Member balloting for LEED 2009 is underway, marking the U.S. Green Building Council’s final step in this latest evolution of the LEED green building certification system. Member approval is the final stage of the process used to develop, test, evaluate, revise and publish all LEED rating systems. Member balloting opened on Oct. 14 and will close at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Nov. 14.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification system is a feature-oriented certification program that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria in various categories. The six major categories of review are Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design.
LEED 2009 represents a major evolution of the LEED rating systems for commercial buildings. It includes a series of technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes.
LEED 2009 will also incorporate highly anticipated regional credits—extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project’s environmental zone. LEED has also undergone a scientifically grounded re-weighting of credits, changing allocation of points to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities. This will be one of the most significant changes to the rating system.
LEED 2009 incorporates eight years worth of market and user feedback, in the form of Credit Interpretation Rulings, which will ensure clarity for project teams.
“With the approval of our members, the launch of 2009 will give the market a tool that is more flexible and adaptive, while retaining the technical rigor and practicality LEED has always been known for,” said Brendan Owens, Vice President LEED Technical Development.
The first public comment period for LEED 2009 opened in May 2008, followed by a second in late August. USGBC had received nearly 7,000 comments from members and stakeholders at the conclusion of the second public comment period on Sept. 2.
The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) reviewed the comments and incorporated changes, passing along the rating system to the LEED Steering Committee (LSC). LSC approved LEED 2009 and set it on its course to member ballot.
For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.