LEED Certification for the Green Associate Designation
If you are planning a career in construction you will want to incorporate sustainability into your training because it is the face of construction in the future. LEED certification is becoming the accepted standard worldwide for excellence in sustainable construction design and operation, so pursuing the LEED AP+ designation would be a valuable addition to your resume.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation has just recently gone through an upgrade. Where it used to be earned by taking an exam in one of three specialty areas for green building, it now is divided into three tiers. The first tier is a foundation level. The second tier is the specialty level, and the third tier is a Fellow level.
The result of the new criteria used to become certified as a LEED AP+, now require the applicant to take two exams instead of just one. The first exam or the tier one, level Green Associate certification lays a foundation in sustainable construction and the rating system that the LEED system employs. The Green Associate level of certification arms the LEED candidate with a broad base of knowledge about sustainability while the second exam, tier two, gives the LEED AP+ level of certification a deeper knowledge into one of the five specialty areas.
So, as you can see to earn your LEED AP+ certification requires some planning and foresight. Even before starting with the Green Associate exam there are certain prerequisite requirements that must be met before you can sit for the test which means that you must have documented proof illustrating that you meet one of the following criteria.
Getting Ready for Green Associate LEED Certification
Your first choice is to prove that you have experience on project that has been registered as a LEED project. Merely being involved in the project is enough. The board is just looking for some exposure to sustainability on a construction project verifying that you are in already working in the field.
Your next opportunity to meet the prerequisite is to prove that you have had recent experience working in a green field of work. This work experience can involve your current job if your employer is involved in any kind of sustainable activity through his business. The board is looking for any link between the business and sustainable activity, so if the link is not an obvious one, you may have some explaining to do. But be prepared to make your case even if the sustainable link is not too obvious.
If you do not meet either of the proceeding two criteria, then you have the chance to take a class that addresses sustainable construction in any way. If you are choosing to take a class just for this purpose, however, you need to realize that GBCI does not have clear guidelines as to what constitutes acceptable educational programs; so again, you may have some explaining to do. Also realize that a class, taken through a reputable educational entity like your local college or Everblue Training Institute, is going to be much more readily accepted as meeting the education criteria than a class through a lesser, known entity.
Then once you have met all of the prerequisite requirements, you can study and prepare for the Green Associate exam. Once this exam is under your belt, you are halfway there. Now it is time, to study for your LEED AP+ certification, and then you will be a fully accredited LEED professional.