The update to the LEED green building certification program has passed member ballot. LEED 2009, passed on Nov. 14, will be introduced next year as the next major evolution of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings. It includes a series of technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, as well as 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 given environmental zone. It has also undergone a re-weighing of credits, changing allocation of points to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities.

The update 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, the 2009 program is expected to reset the bar for the certification of high-performance green buildings.

Process innovation in how new technical advancements are incorporated into LEED will also be introduced alongside LEED 2009, including a “pilot process” for individual credits that will allow major new technical developments to be flexibly trialed, evaluated, and incorporated into the program.

Detailed information about specific proposed technical changes to the rating system can be found at www.usgbc.org.