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WASHINGTON, DC-Stores may not have to settle for Core and Shell LEED certification for much longer, as the proposed drafts of LEED for Retail: New Construction 2009 and LEED for Retail: Commercial Interiors, are now up for vote. Both will be incorporated into the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) suite of rating systems developed by the US Green Building Council.

The member ballot is the last step in the process to develop and establish LEED rating systems. The voting period began on Wednesday March 4, and extends through Wednesday April 1 at 5 pm.

More than 80 individual retailers worked with the USGBC and the LEED Retail Core Committee to formulate the draft. Both systems offer variations on site selection, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation and design process, and regional priority.

“The LEED for Retail rating systems were designed to recognize the unique nature of the retail environment and address the different types of spaces that retailers need for their distinctive product lines,” the USGBC said in the vote announcement. “LEED for Commercial Interiors 2009 is a system for certifying high-performance green retail interiors, and LEED for Retail: New Construction 2009 is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance green retail buildings.”

All USGBC member organizations in good standing are entitled to one vote, cast by the organization’s primary contact. Each member organization may vote to approve with or without comments, disapprove with comments, or abstain. To pass, LEED for Retail 2009 must reach a quorum of 10% of USGBC members and two-thirds affirmative votes. If it passes, it will join standards for New Construction, Core and Shell, Schools, Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance and Commercial Interiors. More systems are planned.

“Much has been invested in the development of these current LEED for Retail draft rating systems and a concerted effort has been made to ensure that both of the LEED for Retail 2009 rating systems capitalize on the existing market momentum while addressing the needs of LEED users,” the announcement said. “Most of the structural and technical changes incorporated into LEED for Retail 2009 drafts were also designed to create a rating system that can be part of a continuous improvement cycle.”

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