After many months of debate over proposed revisions and an unprecedented number of public comment periods, the latest version of the USGBC's LEED green building rating system, dubbed LEED v4, will go into effect this fall after it was successfully passed by ballot vote of USGBC membership, the organization announced this morning. The final overall vote was 86 percent in favor of adopting LEED v4. The minimum overall percentage of votes needed for passage was 66.7 percent.

Of the votes cast in the ballot, which was open for the month of June, 90 percent of the user category of voters approved the system, as did 77 percent of the general interest category and 89 percent of the producer category of voters. As previously reported by, a number of the changes to the LEED system under LEED v4 drew passionate commentary and debate over the past year, with much of it centered around changes relating to materials. The system was originally dubbed LEED 2012, however, in June 2012 the USGBC postponed the ballot vote on the system in order to receive more public commentary on the proposed changed, to the delight of industry groups opposed to the version offered at the time. The final public comment period closed March 31, 2013. 

With the LEED v4 ballot passed now, the USGBC will begin offering education on LEED v4 this summer in the form of webinars and the full program, along with associated reference guides, will be unveiled at this year's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia in November. Currently more than 100 projects are participating in the LEED v4 beta program and the first of these projects may receive certification this summer. Enrollment for the beta program remains open, and more information can be found via the LEED v4 User Guide.