Thursday, August 8, 2013

What Is LEED And How Do You Become Accredited?

What is LEED?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Created by the United States Green Building Council, LEED provides a point system for green buildings and their construction, awarding points for 5 main areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Buildings can then be awarded levels of certification--Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The more points a building gets, the higher their level of certification.

LEED Accreditation

If a person becomes LEED Accredited, then they are an expert on one or more LEED Green Building Rating Systems. A LEED AP (LEED Accredited Professional) must pass a complex series of exams and demonstrates a deep understanding of LEED green building principles. After becoming certified, a LEED AP is capable of managing a LEED project from start to finish and will also be able to get any LEED registered project an automatic 'bonus point' by simply being a part of the LEED project team.

LEED Exams

So how do you get LEED certified? Well, unless you're a building, you can't. But, you can become LEED accredited by passing the LEED Green Associate Exam and a specialized LEED Accredited Professional Exam. The LEED tests are administered through your local Prometric testing center and the application process is handled by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Each exam is 2 hours long and comprised of 100 multiple choice questions. It is scored on a scale of 125 to 200 with 170 being a passing grade.

The LEED Green Associate Exam tests the following categories:

  • Synergistic Opportunities and LEED Application Process
  • Project Site Factors
  • Water Management
  • Project Systems and Energy Impacts
  • Acquisition, Installation, and Management of Project Materials
  • Stakeholder Involvement in Innovation
  • Project Surroundings and Public Outreach

The best way to pass this exam is to take a LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Course. These instructor-led seminars allow students to ask questions and learn the complex aspects of LEED. GreenEDU offers instructor-led seminars as well as online, anytime webinars that can be taken from the convenience of your home.

Getting Registered for the Exam

There are two entities involved with the LEED Accreditation process: the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and Prometric Testing Centers. The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams are given on an on-demand basis, meaning when you contact Prometric to schedule your exam, you book your exam date relative to when they have availability on one of their computers. While the scheduling process is extremely flexible, there is a strict limit of three (3) attempts per 1 year exam application period. There are Prometric test centers in almost every major city - the easiest way to determine your closest testing center is to visit and run a search for Prometric with your zip code.

So, how much do these exams cost?

LEED Green Associate Exam


Why Become Accredited? 
Becoming LEED accredited signifies you are a leader in the green building movement and that you have key technical knowledge and experience. Having a LEED Professional credential can open up opportunities for new employment, job stability, and promotion, all while promoting sustainability.

Want to learn more? Visit our LEED FAQ page or contact us to ask questions!

Planning on taking the LEED Exam? First, get prepared with an educational LEED Seminar. Register for a course in your area with GreenEDU!