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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has opened the first public comment period on LEED 2009, the proposed 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 & 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."

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 website on the slate of changes represented by LEED 2009.

Public comment forms and background documents detailing specific proposed technical changes to the rating system are available on the USGBC website . Additional 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 added to the website in the next several months, USGBC says. See here for more information.