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LEED Exam Quick Facts

How to Become a LEED Green Associate

First Step for Everyone
LEED Green Associate Accreditation

Preparing for the LEED Green Associate Exam
1. Sign up for a LEED Green Associate exam prep course
2. Register for the exam and pay exam fee at usgbc.org/credentials
3. Schedule your LEED Green Associate exam at prometric.com/gbci
4. Commit to 20-30 hours of self-study time
5. Take your exam!

Costs Associated with LEED Green Associate Exam
$200 for USGBC members and full-time students
$250 for non-members

Passing Score on the LEED Exam
Must score 170 out of 200

Maintaining Your LEED Green Associate Accreditation
Pay $50 maintenance fee to USGBC and complete 15 hours of LEED credential maintenance training every 2 years. Three of the 15 hours must be LEED-specific.

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How to Become a LEED AP with Specialty

First Step for Everyone
LEED Green Associate Accreditation

*You can sit for the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams at the same time. However, if you fail the LEED Green Associate exam, you will not be allowed to continue for the LEED AP exam. We do not recommend paying for and scheduling both exams for the same testing period for this reason.

Preparing for the LEED AP Exam
1. Sign up for a LEED AP exam prep course
2. Register for the exam and pay exam fee at usgbc.org/credentials
3. Schedule your LEED AP exam at prometric.com/gbci
4. Commit to 20-30 hours of self-study time
5. Take your exam!

Costs Associated with LEED AP Accreditation
$250 for USGBC members and full-time students
$350 for non-members

Passing Score on the LEED Exam
Must score 170 out of 200

Maintaining Your LEED AP Accreditation
Pay $50 maintenance fee to USGBC and complete 30 hours of LEED credential maintenance training every 2 years. Six of the 15 hours must be LEED-specific.

October 22, 2014 at 6:26 pm Leave a comment

LEED v3 Exam Scheduling Comes to a Close

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

  1. Visit the Prometric website here: https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clients/gbci/Pages/landing.aspx
  2. Choose the Locate a Test Center icon.
  3. Select your country and state.*
  4. Choose the LEED exam in question (LEED Green Associate, LEED AP Building Design and Construction, etc.)
  5. Identify the city or zip code for your location.
  6. Click the Availability link for the test center(s) in your area.
  7. 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.

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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.

June 4, 2014 at 12:25 pm 1 comment

The “LEED AP Without Specialty” Controversy

You may have heard the term LEED AP before, though you might not be aware of the layers that live within this title.

When the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System was established in 1993, it was determined that an individual who passed the LEED Exam would earn the title of a LEED AP, or LEED Accredited Professional.

LEED Version 3’s arrival in June 2009 brought a number of changes and enhancements with it, including a new tiered credentialing system. No longer would a successful exam candidate become simply a LEED AP. LEED v3 introduced new titles called LEED Green Associate, LEED AP (with Specialty), and LEED AP Fellow.

So what did this mean for the so-called Legacy LEED APs, and what does this mean now that we are entering LEED Version 4?

2009-2013: To Opt In or Not to Opt In

When LEED v3 debuted, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) invited the Legacy LEED APs to upgrade their accreditation by declaring a specialty and then completing a 30-hour credential maintenance program before fall 2011. The other option was to simply re-take the LEED Exam.

LEED AP not wanting to re-take the LEED Exam

In November 2012, the GBCI offered another route for remaining Legacy LEED APs to earn a specialty, which was to complete a “Principles of LEED” program, which was comprised of six online modules and corresponding quizzes. In order to upgrade to the v3 credential, a Legacy LEED AP had to agree to the USGBC Disciplinary Policy, agree to complete continuing education requirements, and pay the biannual maintenance fee.

At the end of the day, Legacy LEED APs could carry their credential to their grave, if they had wanted. The GBCI indicated that LEED APs who did not want to opt into the new requirements could stay a LEED AP and remain in the GBCI database. In addition, LEED APs could work on LEED v3 projects and earn a point in the Innovation in Design category for being a LEED AP. (In 2013, it was announced that LEED APs without Specialty would no longer earn the Innovation point. In fact, LEED APs withSpecialty who want to earn the extra point now have to be working on a LEED project related to their specialty.)

What would you have done?

2014 and Beyond

Here we are in 2014 on the cusp of the LEED Version 4 launch (set for June 30). The “Legacy LEED AP” title has now been replaced by the “LEED AP without Specialty” title for this group of professionals.

In a discussion on the USGBC LinkedIn Group page, a LEED AP without Specialty recently noted that his listing on the GBCI directory was no longer visible. This led many LEED APs without Specialty to believe that they were being permanently ommitted due to not opting into Version 3 or 4.

Quite a debate ensued, with some LEED APs arguing that they felt pressure to upgrade simply as a means of being included publicly among their esteemed peers in the industry. For them, the omission from the GBCI directory would add a layer of complication for times when they needed to assure a client that they have, in fact, earned a LEED designation. It would also mean having to retain their official certificates and keeping their GBCI numbers on file in case they needed to show proof of their accreditation.

Others argued that it wasn’t appropriate to recognize the LEED APs without Specialty to the same degree as the newer professionals who have made a point to stay abreast of the current developments in green building through continuing education. Many LEED APs without Specialty, they said, might have passed the exam half a decade ago but since remained inactive and disconnected to the green building world of today. 

Thankfully, a representative from the USGBC commented on the discussion and noted that some individuals’ listings were not set to “Viewable.” She recommended that LEED APs without Specialty log into their accounts, complete their profiles, and make sure that the profile is set to Viewable. This would resolve any misunderstanding about whether LEED APs without Specialty are still included in the GBCI directory. 

Legacy LEED AP is Now LEED AP without Specialty

Keep checking in with us for the latest news regarding LEED Version 4 and LEED Accreditation. Visit our LEED Training page to view a full listing of our green building courses.

May 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm Leave a comment

LEED AP Exams Will Cover LEED Online Material

With the development of LEED Version 4, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has proposed a number of changes to the LEED exam process. One of the items that we’re going to discuss today is the LEED project experience requirement.

First, let’s discuss how things currently work. After acquiring the LEED Green Associate accreditation, professionals are encouraged to participate on a real LEED project. The goal is to gain exposure to and familiarity with the LEED project process. You must secure a Letter of Attestation from the project manager, confirming your participation. This Letter of Attestation essentially qualifies you to sit for the LEED AP with Specialty exam. You submit the letter to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI, the sister organization to USGBC that handles accreditation). At that point, you are able to move forward with taking your LEED AP exam. The exam has few questions that touch upon your LEED project experience, namely identifying that LEED Online is the software tool used to manage the project documentation. The bulk of the exam questions relate to the LEED Rating System for which you are attempting a specialty. This will be the process until June 15, 2014.

After June 15, the Letter of Attestation will no longer be required to sit for the LEED AP exam. However, the project experience requirement won’t totally be null and void. In fact, it will actually be more important than ever because the LEED AP exam will start to feature more in-depth questions about LEED Online. According to the USGBC, students can expect to be asked questions about how to use LEED Online; it will no longer be sufficient to simply know what LEED Online is used for. The exam will actually test a candidate on the real application of LEED Online. “Without ever registering a project, or observing someone register a project, the candidate will not know how to answer the LEED Online questions,” stated USGBC. “Without participating in a charette, the candidate may not be able to answer questions on the integrative process.”

So what does this mean for your professional journey and aspirations to acquire an advanced LEED credential? You could look at it two ways…

  • Before June 15, you must participate on a LEED project to receive your Letter of Attestation and qualify for the LEED AP exam (under LEED Version 3), or
  • After June 15, you must participate on a LEED project to utilize LEED Online, and be ready to answer questions about it on the LEED AP exam (under LEED Version 4).

Whichever path you choose, consider that Everblue’s LEED Project Experience course will prepare you for both scenarios. Our course will supply you with the Letter of Attestation needed pre-June 15 and will also give you in-depth experience working within LEED Online should you choose the post-June 15 path. For more questions about the LEED project experience changes, please call 800-460-2575.

April 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm Leave a comment

The Five Categories of LEED Certification (Actually it is LEED Accreditation)

When a professional is looking to earn an LEED AP with specialty, there are five categories he/she can choose from. The specialties include LEED AP Building Design and Construction, LEED AP Interior Design and Construction, LEED AP Building Operations and Maintenance, LEED AP for Homes, LEED AP for Neighborhood Development.

LEED AP Building Design and Construction involves new building projects and major renovation projects for existing buildings. Apartment buildings, office buildings, hospitals, and schools are all projects within this category. Green Interior Design and Construction focuses on tenants renting out part of a bigger space such as a LEED commercial interior within a larger office building or a LEED retail interior within a larger shopping complex. LEED AP Green Building Operations and Maintenance, the next specialty, focuses on the LEED requirements for existing schools and buildings. Making minor improvements and measuring various operations and maintenance projects are included in the specialty.

The fourth specialty, LEED AP for Homes, addresses single and multi-family residential structures that are three stories tall or less. This particular rating system was made public in 2008 and was modeled after the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star for Homes program. The final LEED rating system is LEED for Neighborhood Development, the first national program for neighborhood development. It focuses on green building on a larger scale, urbanism, and smart growth.

Everblue Training Institute currently teaches courses on Building Design and Construction and Green Building Operations and Maintenance since these are by far the most popular rating systems. It is important to note that Building Design and Construction encompasses much of the same material as Green Interior Design and Construction. Therefore, it may benefit you to take the Design and Construction course if you are interested in Interior Design elements.

For information on these specific courses offered by Everblue, please visit the LEED AP BD&C Exam Prep section of Everblue Training Institute.

August 26, 2010 at 2:55 pm 1 comment

The Little Steps to Getting LEED Certified

LEED certified buildings and communities are taking simple steps to be sustainable, water efficient, energy-saving, resourceful, and clean air places for everyone to enjoy. For a facility to be LEED certified, it must earn a specific number of points in a wide range of “green” categories. Earning these points is simple, but they add up to make a huge impact on our environment. If you’re looking to make a difference yourself, it’s so easy to be an energy-saver at home, at work, and within your community. And it’s important to know that many of the LEED point requirements take our help to work most efficiently.

For example, building within walking distance to public transportation earns a structure points towards LEED certification. By taking public transportation to these facilities, we can make this design element effective. Buildings can also install bike racks and changing rooms with showers to encourage people to bike to work and earn LEED points. But it’s up to us to utilize these facilities. If biking to your destination isn’t an option, driving more fuel efficient vehicles or low emitting vehicles can help. Some LEED certified buildings offer special parking spaces for these environmentally-friendly cars.

Buildings can also earn points towards certification by providing recycling options. Displaying specific containers for recyclable materials is an example of this. It’s our job as individuals, however, to actually use the provided receptacles. Material reuse is another way that recycling can earn a building points toward LEED certification, because it decreases the demand for new materials. What does that mean for us? The more we recycle as individuals, the more materials we have to reuse during the building process. These examples only scratch the surface of ways we can work with LEED to make it as effective as possible. The more we do to contribute individually, the better LEED works within the industry.

For more information on LEED or becoming LEED certified visit Everblue Training Institute, the nations leading experts on LEED training.

August 26, 2010 at 2:27 pm 3 comments

Everblue announces LEED exam practice questions

Everblue has really been working on increasing what it offers in terms of LEED training.  Recently, weekly webinars were added as well as LEED Exam Practice Questions, and study guides will be available this Fall.

If you haven’t already definitely check out the practice exam questions.  Currently, the LEED Green Associate exam questions are available.  Everblue plans to offer the AP+ questions in the coming months.

August 19, 2009 at 4:10 am 2 comments


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