Long-awaited Update to LEED Approved

LEED 2009, the long-awaited update to the internationally recognized LEED green building certification program, has passed member ballot, and will be introduced in 2009 as the next major evolution of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings. It includes a series of major technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes.

LEED 2009 also will incorporate highly anticipated regional credits, extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project’s given environmental zone. LEED also has undergone a scientifically grounded re-weighting of credits, changing allocation of points among LEED credits to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities. This will be one of the most significant changes to the rating system, and will increase the importance of green building as a means of contributing immediate and measurable solutions toward energy independence, climate change mitigation, and other global priorities, officials with the U.S. Green Building Council stated.

LEED 2009 incorporates eight years worth of market and user feedback in the form of precedent-setting Credit Interpretation Rulings, which will ensure clarity for project teams. Process innovation in how new technical advancements are incorporated into LEED also will be introduced alongside LEED 2009.

“The conclusion of the balloting process marks the culmination of tireless work done by representatives from all corners of the building industry,” said Brendan Owens, vice president, LEED Technical Development, USGBC. “We have the deepest gratitude for our volunteer leaders, and for their bold steps towards resetting the bar for green building leadership and challenges the industry to move faster and reach further.”

Detailed information about specific proposed technical changes to the rating system can be found in the background documents that accompany the public comment forms on USGBC’s Web site (www.usgbc.org).

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