As part of an update to the LEED system set for January 2009, the United States Green Building Council said it will hand off certification duties so it can concentrate on improvements to the green building ratings system. Specifically, the USGBC plans to move administration of the LEED certification process to the Green Building Certification Institute, a non-profit organization established last year with help from the USGBC.

According to Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC president and CEO, the move comes at time of increased growth for LEED. "During the past year, the dramatic growth in the number of LEED project certifications challenged us to apply our mission of market transformation to ourselves," he said. "We've been able to create a solution that will expand our capacity to serve the community while letting USGBC continue to focus on improving the LEED rating system and delivering exceptional green building education."

The GBCI will work with a number of third-party certifying organizations, including: ABS Quality Evaluations, BSI Management Systems America, Bureau Veritas North America, DNV Certification, Intertek, KEMA-Registered Quality, Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, NSF-International Strategic Registrations, SRI Quality System Registrar and Underwriters Laboratories-DQS.

LEED 2009, the updated ratings system, is set to include a revamped technical rating system and a comprehensive technology upgrade to LEED Online. This web update is aimed at "improving the user experience and expanding portfolio management capabilites," the USGBC said.