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LEED 2012 versus LEED 2009: USGBC Delays Vote to Approve Updates Until August

Late yesterday, USGBC announced an update to its development schedule for LEED 2012.  A few weeks ago, USGBC took the unprecedented step of opening a fourth public comment period for the next iteration of the LEED green building rating system.  With the announcement of the fourth public comment period, open until May 28, it was inevitable that the originally planned date to vote on the new LEED systems – June 1 – would be pushed back.  Now, USGBC will not open the LEED 2012 ballot until August 15 in order to allow the industry more time to fully understand the changes proposed to the LEED program.

There has been much discussion on the LEED 2012 updates (including in our ongoing series here at gbNYC). Indeed, many in the industry have commented that the updates may be too much, too soon. The comments USGBC has received thus far have resulted in changes during the fourth comment period draft, including clarification of fundamental prerequisite barriers and simplifying credit calculations.  The amount of comments already considered has lead to a much more intensive development – much of which has played out in public – from years past.  And as the release date of LEED 2012 continues to approach (November 2012, if approved by the August vote), it’s worth considering whether USGBC will entertain further comments and updates, or if it will indeed be ready to move forward with the vote in August.

Still, in the next few months, USGBC will continue to develop,  as planned, the LEED 2012 credit forms, online forms, education, reference guides and new interactive online tools. (Note that LEED 2012 drafts remain available for review and open to comment via and As an added note, the USGBC  is seeking volunteers to “test drive” the 2012 program before it is released. If you’re interested on piloting a project through a beta rating system you are encouraged to email

As always, we’re available to answer any questions you might have about LEED 2012 and USGBC’s underlying development process.

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