• Ricardo Escobar



LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a green building rating system that was released publicly by US Green Building Council in 2000. LEED provides third-party verification for the design construction and operations of superior green buildings.

There are five primary LEED rating system reference guides and each is geared towards a specific project type:

1. LEED AP (BD+C): A reference guide for building design and construction is appropriate for most new construction in addition to school projects, Kornshell Buildings, and major renovations.

2. LEED AP (ID+C): Guide for interior design and construction which focuses primarily on commercial interiors projects.

3. LEED AP (HOMES): For homes that covers high-performance residences that are less than four stories.

4. LEED AP (ND): For neighborhood development which is set up to pair green building with smart growth and urbanism.

5. LEED AP (O+M): For existing buildings operations and maintenance a system that helps to build operators and owners minimize environmental impacts by maximizing operational efficiency.

Buildings can receive one of four certification levels as a result of following the standards set forth by the LEED green building rating systems, these certification levels are certified Silver Gold and Platinum

While buildings can get LEED-certified people get LEED-Accredited, well what are the LEED credentials:

1. LEED Green Associate: Is the introductory level accreditation and signifies your general understanding of the primary LEED rating systems in addition to a handful of US GBC recommended readings.

2. LEED AP (ASSOCIATE - SILVER - GOLD - PLATINUM): Which stands for LEED accredited professional, the more advanced LEED AP credential demonstrates that an individual is truly an expert in one or more of the LEED rating systems.

So how can you get LEED accredited?

There are a few different paths you can take to achieve LEED accreditation and the route you take depends on whether or not you have experience working on a lead registered project, if you do not have lead project experience you will need to start by either showing that you work in a sustainable field or by taking an educational course on green building.

From there you will be eligible to sit for the LEED Green Associate exam, once you pass you're awarded the LEED Green Associate Credential if you would like to move on to the LEED AP credential you must first gain experience working on a lead registered project, once you get that experience under your belt you are eligible to take the LEED AP exam.

Now if you do have experience working on a lead registered project within the last three years you can either split up the exams and separate testing sessions taking the Green Associate first followed by the AP exam of your choice or you can register to take the LEED AP combined exam, taking both exams on the same day.

Where and when do you take the tests?

There are two organizations involved with the credentialing process first you have green building certification Institute who acts as Gatekeeper and then there's Prometric a national testing agency that administers all LEED exams- The computer-based tests are given on demand and are administered based on your local testing centers availability the fun part you get your score directly after Taking the exam.

Do you still have questions about LEED certification or accreditation?

Visit usgbs.org to learn more

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