WASHINGTON — 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 October 14 and will close November 14, 2008, at 5:00 p.m. EST.
 LEED 2009 represents an evolution of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings, and 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 regional credits, extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project’s given 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, and will increase the importance of green building as a means of contributing immediate and measurable solutions to social, economic and environmental problems facing the world today.
 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. Coupled with a credit alignment structure designed to create a more elegant and harmonized rating system, LEED 2009 will reset the bar for the certification of high-performance green buildings. Detailed information about specific proposed technical changes to the rating system can be found in the number of background documents that accompany the public comment forms on USGBC’s Web site, www.usgbc.org.

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