General technical approval

General technical approval (German: allgemeine bauaufsichtliche Zulassung or “abZ”) is a testing procedure that is used always when products that are not standardised are used on a building. In these cases, general technical approval aims to ensure that the parts fulfil their purpose and that, when they are installed correctly, they do not pose a hazard – for example, because terrace elements are unable to bear a certain weight or products intended for outdoor use are not sufficiently weatherproof.

Good to know: In addition to the general technical approval, there is also a procedure called general design certification (German: Allgemeine Bauartgenehmigung (aBG)) where the focus is on ensuring that components are assembled correctly. Generally, these two procedures are carried out in combination but the certificates can be issued individually.

Who issues general technical approval in Germany?

The German Institute for Building Technology (Deutsches Institut für Bautechnik, DIBt) based in Berlin is responsible for general technical approval. Its internal experts work together with more than 500 specialists from various areas in the construction industry and, in addition to issuing general technical approvals throughout Germany, also carry out European Technical Assessments (ETA) throughout Europe.

Who obtains the approval?

Usually, the manufacturer applies to have its product approved. When the general technical approval has been issued, the manufacturer can then attach the “Ü” mark to its products. If the manufacturer markets its product throughout Europe and has applied for an ETA, its products have the CE mark. In this way, everyone connected with the industry – house owners, architects or building authorities – know that the product has been tested and is safe.


Ideal for balconies: the load-bearing floor plank system Terrace+ from Deceuninck with general technical approval

When do I need technical approval?

According to the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt), general technical approval is required if there is not (yet) a DIN standard or similar generally recognised code of practice for the quality and/or use of a building product. The institute itself did not define this requirement. It comes from the German Model Building Regulation (Musterbauordnung, MBO) upon which the building codes of the different states in Germany are based. The regulation distinguishes between “controlled building products” and “non-controlled building products”. If building materials fall into the second category, DIBt approval is required.

What is the procedure for obtaining general technical approval?

  • First, the manufacturer submits an application to the German Institute for Building Technology (DIBt).
  • The DIBt examines the documents and defines which tests and verifications are required for the respective product or design.
  • The manufacturer then arranges for the tests to be carried out and sends the results to the DIBt.
  • If all the results are satisfactory, the manufacturer receives its general technical approval certificate or its general design certification. Both are valid for five years.

Which products require general technical approval?

As mentioned above, the German Model Building Regulation always requires special approval of a building product if it is in the “non-controlled building products” category. This is because in such cases no long-term experience or industry-wide recognised codes of practice are available and certainly no official standards guaranteeing that it is safe to use what is generally a new and innovative product.
You don’t have to worry about building products that are DIN-certified. However, if you want to use innovative products, such as wood-plastic composite (WPC) planks for your cantilevered balcony, always make sure that they have the corresponding mark for general technical approval or general design certification (Ü or CE).


If you need proof of approval for our innovative and recyclable Twinson building products or have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.