use is the Zedler Institute, a mixed-use building with an overall performance index of 92.2 %. The project also received the DGNB Climate Positive Award and was also honoured with the Environmental Award of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

© Zedler-Institut

The building performed particularly well in ecological and socio-cultural-functional qualities including the appraisal of the absence of varnishes, paints and plaster. An integrated photovoltaic system powers the testing laboratories, while the rainwater storage in a cistern used for toilet flushing, bicycle cleaning and garden watering earned additional points.


Deutz Harbour

Although the Deutzer Hafen – Cologne’s new urban district- currently is only pre-certified, it already is an exceptional districts project. The urban development of the area has already been in discussion for ten years. The planned area covers more than 37 hectares (more than eight hectares of which are water areas). Approx. 3000 flats and living space for approx. 6900 inhabitants are to be built. In 2020, the project was pre-certified with an overall compliance rate of 83.3%.

© Cobe


Grüner Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH

The aim of DGNB certification for interiors is to actively promote the health, ergonomics, well-being and performance of people inside buildings. With a platinum certification and an overall performance index of 84 %, Grüner Punkt – Duales System Deutschland GmbH can be proud of the redesign of the interiors of its own main building.

© Der Grüne Punkt, Köln

Equipped with innovative heating/cooling/ventilation as well as lighting technology, it offers an ergonomically designed workplace for around 250 employees with an intelligent, open and flexible space concept. To reflect the core competence of a circular economy company, a large number of products and furniture were made from recycled materials, some of them from Systalen’s own plastic recyclates.

Deconstruction of buildings


New in the portfolio of DGNB certifications: The certificate for sustainably deconstructing buildings. As an instrument for quality assurance, it systematically sets incentives to increase the sustainability of deconstruction processes in a holistic manner. In this way, material flows are consistently closed, a higher value of the building fabric is promoted and circular economy solutions are included at all levels.

© Bloom Images/ Groß & Partner

In 2020, the certification was awarded for the first time: a deconstruction project in Frankfurt City was the lucky recipient. The FOUR high-rise quartet will subsequently be built on the site, the first project to receive the DGNB certificate for the Vertical Cities districts scheme.
In order to obtain the platinum certification for sustainable deconstruction, Groß & Partner dismantled and stored the windows and the listed façade on the site, so that they could be recycled for the new building. In addition, the project developer set up a professional construction site communication system that provides information about all processes on the construction site.

DGNB International

Purple County Residence

© Gezhouba weiyi real estate development

As in previous years, the DGNB also certified international projects realised in 2020. One example is the Chinese Gezhouba Group, which achieved a gold certification with the Purple County Residence residential project in Shanghai. Thanks to the international DGNB system, which allows certification in different conditions worldwide to locally valid parameters and benchmarks, sustainability and quality assurance can be certified in the subtropical climate on the East China Sea.

Filed under: General


Witold Buenger works at the DGNB in Marketing and is Project Manager Product Communication. The key to successful work is to present topics and services in an appealing and target group-oriented way, and to present special topics in an entertaining and comprehensible way. He studied media and musicology and worked in various companies and editorial departments after completing his traineeship at a publishing house.

Print this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *