Looking At Accreditation for the LEED AP Credential
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design. It is a credential program that experienced significant upgrades in response to increasing demands on various systems while supporting the expanding sustainability arena. What was previously just one credential is now divided into three distinct tiers or designations. This article touches on aspects of accreditation for the LEED AP credential.
Designations Concerning Accreditation For The LEED AP Credential
Designation number one is LEED Green Associate and suits non-technical personnel involved in a sustainable construction assignment. This designation means you are knowledgeable in sustainable construction operations and planning. Heading up LEED projects is not the job of LEED Green Associates, but their input is very important.
Designation number two is LEED AP+. Originally limited to just three fields of expertise, it now lists five specializations. These include the ones listed below:
Operations and Maintenance (O+M) – this was known previously as Existing Buildings (EB)
Building Design and Construction (BD+C) – this one was referred to before as New Construction (NC)
Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) – this was known previously as Commercial Interiors (CI)
Neighboring Development (ND)
Homes – or Homes
You need to decide a specialty you are interested in early. This has to happen before you start preparing for a LEED AP+ examination. In picking a specialization, consider your background, plans for the future and training. It has to be something that is in line with your personal targets.
Ways to Secure Accreditation for LEED AP Credential
There are a couple of ways to obtain a LEED AP+ credential under the current system. The first one involves taking one exam only while the second requires taking two. Both have their share of upsides and drawbacks. You need to weigh the advantages against the disadvantages carefully to be able to avoid making a mistake in your final selection.
In earning a LEED AP+ designation via the first option, you will be taking one two-part test Part 1 covers info regarding the LEED Green Associate exam. Part 2 deals with the LEED AP exam. Obtaining the credential in this manner means doing everything in one go. Studying and testing is done only once, so it is more efficient.
On the downside, having the AP exam this way entails reviewing huge amounts of info. Plus, failure to pass the test leaves you with no credential. Passing the first part does not give you any LEED Green Associate credential equivalent so it is a bit of an “all or nothing” test. Three exam retakes are allowed for each application, and only for portions you failed to pass.
For the second option, a LEED AP+ designation is earned by first acing the LEED Green AP exam followed by the LEED AP+ exam. The beauty of taking two tests is that you already enjoy a LEED Green Associate designation while preparing for the LEED AP+ exam. This credential allows you to contribute to various green construction projects. The one hitch associated with the second approach to gaining a LEED AP+ credential is that the process of completing two tests involves a bit of repetition, eating up a good amount of time compared to the other choice.
People stand to gain no matter which option they choose. Both have the same end-result: an accreditation for the LEED AP credential. When choosing the best way to go after a LEED AP+ designation, base your selection on the time you have available for studying as well as your main purpose for taking the exam.
Thinking of attending Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix this November? Check out this page for more info and where to learn more about LEED while you’re there: Greenbuild 2009