Open for Public Comment: The U.S. Green Building Council’s Proposed Improvements to the LEED Green Building Rating System

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“LEED 2009” focuses on energy and carbon performance of buildings, transparent “weightings” and regional LEED credits

Continuing to seek the right balance between technical advancement and market transformation was a driving force behind the LEED 2009 work

Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) opened the first public comment period on LEED 2009, the next evolution of the LEED green building certification system. LEED 2009 represents a reorganization of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings, combined with a series of major technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes.

“Continuing to seek the right balance between technical advancement and market transformation was a driving force behind the LEED 2009 work,” explained Scot Horst, Chairman of the volunteer LEED Steering Committee, which leads the technical development of the LEED rating system. “The ‘big ideas’ we’ve proposed include transparent weightings of LEED credits so the highest-priority credits achieve the most points, a new mechanism for incorporating bioregional credits, and a more nimble framework that supports rapid response to emerging environmental and human health issues.”

The LEED Green Building Rating System was developed by USGBC to drive market transformation in the building industry by defining a consensus metric for leadership in green building that forms a basis for continuous improvement. The evolution of LEED is based on technical, scientific and market-based advancements.

“When it was introduced in 2000, the LEED Green Building Rating System helped to spark a revolution that is changing the way we build and operate our offices, schools, hospitals and homes,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, USGBC. “LEED 2009 resets the bar for green building leadership because the urgency of our mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further.”

LEED 2009 is the product of thousands of hours of volunteer time and the deep expertise generously given by representatives from every corner of the building industry who serve on the USGBC member committees and oversee the development of LEED. LEED 2009, coupled with an expanded third-party certification program and significant enhancements to LEED Online, make up a multi-faceted initiative referred to as LEED Version 3.0.

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. Further information about the expansion of the certification process and improvements to LEED Online as well as future technical improvements, including the integration of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) into LEED, will be forthcoming in late summer.

Media Webinar
A media webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 11 AM – 12 PM EST. Scot Horst, Chair of the LEED Steering Committee will present the proposed changes to the LEED system, outline the public comment process and answer any questions.

About the Public Comment Period
The public comment period is a critical part of the consensus process by which LEED is developed. During public comment, all stakeholders are invited to review all proposed improvements and offer technical or market-oriented perspectives through USGBC’s Web site on the slate of changes represented by LEED 2009. All public comments are reviewed by the USGBC volunteer committees that oversee the LEED rating system. USGBC will respond to all comments and post the comments and responses (without commenter names or organizations) to the USGBC Web site. If changes to the LEED system are made as a result of comments, a 15-day second public comment period will be undertaken. The resulting draft will be sent to all USGBC member organizations for ballot prior to release.

The public comment period will be open for 30 days, from May 19 through June 22, 2008, at 5 PM Pacific Time.

Webinar Info
Topic: LEED v3
Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Time: 11:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00, New York )
Meeting Number: 754 983 783
Meeting Password: newLEED

To join the online meeting:
1. Go to
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the meeting password: newLEED
4. Click "Join".
5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

To join the teleconference only:
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 866-469-3239
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-429-3300
Toll-free dialing restrictions:

For assistance:
1. Go to
2. Click "Assistance".
3. Click "Support".

Prior to the meeting, check for compatibility of rich media players for Universal Communications Format (UCF) before you join the session. UCF allows you to view multimedia during the session. To check now, click the following link:

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. Since USGBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 15,000 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED® green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (, and a network of 74 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more information, visit

About LEED®
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities. LEED for Healthcare is currently under development and is expected to be released in early 2008.

Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies. For more information, visit    


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