Thursday, December 4, 2008

Changes to LEED Professional Accreditation

The USGBC has recently approved the latest standard LEED 2009, and now they are also unveiling a new accreditation program for professionals. There are going to be some changes in LEED 2009 for sure, but one major change is how the accreditation process is going to work. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), formed by the USGBC, has been in charge of implementing these changes and helping professionals learn more about LEED.

Accreditation Program Changes
Here are the major changes from the old AP program to the new one:

  • There will be three levels of accreditation, called tiers (see below).
  • All exam levels will have eligibility requirements
  • As the standards evolve, additional testing will be required, in addition to continuing education hours. $50 credential maintenance fees occur every two years.
  • Levels of Accreditation
    The three tiers, according to GBCI, are as follows:

    Tier I
    LEED Green Associate: Evoking good environmental practice and being the first step in the LEED professionals career pathway the LEED Green Associate credential attests to demonstrated knowledge and skill in understanding and supporting green design, construction, and operations.

    Tier II
    LEED AP+ : The LEED AP+ credential signifies an extraordinary depth of knowledge in green building practices and specialization in a particular field: commercial building design & construction, commercial operations & maintenance, commercial interiors, residential design & construction, and neighborhood development.

    LEED AP Fellow: LEED Fellows enter an elite class of leading professionals who are distinguished by their years of experience and a peer review of their project portfolio. Fellows contribute to the standards of practice and body of knowledge for achieving continuous improvement in the green building field.

    Specialty Tracks
    There are also 5 specialty tracks to pursue (for LEED AP+):
    • Operations and Maintenance (old EB) 2009 O&M
    • Residential Design and Construction (HOMES) 2009 HOMES
    • Building Design and Construction (old NC) 2009 BD&C
    • Interior Design and Construction (old CI) 2009 ID&C
    • Neighborhood Development (ND) 2010 ND
    Continuing Education Requirements
    LEED Green Associate: 15 hours required every two years, 3 of which must be from an approved program specific to the LEED Rating System, credit categories, and LEED updates

    LEED AP+: 30 hours required every two years, 6 of which must be from an approved program specific to the LEED Rating System, credit categories, and LEED updates

    LEED Fellow: information not available at this time
    Changes to the Exam Format
    There are a few changes to the exam format itself. For LEED Green Associates, the exam is computer-issued, multiple choice, and takes up to 2.5 hours. The LEED AP+ exam has two parts, the core exam (same as the LEED Green Associates exam) and a specialty examination on one of tracks listed above. The LEED AP+ exam may last 4 hours. If only one portion of the exam is passed, you have three chances and one year to retake that portion until you pass. Qualifications for LEED Fellow are still under development.
    Credential Fees
    In addition to seminars, study guides, and handbooks, the following costs apply:

    LEED Green Associate:
    $50 application fee; $150 USGBC National Member fee per exam appointment ($200 for non-members); $50 maintenance fee (every two years).

    LEED AP+: $100 application fee; $300 USGBC National Member fee per exam appointment ($450 for non-members); $50 maintenance fee (every two years). Additional specialty exams are each $150.00 members ($200.00 non-members) plus the application fee.

    LEED Fellow: $50 maintenance fee (every two years); other requirements are currently being developed.
    Existing LEED AP's
    If you are currently a LEED AP, you will now be known as a "Legacy LEED AP" and have two years to "opt in" to the new system, beginning June 2009. Until you opt in your status will be listed as inactive. You must sign the disciplinary policy and agree to complete the required hours of credential maintenance to officially opt in (30 hours continuing education every 2 years, 6 of which must be LEED-based). Once opted in, you will be able to use the new LEED AP+ designation and be listed in the active registry (after the second exam is passed). If you choose to not opt in, your LEED AP status will be listed as inactive until June 2011, at which point you will be required to fulfill eligibility requirements and retake the test. The fee for opting in is waived until June 2011, at which point it becomes $50 for credential maintenance every two years (same maintenance fee as for non-current LEED AP's).

    To obtain additional designation as a LEED AP+ (ie, pursue a specialty track), a current LEED AP that has opted in only has to take the specialty track portion of the test. This costs $150 for USGBC National members and $250 for non-members for each exam appointment.

    The beta testing for Tier 1 (LEED Green Associate), and also LEED AP Operations and Maintenance exam will begin in February 2009. More beta exams will be launched first and second quarter of 2009. Stay tuned for more information as it develops.

    For more information on the new LEED Accreditation, visit GBCI or email

    1 comment:

    Bygningsentreprise said...

    I think its developed already because its already in here in my country.