The word sustainability is now used to such an extent that its meaning can be interpreted in many different ways. In the DGNB model, the original ideas behind the concept of sustainability are linked to tangible and action-oriented parameters. The DGNB can be said, somewhat coarsely, to formalise sustainability in construction.
As engineering consultants, we like this because it turns sustainability into a concrete framework, criteria and evaluation methods. This is of course in the knowledge that the system is not a miracle cure or can be solely responsible for sustainable construction.
In combination with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals - and not least legislation in this area - DGNB will take us some way towards greener construction by making our ambitions concrete and measurable. The Green Building Council has produced a video that explains a little about how the DGNB system contributes to sustainability in construction.
The DGNB gives weight to the following parameters:
Since 2009, EKJ has taken an active part in the development of the Danish adaptation of DGNB following the German model.
EKJ therefore has many years of practical experience in integrating environmental and sustainability considerations into our design services, and we have participated in the implementation of several buildings with requirements for energy class 2015/2020 or requirements for DGNB certification. On several of these projects, EKJ has provided sustainability management.
Let us help with certification
EKJ provides sustainability consultancy, DGNB screening and assistance for certification of buildings. We have specialists with high professional knowledge and solid experience in the field.
Innovation Manager, Plumbing Department
Tel: (+45) 20 27 83 94
Environmental and climate instruments
- Climate projects and LAR solutions
- Material selection
- Passive/active thermal mass
- Optimisation of climate protection and post-insulation
- Energy framework calculations
- LAR solutions and rainwater harvesting
- Solar cells and collectors
- Optimised heating and cooling systems
- Optimised ventilation systems
- Optimised electrical installations
How we do it
In the early stages of the project, the sustainability objectives and scope of the project are analysed, mapped and established. We also look at whether there are specific requirements such as energy class 2015/2020 (Building Regulations requirements) or certification requirements such as DGNB, which is available in silver, gold, platinum + the separate diamond, which also recognises the architectural qualities of the building. Here we help to ensure that the desired criteria are met in a documentable way. To ensure the quality of the project, the agreed objectives are evaluated. This also provides an opportunity to make ongoing adjustments so that the final result also meets the wishes and objectives set.
The DGNB Diamond is the latest member of the DGNB family and acts as a separate award in addition to the DGNB certification. It is therefore possible to have a building certified as DGNB Platinum/Gold/Silver + Diamond. The Danish version of the DGNB Diamond assesses how a project develops heritage values through the treatment of site, layout and detailing from the perspective of the classic architectural virtues of functionality, durability and beauty. The classic virtues are interpreted in a sustainability perspective, emphasising how the project's design, choice of materials and use over time can create qualities that contribute significantly to the building culture. The qualities are judged in terms of care, clarity and originality.
Read more about the different certifications here: DGNB certifications
The sustainability of the project may include one or more sub-elements, depending on the wishes of the developer:
- Environmental and climate sustainability - including energy production, resource use, environmental impact and climate adaptation
- Economic sustainability - including construction and overall economy
- Social sustainability - including user considerations and user involvement, and accessibility
- Technical quality - including the choice of technical solutions
- Process quality - including ensuring implementation and retention through all phases of construction
Examples of projects where we have provided DGNB advice