On Nov. 18, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced that LEED 2009 had passed its member vote. The new rating system includes several significant changes. One of the biggest is that the credit system has been reweighted so that there are more credits in areas USGBC wishes to emphasize.
For example, the total number of credits in the Energy and Atmosphere section increases from 14 to 39. The total number of points available will be 110, so energy will comprise more than 35 percent of LEED points. Also, the standard for the energy credits will be ASHRAE 90.1-2007, which is tougher than the 2004 version currently used.
According to the changes, LEED 2009 will make a 20 percent reduction of in-building water use mandatory. Currently, it’s an optional credit.
More points for gains in development density and community connectivity, as well as alternative transportation, are also included.
Finally, the new LEED will include a new section that allows for up to four region-specific points.
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LEED 2009 Approved by USGBC Members