The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) and IFC are working on a methodology that equates DGNB’s certification with a requisite level of resource efficiency achieved by EDGE certification. Projects that are awarded DGNB’s certification will be able to achieve a comparable level of green status as IFC’s EDGE certification and vice versa, enabling clients to better market their projects and access the advantages both certifications offer. The aim is to bring greater recognition to clients who are pioneers in the green building space, sparking competitive demand and the proliferation of green buildings around the world.

As a result of the collaboration, the DGNB and EDGE platforms will provide detailed information to interested clients as to how to achieve equivalencies for their projects. The objective is to foster a more holistic and quality-oriented design in our built environment.

To further define the methodology, DGNB and IFC will start a common pilot phase with dedicated clients and their design teams. An EDGE-certified project that has achieved a requisite average score across the efficiency categories of energy, water and embodied energy in materials and that has implemented DGNB design recommendations can be labeled as having achieved the equivalent of DGNB certification without need for further documentation.

A DGNB-certified project that has achieved a requisite score in the criteria of Lifecycle Assessment Primary Energy, Drinking Water Demand, and Waste Water Volume as well as Life Cycle Cost can be labeled as having achieved the equivalent of EDGE certification without further effort. In other words, entering the project details into the EDGE software and achieving the EDGE minimum standard are not required.

The DGNB/IFC synergy brings the best of German building know-how together with the convening power of the World Bank Group and its leverage and influence in global markets, particularly in the financial sector. DGNB will piggyback on IFC’s green building progress and better tap into financial incentives for its clients, where incentives are in place. IFC will benefit from drawing those EDGE clients who wish to explore a broader set of environmental issues (e.g., internal air quality and sustainable sites) towards the DGNB standard. This sets the precedent for an inclusionary approach that is based on level of effort and value rather than finding an exact match in terms of percentages or points.

Performance-oriented alignment between certification systems offers clients additional opportunities for improving their projects and achieving enhanced brand recognition, which encourages certification uptake and fosters higher building quality. It is the hope of DGNB and IFC that the equivalency will be influential in encouraging clients as well as design teams to implement life cycle thinking in their work. The common goal is to encourage more designs for climate and culturally-sensible buildings around the world. More information is available in German at DGNB und IFC erarbeiten gegenseitige Anerkennung von Zertifizierungen nach dem DGNB System und EDGE. For inquiries, reach out to or

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