As the world becomes increasingly environment-conscious, individuals need to take a modern approach to innovation.
Generating less waste and decreasing our negative impact on the environment has become the need of the hour. Businesses globally are fast-changing their approach and incorporating sustainable, environment-friendly strategies into their daily activities.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building certification system that is internationally recognized. The higher LEED points a project earns, the more environmentally sustainable and reliable it is.
Are you looking to become LEED certified? We will give you a step by step guide on how you can achieve this and become a LEED Green Associate.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
Becoming LEED Certified
First things first, it is important to redefine the terminology associated with LEED certification. While it is only possible for a building to be LEED certified, it is not possible for a person to be.
The confusion lies in the basic terminology – A person can become LEED accredited, while a building can be LEED certified.
Now that you have this basic concept under your grasp, let us move on to how you can become LEED accredited.
Levels Of LEED Accreditation
There are two levels of LEED accreditation – LEED Green Associate and LEED AP.
LEED Green Associate
You should have basic exposure to LEED and green buildings. This can be done via further education, work experience, or volunteer work. You are required to have a basic understanding of the principles and concepts of green buildings.
This is an advanced qualification for LEED Green Associates. There are five categories under this, and you can choose to specialize in any of them. Having prior work experience with LEED concepts and green buildings can be extremely advantageous.
Steps To Become LEED Certified (Accredited)
Now that we have come to the detailed guide, let us tell you about the steps you can take to become LEED certified. After you have qualified as a LEED Green Associate, you will be able to opt for specialization as a LEED AP.
Registering For The Exam
The first step to becoming LEED certified is to register your user account on the usgbc.org website. Once you sign up, navigate to the Credentials page. Here, you will find an option for the LEED Green Associate exam, along with other exams. Select the one you wish to take.
You will immediately be redirected to prometric.com/gbci. Here, you can select your preferred exam location and date. For each exam attempt, you will be required to pay the examination fee, which is $250 ($200 for USGBC members, $100 for students).
If you choose to sit for the LEED AP examination, you will be required to pay $350 ($250 for USGBC members). There is a third option for a combined examination (LEED Green Associate and LEED AP with specialty). This will cost you $550 ($400 for USGBC members).
Finding The Right Study Material
It is a no-brainer – without the appropriate study material at hand, you will find yourself at a loss during the examination. While there are numerous online options offering free study materials, their low quality makes them far from ideal.
Instead, you can opt for exam bundles that provide all the study material, questions, study guides, practice material, and even audio and video lessons. It is important to pick the right package and not overwhelm yourself with excessive study material.
If you know anyone who has taken the LEED examination, it is recommended to ask them for guidance and advice on the same. Spend regular, scheduled time with your study materials so that you can confidently complete your syllabus with enough time to practice.
LEED Green Associate Platinum Pack
This LEED study pack is one of the best ones, as it combines the most effective online tools and study material in one bundle. It includes audio, visual, and kinetic preparation materials. The LEED webinars included in this package will help you understand the core concepts while taking notes and practice tests continually.
Moreover, the study sheets and flashcards can be printed out – enabling you to highlight or cross-off points as you learn them. The highly practical guide and study strategies will help you pass the examination on your first attempt.
LEED AP BD+C Platinum Pack
Similar to the previous study package, this one has been designed to enable you to pass the LEED AP BD+C Specialty exam. With online tools, guided handbooks, and examination outlines, you will have all the help you need at your fingertips.
Taking The Test
Once you have completed the first two steps, you are ready to take your examination. It is recommended to arrive at your exam center at least 30 minutes before it begins; otherwise, you risk losing your seat.
Remember to carry the appropriate documents with you on the examination day. These include a valid, unexpired ID with your current signature and a recent photograph of yourself with an expiration date.
The examination is entirely computer-based – it will record your responses along with your response time to each question. The test also allows you to skip over questions altogether or flag them to revisit later. Remember to calmly answer all the questions and try to be correct, rather than answer them as fast as possible.
The entire process will take 2 hours and 20 minutes. It is broken down into:
- An optional 10-minute tutorial
- The 2-hour examination
- An optional 10-minute exit survey
All the LEED professional exams are scored between 125 and 200 points. In order to pass this exam, you need to achieve a minimum of 170 points. You will receive your examination score at the end of your test – it will be displayed on your screen, and you will also receive a copy of your exam results in your email once you are done.
Your exam results will be processed within 72 hours of you taking the exam. Once you log into usgbc.org, you will find your Credentials account updated, and if you have passed the exam, you will receive your updated badge.
Designate Your Credential
Once you pass the LEED Green Associate test, you are eligible to use the “LEED® Green Associate™” title and logo! Furthermore, remember to log into your usgbc.org account to download a copy of your certificate. Once you have done this, you can proudly claim to be LEED Accredited and start working on LEED building projects and green concepts.
How Long Is The Registration Valid For?
Once you have registered your account for the LEED examinations, the registration will last for one year. Within this period, you are allotted three registrations for each exam section. However, once this registration period expires, you need to wait 90 days before registering again. In case of extraordinary circumstances, you may even request an extension of your one-year registration.
Importance Of LEED Certification
Any LEED certified building has been approved to be an environmentally sustainable model. These buildings reduce stress on the environment by actively working on strategies to be more energy and resource-efficient. As the world moves towards environmental awareness and sustainable practices, it has become imperative for buildings to be LEED certified.
These buildings use practical green concepts and strategies to reduce their waste and put less pressure on their immediate environment. Moreover, they use lesser resources like energy and water, whose preservation is crucial.
Several green buildings also integrate practices like storage and reuse of recyclable materials. These buildings encourage owners to use renewable energy and also reduce their indoor water use and wastage.
Becoming LEED certified requires hard work, perseverance, and dedication. At the end of this process, you will be proudly LEED accredited and can start working on environmentally sustainable projects for a better future. In this day and age, becoming LEED certified can open up new avenues at the workplace.
Now that you have carefully gone through our detailed guide, you will better understand how to go about the process. Take pride in the fact that you are directly contributing to making the world a more sustainable place to live in.
With that, we wish you good luck! Adios!