WASHINGTON - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has introduced its new LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system for commercial interiors (LEED-CI). Previously in pilot, the rating system has been balloted by the USGBC membership and is now fully launched. LEED-CI is the third rating system that has been developed by the USGBC following the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) and LEED for New Construction (LEED-NC) green building rating systems.

According to USGBC, LEED-CI is designed for building owners and occupants as well as the interior designers and architects who design building interiors and the professionals who install them. LEED-CI addresses such areas as: efficiency of water usage; energy performance optimization including lighting and lighting controls; HVAC systems and equipment; resource utilization for interior building systems and furnishings, and indoor environmental quality including criteria for emissions, thermal comfort, daylight, and views. The USGBC's Annual Conference and Expo Greenbuild, which was held in Portland, Ore., previewed the rating system during a certification ceremony, which recognized certified LEED-CI pilot projects.

"The long-awaited launch of LEED-CI has been met with much anticipation," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC's president, CEO, and founding chair. "The commercial interiors market is 16 times larger than the new commercial construction market. With the challenge of taking on the commercial interiors market, also comes a unique opportunity to shape this sector."

A companion rating system, LEED for Core & Shell developments (LEED-CS), is currently under development. Together, LEED-CI and LEED-CS will establish green building criteria for commercial real estate for use by both developers and tenants.

For more information on the LEED program, visit www.usgbc.org/LEED/LEED_main.asp.

Publication date: 12/20/2004