The principles that comprise the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard apply to a myriad of professionals in the construction, architecture, and engineering industries. Depending on your company and your job title, you may be more involved with LEED projects than others. Oftentimes these projects necessitate having someone on the team who has earned their LEED accreditation. Somehow, you’ve entered into your position and its responsibilities without a LEED credential, and now you’re scrambling to figure out how you can “get LEED certified” in a hurry.
Here’s what you have to do.
First, you will want to sign up for LEED exam prep training.
The most successful strategy for passing your LEED Green Associate exam is to prepare for it! Given that you’re under a time crunch, you don’t want to waste your time trying to memorize EVERYTHING and also trying to figure out what’s actually going to be on the test. Instead, focus your efforts in a LEED exam prep class where you will learn from a training company that has experience with the test. There are a number of LEED training companies out there; you’ll want to look for one that has been marked as a USGBC Education Provider. The USGBC is the standard-bearer for LEED, so you’ll know that you’ve chosen a reputable and effective training company if it has the USGBC stamp of approval.
During your LEED Green Associate training, you’ll not only get insight into the test material, but you’ll also gain a familiarity with the exam interface. This is incredibly important because it removes any nerves or uncertainty that you may have going into your LEED exam. When you arrive at the Prometric Testing Center for your exam appointment, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
A LEED training course generally lasts 2 days, or 14 hours. No matter what class you attend, your trainer is going to recommend an additional 2-3 weeks of self-study time to make sure you really understand the information inside and out. You will also be encouraged to schedule your exam appointment following that 3-week mark. If you don’t schedule your exam shortly after training, you’ll end up losing some of the knowledge you gained. And do not procrastinate scheduling the exam – if you tell yourself that you’re not ready or that you’ll do it later, you never will. Having an exam deadline looming over your head will actually help keep you on track.
The LEED GA exam lasts two hours. Because the test is delivered over the Internet, you will know your score immediately after you’re done.
All in all, you can expect a time commitment of around 36 hours to prepare for your LEED Green Associate exam. If you have experience in sustainability and green building, you can cut out some of the self-study time. It all really depends on what type of learner you are and how much experience you have in the industry.
So you’re in a hurry to earn your LEED credential. Go ahead and sign up for a LEED prep class. Get the process started. You’ll learn an immense amount of information in class that will be immediately applicable to the LEED projects that you’re working on. If anyone asks, you’ll be well on your way to earning your LEED Green Associate!
One of the most common questions we see is, “How do I get started with LEED?” LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the leading green building standard around the world. If you’re working in the architecture, engineering, or construction industries, you’ve probably heard the acronym tossed around by your colleagues. Before you dive into the rabbit role of Google searches (because trust me, there will be THOUSANDS of websites about LEED Certification), let’s go over the major things you need to know.
History of LEED
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created the LEED standard in 1993 to set a benchmark for the design, construction, and operations of “green” buildings. Since its inception, LEED has undergone a series of updates in order to stay relevant and provide effective solutions for the future.
Enter LEED Version 4
We’re now in the fourth version of the LEED standard. The LEED v4 exams debuted on June 30, 2014. Anyone who pursues LEED at this point will be preparing for a LEED v4 credential.
Speaking of Credentials…
The first step you will take to enter the LEED industry is to earn a LEED Green Associate credential. This designation is required for all green building professionals who want to pursue LEED. The LEED Green Associate designation is for anyone who wants an understanding of basic green building principles.
What Comes Next?
After you earn your LEED Green Associate, you have two options.
If you are satisfied at the LEED Green Associate level, you will need to work toward acquiring 15 hours of continuing education over the next two years. That’s all it takes to maintain your credential. This must be done every two years.
If you are interested in diving deeper into the LEED industry, you might consider earning an advanced LEED credential, known as a LEED Accredited Professional with Specialty. There are five specialties to be had – Building Design and Construction, Operations and Maintenance, Interior Design and Construction, Homes, and Neighborhood Development. As you can see, each of these specialties aligns with different roles or goals in the green building process. Should you decide to pursue a LEED AP credential, your continuing education requirements increase to 30 hours over two years.
Let’s Take a Step Back
If you’re reading this article, you are probably brand new to the industry or fairly new to LEED. To get started, you will want to enroll in a LEED training course – a LEED Green Associate course, to be specific. In this class, you will get an introduction to LEED and learn about the concepts that will be on the credentialing exam. Following your LEED exam prep course, you will schedule your LEED exam at a nearby Prometric Testing Center. The LEED Green Associate exam has 100 multiple-choice questions. You will be required to score 170 out of 200 to pass.
Right now, you may be feeling overwhelmed, but I promise, it doesn’t have to be this way. The great thing about taking an exam prep course is that you not only hone in on the exam concepts, but you’ll gain a holistic view of why LEED is important, how it benefits the environment, what you can do with a LEED credential, and information about the exam interface. The purpose of an exam prep course is to put you at ease and make the process of acquiring a LEED designation less stressful! And it works, too. Check out our reviews page where our students talk about how effectiveness their LEED exam prep course was. To find the closest LEED course to you, please visit our LEED Green Associate Training page.
Are you working on a LEED 2009 project? Did you miss the cutoff for the LEED v3 accreditation exams? If you answered yes to both questions, this post is for you!
The newest version of the LEED Rating System, called LEED Version 4, launched this year. With this change, the requirements for LEED Certification (buildings) and LEED Accreditation (people) also changed. However, LEED project teams can continue to register projects under the v2009 rating systems until June 27, 2015. You may be in a situation where you’re working on a LEED 2009 project but don’t quite have a handle on all the concepts.
The good news is, we’ve got you covered.
Everblue has LEED 2009 education available for your situation. We want to help you navigate the credit categories and project registration process with confidence. The concepts you learn in a LEED v4 exam prep course are not going to help you with your project. Too much has changed, and we wouldn’t want to steer you in the wrong direction. On the other hand, there is no reason to take LEED 2009 exam prep training – because the exams were discontinued on June 15.
If you have yet to receive your LEED accreditation and need some knowledge to participate on a LEED 2009 project, we have a solution for you. It’s called our LEED Certification Package.
The LEED Certification Package pertains exclusively to LEED 2009 projects. It is not an exam prep course. This bundle was developed to give you a comprehensive overview of the steps to take to achieve LEED Certification under the 2009 standard.
Many projects will be pursuing LEED Certification under v3, not v4, well into 2015. Here’s why…
- The energy requirement under LEED v4 is much more strict! Just to meet the MINIMUM ENERGY PERFORMANCE prerequisite under v4, projects must be 20% more energy efficient than under v3. This will mean significant costs to projects pursuing certification under v4. If I want that plaque on my building, I’m taking the easy road; I’m going in under v2009 as long as possible. Only the most hardcore projects will attempt LEED v4.
- When it comes to the Materials & Resources requirements under v4, the market simply is not ready to provide what’s needed in terms of EPDs, documented life-cycle impacts, etc. The hope (for us all) is that the market will once again transform itself, as it did years ago. IF there is enough on the demand side (LEED projects, requests, etc.) then the supply side will step up. We’re just not there yet.
If you are a practitioner in the industry who wants to better understand the LEED v2009 project process and requirements, you’re in luck! Call us at 1-800-460-2575 or visit our LEED Certification Package for more information.
As you may be aware, the current version of the LEED Exam will be expiring on June 15, 2014. There will be a period from June 15-30 where there will be no LEED Exams administered. The LEED v4 Exam will launch on July 1 at a Prometric Testing Center near you.
Many are cramming to schedule their LEED v3 exam before the June 15 cut-off. Unfortunately, what they’re finding is that the exam slots are filling up at a rapid pace.
If you are new to LEED or thinking about pursuing an advanced LEED credential, you should first visit the Prometric website and see what kind of availability exists for the LEED v3 exam in your area.
How to Schedule Your LEED Exam
- Visit the Prometric website here: https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/gbci/Pages/landing.aspx
- Choose the Locate a Test Center icon.
- Select your country and state.*
- Choose the LEED exam in question (LEED Green Associate, LEED AP Building Design and Construction, etc.)
- Identify the city or zip code for your location.
- Click the Availability link for the test center(s) in your area.
- Review the calendar (through June 15) to determine availability.
*The Prometric website may ask you to submit your county/state location information several times before allowing you to advance.
If you do not see any available exam appointments in your area, don’t worry. Everblue has LEED v4 Exam Prep Training available for you NOW so you don’t have to delay your efforts. We are currently the only LEED training provider with this content available. Whether you are looking for live classroom training or online learning, Everblue is the perfect choice to help you pursue a LEED Accreditation.
This year, the Hurt Building was awarded the TOBY award for Outstanding Historical Building of the Year, in Atlanta, but this isn’t the only award the building is racking up this year. Boxer Property recently announced that its historic Hurt Building has been awarded LEED-EB Platinum certification, making it the oldest commercial office building to achieve this rating.
A Monument of Historic Architecture
The Hurt Building—a member of the National Register of Historic Places since 1977—is an Atlanta icon. The building opened in 1913 and exemplifies the craftsmanship of the early 1900s. The original 1913 plaster chandelier continues to provide light in the building’s three story domed rotunda. Many other original elements of the building remain intact including the uninterrupted marble, glazed brick piers, ornamental terra cotta spandrels, and heavy decorative cornice. Despite these old-fashioned fixtures, the Hurt Building truly has been getting wiser as it has been getting older.
Energy Efficient Retrofits
Energy retrofits implemented over the years have replaced aging infrastructure and taken advantage of new technologies as they have become cost effective. These included replacement of the chillers and cooling tower, as well as multiple lighting retrofits that have evolved along with the development of lighting technology. When ownership changed to Boxer Property in early 2012, the new owners recognized that continued investment in energy efficiency could provide further savings with an attractive return on investment. The first project undertaken was a retrofit of lighting in the parking garage. After completion of the project, electricity use in the garage was reduced by 59 percent, and electric costs dropped 68 percent. Another project involved the installation of solar window film on more than 23,000 square feet of glazing. The film cut solar heat load of the windows by 65 percent.
LEED for Existing Buildings Platinum Certified
Already the first commercial office building to achieve LEED-EB Gold in the state of Georgia in 2009, the Boxer Property team decided to go for the big prize of getting recertified as LEED-EB Platinum. This LEED-EB Platinum certification demonstrates the property team’s commitment to operating a sustainable building that exceeds standards. The Hurt Building is among one of a small group of LEED-EB Platinum buildings over 100 years old.
Other Energy Efficient Achievements Earned
The Hurt Building has achieved ENERGY STAR seven years in a row since 2007. It was the first LEED-EB Gold commercial office building in Georgia in 2009, the first Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International 360 building in Georgia in 2009, and the first BOMA Southern Region Earth Award in 2010. The Hurt Building is a key member of Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID). These organizations are helping to bring downtown to the next level through game-changing initiatives and programs, like the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (BBC). The BBC initiative was launched by the Department of Energy in 2011 and aims to accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency and encourage commercial building owners to make their properties 20 percent more efficient by 2020. The Hurt Building has already met the requirements of the Better Buildings Challenge.
For more information about LEED-EB certification, consider Everblue’s LEED Operations and Maintenance Accreditation page.