The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) latest rating system—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2009 for Healthcare New Construction and Major Renovations—passed the member ballot on Nov. 16 with an 87-percent approval rate.

LEED for Healthcare is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance health-care projects, including inpatient, outpatient, and long-term care facilities.

The rating system represents seven years of collaboration between the Green Guide for Healthcare (GGHC) and the USGBC. GGHC has helped streamline LEED for Healthcare’s development schedule by aligning with the LEED for New Construction rating system’s organizational structure—with permission from the USGBC—and conducting a pilot program that has included more than 100 health-care facilities.

The GGHC pilot project informed the development of the LEED for Healthcare rating system. The combined efforts have specifically addressed the usability and verifiability of the draft credits, with feedback solicited from the pilots on their use of the GGHC. This made it possible to bypass the pilot process with LEED for Healthcare. All health-care projects will have access to the rating system, including the reference guide, workshops, and LEED Online.

The rating system lists the intent, requirements, and technologies/strategies for each credit and can be found on the USGBC’s Website.