How To Become LEED Certified

Sara Mandeed
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How To Become LEED Certified (Accredited).

The first step to becoming LEED certified is to apply for the Green Business Certification through the LEED GREEN ASSOCIATION.

After you apply and are accepted you will be given a log in page where you can get your access codes to the LEED application on the LEED GREEN ASSOCIATION site.

Once in the LEED site you will first enter in your personal information.

Then proceed to enter in the green building information pertaining to the project you are trying to become LEED certified for.

You will then need to upload pictures of the project, upload a floor plan, upload the project budget and explanation of how you will be maintaining the project after the building is built.

The budget must be plausible and achieve the goal required to be LEED certified.

There are several categories to become LEED certified in.

The majority of LEED certification is in the Core & Shell category but you can also gain LEED certification for interiors of commercial buildings.

The most important aspect of obtaining a LEED certification is that the project must be able to survive without the addition of more natural resources.

LEED green building certification standards focus on 5 areas which are:

  • sustainable sites
  • water efficiency
  • energy and atmosphere
  • material & resources
  • indoor environmental quality

Register For The Exam

Study For The Exam

The Green Business Certification Inc (GBCI), the organization that sets the requirements for LEED certification, suggests studying for 45 hours before taking the exam. This will help you gain a better understanding of the rules and processes required.

As you prepare for the exam, GBCI also recommends researching the LEED Existing Buildings (EB) pilot version for projects that will be under construction or have already been built. This newer version, which was first implemented in 2012, takes into account certain aspects of a building’s condition and performance.

In use since 1998, the current LEED Building Design and Construction (BD&C) version typically measures a building’s performance post-construction. The BDE pilot version adjusts this requirement to include pre-construction phases.

Being familiar with the pilot version is helpful because the pilot version tends to be more relevant for today’s building practices. More and more, people are discovering that sustainable building techniques are most effective when implemented early on in the project.

Yes, it will be a challenge to gain a firm understanding of the latest version of the LEED Building Design and Construction system if you’re already familiar with the previous version. But the effort is worth it, because being forward-thinking about your next building project could give you a competitive edge.

LEED Green Associate Platinum Pack

How to Become LEED?

The acronym “LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and refers to a rating system that provides green building certification. LEED certification is one way for companies to prove that they operate in an environmentally friendly manner. If you’re interested in creating sustainable buildings, LEED is a great way to prove it. By applying for LEED, you have to establish what steps you’ve taken to build a sustainable building and prove to a licensed assessor that your building lives up to the LEED certification standards.

LEED AP BD+C Platinum Pack

LEED is the noted green building certification created by the United States Green Building Council. It’s also referred to as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The organization has earned a reputation for its long list of environmentally sustainable design rules and regulations.

Purchasers of qualifying properties can now use LEED as a tool to obtain tax credits. In fact, the US government has recognized LEED as a good resource when working toward a healthier, greener America. The US Green Building Council’s mission is to transform the building industry to create buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work.

When you complete the necessary work that it takes to achieve LEED certification, your building gains a great deal of recognition as well. Businesses that demonstrate that they are green-friendly are more likely to be in high demand as potential clients learn about their practices.

The US Green Building Council is always looking for eligible properties that are struggling to comply with the LEED standards. In most cases, however, interested building owners will have to put a great deal of time and effort into working towards the certification. Generating a work plan and doing extensive paperwork are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the certification process.

Go To The Test Center

To test out of the LEED Green Associate exam, you have to go to a test center. Once you have your access code, you can schedule a time on the USGBC website. You’ll need to bring a credit card with you.

You don’t need to print anything out. I would just check yes in the box that asks if you’re bringing anything, then put your access code on a piece of paper and put the paper in the box.

Once you check in, they’ll get you set up at a computer with some headphones. Then they’ll point you to a web page that has a tutorial on how to use the computer. This is a good time to review your test center etiquette, which is the same as for the GRE and LSAT.

The tutorial takes you step by step through the basics of the test. You have to leave the test to get a drink or go to the bathroom or get settled in, you will have a timer and it keeps you from messing up the computer for anyone else taking the test. That means your email, chat, and internet history will vanish every time. You can also have a notebook open with notes if you need it.

Take The Exam

When you become LEED certificated, you will receive a certificate proving your achievement and maintenance of the required training. But wait one minute. I told you there was nothing to it, and now you’re telling me that it’s going to take some work!

You’re right. There’s an exam.

The exams are offered through two testing programs: the PTAT program or the LEED Green Associate program. The PTAT program is an international exam that the U.S. Green Building Council uses to gauge candidates’ knowledge of green building. The P in PTAT stands for Pre-Rating.

The exam consists of 170 multiple choice questions followed by a matching exercise. It lasts 2.5 hours and has a passing grade of 70%.

P eople who achieve passing scores and maintain their required training are eligible to become green associate certifiers. This tier is the lowest of the four tiers in the LEED certification program.

The Green Associate exam is offered in two languages “ English and Spanish. And you can prepare for the exam by using the resources provided by the U.S. Green Building Council. If you’re planning to take the exam, it’s a good idea to get the study guide and flash cards that the council offers.

Pass The Exam

One way to become LEED certified is to pass the LEED exam. Each question on the exam is based on a set of core concepts. A LEED Accredited Professional can assist if you have trouble passing the exam and explain how to apply the correct criteria.

Currently, the exam is only offered in English, which makes it harder for those who speak other languages. However, this is set to change in the near future.

Designate Your Credential

Once you’ve met the rules and regulations governing the certification that you’d like to become, it’s time for you to designate your credential. If you prefer to earn the credential solo, leave the “Credential Holder” section blank. However, if you’re working with a design team, you’ll want to enter their names and initials.

The final step of the certification process is the mandatory vow. All LEED certifications require all project team members to take this vow.

Here’s a sample vow:

In order to help achieve a sustainable future, and in recognition of the LEED green building rating system as the leading global standard for design, construction and operations, I vow to uphold the principles of sustainable development. I vow to act to improve the environmental impact of my design projects and take responsibility for my environmental decisions. I vow to perform all my responsibilities within the letter and spirit of the existing energy standards and to educate and encourage my design team to do the same. I vow to help fellow designers learn LEED and seek opportunities for green building.