Posts tagged ‘leed exam’

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
3. Schedule your LEED Green Associate exam at
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.


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
3. Schedule your LEED AP exam at
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:
  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.



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 Certification Process: Before the Exam

Achieving a LEED Credential can be quite a process. It requires more than simply taking an exam and calling it a day. The purpose of attaining such a certification is to demonstrate one’s expertise in the green building industry. This persona should be supported by extensive preparation, experience, knowledge, and maintenance. In fact, the USGBC requires that a LEED candidate undergo multiple criteria to be eligible for different tiers in the LEED Rating System.

The mandatory first step for an individual is to take LEED Exam Prep training. The main benefit of taking a LEED preparation course is the time that it saves. A student who attends a training course easily saves 3-4 hours of time for each hour that they spend in a concentrated learning environment. For example, someone taking a class might spend 14 hours in the classroom and another 20 hours studying for a total of 34 hours, compared to an individual studying on their own who might easily spend more than 100 hours trying to get to the same level of competency. So, the question is really about how someone values saving 70 hours of their time.

To choose a good program, a student should look at third-party indicators of their quality. Is the program from an accredited school? Is the organization offering the program an education provider for the U.S. Green Building Council? What do online reviews from former students say about the program?

The programs that waste students’ money most often are from small and inexperienced companies who do not have the expertise to properly design a course to successfully prepare students for their exam. Does the program reference former clients? Are they partnered with large corporations and universities for delivery of their classes?

Upon completion of the LEED prep class, an individual should take 2-3 weeks of self-study time to really make sure they understand the information that will be on the LEED Exam. They should have received a Certificate of Completion from their training provider, which will give them eligibility to register for the LEED Exam. It is within this time period that an individual is recommended to schedule their LEED Exam. Having a test date looming in the horizon is an especially high motivator.

November 28, 2011 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

Who benefits from earning a LEED Green Associate accreditation?

Anyone interested in understanding more about building energy efficient, sustainable commercial and residential buildings and communities should take the necessary steps to becoming LEED GA accredited.  LEED, which was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the most expansive environmental design and green building certification.  It is not only one of the most recognized certifications in the industry, but it is also the benchmark for meeting the gold standard in sustainability.  This green building and maintenance approach serves everyone by conserving resources and creating a healthier environment.  But to the individuals in the building design, construction, and operations industries, it means becoming a more marketable, in-demand professional.  Such individuals include, but are not limited to, Mechanical Engineers or Engineering Managers (PE), Project Managers (PM), Sustainability Consultants, Commissioning Services Engineers HVAC, LEED/Green Building Sales Representatives, Project Architects, Electrical Engineers, Interior Design Architects, Energy Analysts, and Project Architects.
The LEED GA certification is the first step in becoming part of this fast-growing field.  It provides a high-level view of the many areas of sustainable building including the LEED rating systems, building types, and methodologies.  In order to gain this credential, one must take a LEED GA course covering this information and receive a certificate of course completion or gain LEED project experience and provide a letter proof.  This is followed by a computer-based exam designed by the USGBC.   To find out more about LEED Green Associate, available training courses, and other energy-saving certifications, visit Everblue Training Institute’s website, the nation’s leading green educator.
To find out more about LEED Green Associate, available training courses, and other energy-saving certifications, visit Everblue Training Institute’s website, the nation’s leading green educator.

August 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm 1 comment

Traveling to Get Your LEED Certification

Do you need to get your LEED certification this year? If so then you might want to think about taking an exam in a city that is not the one where you live. You can travel to a 2-day workshop in almost any major city in the United States and study for the exam there.

Reasons that you might want to travel to get your certification to become a LEED Green Associate include:

  • You might be able to write off a portion of the trip on your taxes. This is a business expense and may be able to count as business travel depending on your business. Talk to your accountant about this.
  • You will be very focused on your classes. When you aren’t distracted by all that is going on at home you can really focus on what you need to learn in an intensive two-day workshop like this.
  • You will get a chance to travel. Ultimately the reason to do this is to get away for a little bit and to see a new city while still doing something productive with your time.

You can take the courses that you need to pass your LEED exam in your own hometown. Why would you do that, though, when you have the option to travel somewhere for a nice weekend instead?!

December 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm 2 comments

LEED Certification for Building Design and Construction Specialty

LEED certification distinguishes building and construction professionals who are trained to implement a rating system that measures how energy efficient a building is. LEED Accredited Professionals (AP) have successfully completed a set of exams establishing them as experts in implementing standards that determine sustainable construction projects.

GBCI manages the LEED Professional Accreditation program, however it does not offer any supporting education. USGBC offers education, study support and exam preparation along with LEED education. There are also a number of USGBC sanctioned providers like Everblue Training Institute, which can also help any LEED AP+ candidates with educational courses and study aids.

Earlier this year GBCI redefined the standard for their LEED professional certification. Originally a LEED candidate would take one of three tests, each being in a different area of specialty, and then they were authorized to use the LEED AP designation.

Now the LEED program has been divided into three tiers. The first tier requires an exam for Green associate. This level of LEED certification provides a broad base of knowledge in the green and sustainable construction field. Once passing this test, a candidate is welcome to continue on to the Accredited Professional (AP+) level of certification.

At the AP+ level of accreditation, the candidate chooses one of five areas of specialty in which to test. Of course a candidate is welcome to become accredited in more than one specialty, but they will accumulate them one at a time. For example, the Building Design and Construction specialty takes a green project from registration with LEED right through to the project’s completion.

The Building Design and Construction specialist rates the sustainability of substantially renovated or new institutional and commercial buildings either private or public. Within the Building Design and Construction specialty there are three sub categories. These three sub categories are New Construction and Major Renovations, Schools New Construction and Major Renovations, and Core and Shell Development.

LEED Certification Provides Essential Core Knowledge

The LEED AP+ for Building Design and Construction is responsible for environmental and economic issues, related credits, credit implementation discussion, summary of reference standards, team recommendations, timeline, regional variations and definitions among other information. The accredited professional also provides essential core knowledge that is the basis for all LEED rating systems.

The LEED AP+ Building Design and Construction specialist oversees the responsibilities of key stakeholders in the LEED process. The LEED AP+ maintains strategies for communicating with all team members through the entire process. They are involved in all key decisions that project teams make, and offer assistance in guiding the decision towards the most advantageous resolution for the project.

The LEED AP+ for Building Design and Construction specialty is competent with the LEED rating system including in-depth knowledge of the prerequisites and credits, and they are very familiar with the LEED reference guide for green Building Design and Construction. Having the LEED certification, the Building Design and Construction specialist is worth his weight in gold as he identifies key decisions throughout the life of a project, and he ensures that the process of getting a project approved is successful.

August 13, 2009 at 4:53 am 1 comment

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