After 10 years of serving as the world’s most reliable independent third-party Green Building Rating System, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification process has undergone changes necessary to keep pace with the expanding and multi-dimensional green construction movement. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has recently released its newest revisions and modifications to the most widely used sustainable certification program.Launched late in 1998, the LEED® program celebrated its 10-year anniversary by announcing that to date:• Nearly 21,000 worldwide projects have registered intent to use the certification process• Completed and proposed certification projects cover more than 5 billion square feet• Municipalities, state governments and federal agencies are now using the LEED® certification rating system as a requirement for incentive programsThe USGBC has acknowledged that as the green movement has moved into more diverse areas of construction, modifications and revisions to the Council’s proprietary rating system have become necessary. As the scope of green initiatives has grown, users have voiced concerns about the document requirements, project review delays and the use of hard scientific data to support the program’s valuation criteria.In the past, these concerns were addressed as issues surfaced. Meritorious changes have been made to the program as deemed appropriate. Various geographic areas face differing issues and prioritizing point allowances by area needed consideration.The USGBC determined a thorough overhaul was in order. As USGBC Vice President of technical support, Brendan Owens, made clear; “We were cognizant that LEED® works now, but that it could work better.”The new rating version is named LEED® version 3.0 of LEED® v3. The new certification program has several new components:• Revisions to the green building rating system• Updates to the online tool that supports project certification• Changes to the administration of the certification process• A new program for accrediting professionals who work on LEED® buildingsThe new version was set to be released on or about the beginning of May. 2009. Longtime LEED® certification users will immediately notice changes to the registration process. The intent of LEED® v3 is to streamline and simplify the rating and certification process and to provide a system that is ready for the future growth of green construction.