Six Questions About LEED
1. What is LEED?
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system ensuring a building or community is designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance and quality of life. There are four rating systems for achieving LEED certification: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, and LEED Platinum. These LEED certification rating systems are designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and residential buildings. They are based on accepted energy and environmental principles and strike a balance between established practices and emerging concepts.
The LEED certification rating systems range from 40 credits to 80 credits. LEED Accredited Professionals must set a goal for a specific LEED certification and must abide by the appropriate guidelines to achieve credits. Each LEED certification level consists of a 20-credit range. The ranges are as follows: LEED Certified 40-49, LEED Silver 50-59, LEED Gold 60-79, and LEED Platinum 80+.
Individuals earn LEED accreditation. The LEED Green Associate is the newest LEED credential and the required first step before taking the LEED AP (Accredited Professional) Exam. The LEED Green Associate credential denotes basic knowledge of green design, construction, and operations. The second level is the LEED AP+ offered in five different specialties denoting prolific knowledge of green building.
2. Is LEED certification necessary for engineers?
Although it is not mandatory for engineers to have a LEED credential, seeing LEED accreditation on a resume certainly adds more credibility when bidding on proposals. In addition, LEED Accredited Professionals benefit from lower operating costs, increased asset value, tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives by demonstrating a commitment to social responsibility through environmental stewardship.
3. How to apply and study for LEED testing.
To be eligible to take the LEED Green Associate exam (the first step in a two-tier system to attain LEED AP credential) a candidate must either work in a sustainable field of work, worked in support of a LEED-registered project, or attended an education program that addresses green building principles. Everblue’s LEED Exam Prep Course satisfies this requirement and guides candidates through studying for the exam.
Everblue’s nationwide LEED exam prep courses sufficiently prepare a candidate to succeed on LEED exams. The live instruction LEED exam prep course should be the beginning of one’s studies, followed by 2-3 weeks of self-study with materials provided by Everblue, followed by the computerized exam. Candidates who complete our LEED exam prep course and devote the recommended 20-30 hours of studying prior to taking the exam report a passing rate of over 90% as opposed to the general 30%-34% pass rate.
4. What does the test involve? Content, length, etc.
The LEED Green Associate exam and the five LEED AP+ Specialty exams are each comprised of 100 multiple choice questions, multiple answer questions that must be completed in two hours. The exam is proctored at a Prometric Testing Center and is available to take six days a week, as the candidate schedules to take it.
Exam questions default to the best answer, and scores range from 125-200. Individuals receive a passing score when they have earned 170 points. Wrong answers do not count against the individual. Because it is a computer-based test, there are no scheduled breaks. Digital watches are not permitted, as calculators will be provided. Prometric will also provide scrap paper and pencils for any calculations.
Individuals should arrive 15 minutes early at the Prometric Testing Center and should bring a photo ID with the individual’s signature. Headphones and lockers will be available to individuals taking the exam. To register for the exam, visit http://www.GBCI.org.
5. Recommended study materials
GBCI’s website offers candidate handbooks which lists general references to study. GBCI also has reference guides available for purchase.
Everblue’s LEED Exam Prep Course provides two full-day live instruction, 7 memorization worksheets, study guides, 400 practice questions, practice exams, an Everblue exam handbook, and personal attention to a candidate’s needs to ensure success on the LEED exam. Everblue’s instructors are also available to provide further guidance following the exam prep course.
6. What classes can I take?
Everblue’s LEED Exam Prep Course is offered at multiple locations nationally and internationally. Everblue offers exam prep courses for the LEED Green Associate exam, as well as LEED AP+ Specialty exams.
Everblue will soon be offering courses in sustainable design, LEED continuing education, Home Energy Rating Services (HERS) certification, and solar photovoltaic training.
Please check the website http://www.everblueti.com for the next available course nearest you.