The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, D.C., last month 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, according to the USGBC.

“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 and 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, coupled with an expanded third-party certification program and significant enhancements to LEED Online, make up a multi-faceted initiative the council refers 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 at www.usgbc.org.