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ZÜBLIN becomes first company to receive Sustainable Construction Site base certification from DGNB

Press release   •   Jun 10, 2021 10:58 CEST

ZÜBLIN pilot project: Ed. Züblin AG has been awarded DGNB Sustainable Construction Site precertification for the realisation of the Saalburgallee residential building on behalf of client Vonovia Operations GmbH. Copyright: Vonovia Operations GmbH
  • Safe, clean, environmentally friendly, transparent: new DGNB certification sets standards for sustainable construction site processes
  • Ed. Züblin AG to establish sustainable processes as the standard on its construction sites
  • ZÜBLIN Saalburgallee pilot project in Frankfurt awarded DGNB precertification

ZÜBLIN is assuming a pioneering role in the industry with regard to the systematic deployment of sustainable processes on construction sites in Germany. The German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) today presented its Sustainable Construction Site base certification to Ed. Züblin AG, the first company to be awarded this distinction. With the new certification, DGNB is expanding the focus of its work beyond the buildings themselves to also include their construction. The newly developed set of comprehensive rules for sustainable construction site processes includes not only resource protection but also organisation, health and social issues, communication with the local public, and execution quality. The Sustainable Construction Site base certification, which applies to the entire ZÜBLIN company, already covers essential standards from the schedule of requirements and serves as a basis for the certification of individual construction sites.

At the presentation of the new certification as part of the Construction Industry Day, ZÜBLIN was awarded both base certification as well as the Sustainable Construction Site precertification for its Saalburgallee pilot project in Frankfurt. ZÜBLIN’s Mitte Subdivision is working on this project as general contractor to build a five- to eight-storey multi-family residential complex with 38 units on behalf of Vonovia Operations GmbH. When completed in August 2022, the project will also comply with the high sustainability standards for buildings.

“Sustainability is our strategic goal”

“Sustainability and climate protection are strategic goals of ZÜBLIN and the entire STRABAG Group. Naturally, this also includes ensuring that the processes on our construction sites are as sustainable as possible. The Sustainable Construction Site base certification from DGNB, valid for the entire Ed. Züblin AG group, is a guarantee of this,” says STRABAG SE Management Board member Klemens Haselsteiner (Chief Digital Officer), who accepted the two certifications for ZÜBLIN personally from DGNB board member Johannes Kreißig. “The Saalburgallee pilot project assumes a pioneering role in this regard, but thanks to our efficient and already largely standardised processes, Ed. Züblin AG will be able to implement the new DGNB regulations on more of its construction sites in the near future,” says ZÜBLIN Management Board member Jörn Beckmann, adding, “We are convinced that the certification for sustainable construction sites will serve as an example – not only within Ed. Züblin AG and the entire STRABAG Group, but also in the industry as a whole.” In 2008, ZÜBLIN became one of the first members of the DGNB sustainable construction network, founded in 2007, and since then has continuously participated in the further development of the certification system.

“Sustainable construction is not only about the result, but also about getting there. With its commitment to the new DGNB certification for sustainable construction sites, ZÜBLIN is doing real pioneering work,” says Johannes Kreißig, executive member of the DGNB board. “This sends a strong message to other construction companies that it is important to systematically address the issue of sustainability on the construction site.”

Sustainable Construction Site precertification was also awarded to the project development company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield for its Überseequartier project currently underway in Hamburg; ZÜBLIN’s construction logistics division is a participant in the project. The first completed DGNB certification goes to Lidl Dienstleistung GmbH und Co. KG for the sustainable realisation of a new Lidl shop in Winnenden near Stuttgart.

As a planning and management tool, the certification is applied during the entire construction site process. The construction site is assessed on the basis of detailed evidence, which is reviewed at coordinated intervals before the start of construction and throughout the construction phase until the building is put into operation. The basis for full certification is the DGNB precertification, which can be obtained at the start of the project. The construction site is then certified after completion of the work, contingent on continuous compliance with the sustainability criteria. Unlike the DGNB building certification, there are no gradations in platinum, gold and silver.

Safe, clean, environmentally friendly, transparent

The comprehensive schedule of requirements for the new construction site certification is divided into five criteria that ensure proof of end-to-end sustainability quality. A checklist-like structure makes it possible to break down overarching topics such as resource protection to the respective project and derive concrete measures. The criterion of construction site organisation requires, among other things, schedules and timetables as well as a health and safety plan, concepts for a low-noise, low-dust and low-waste construction site, and logistics that take into account local residents and the environment. Resource protection is about saving resources (e.g. recycling building materials) and protecting the climate by reducing emissions. One of the ways in which ZÜBLIN excels in this area is the fact that all of the company’s construction sites have been supplied exclusively with certified green electricity from hydropower since the beginning of the year. The criterion of health and social issues includes an occupational safety plan, measures for preventive healthcare, and the protection of social benefits for the people involved in construction. Communication with the local public should be part of the construction site process and begin even before construction starts; a digital information platform is evaluated positively in this regard. The quality of the construction work is enhanced by the quality assurance of the products used, the presence of an improvement management system, site controlling via app, and the use of intelligent technologies for machine control.

Stuttgart-based Ed. Züblin AG, with more than 13,000 employees and an annual output of around € 4 billion, is one of Germany’s largest construction companies. Since its foundation in 1898, ZÜBLIN has been successfully realising challenging construction projects in Germany and abroad and today is the STRABAG Group’s leading brand for building construction and civil engineering. The company’s range of services covers all construction-related tasks – from complex turnkey construction, civil engineering and tunnelling to construction logistics, structural maintenance, ground engineering and timber or steel construction. In recent years, ZÜBLIN has been promoting the topics of digitalisation, LEAN.Construction and sustainability and – supported by the many years of experience of its Zentrale Technik competence centre – is also increasingly offering integrated design and construction from a single source as a general planner. When it comes to partnering, ZÜBLIN has set new standards with its teamconcept partnering model, which has proven its worth on the market for more than 25 years. Current construction projects of the company, a subsidiary of globally operating STRABAG SE, include the EDGE East Side Berlin high-rise project, the Rinsdorf and Rälsbach viaducts on the A45 motorway and the Boyneburg Tunnel on the A44. More information is available at