Notes from USGBC/GBCI Update on 2009 Credentials

Thu, 2009-09-24 00:41

Here are my notes from a USGBC webinar today where Beth Holst, the GBCI Vice President for LEED Credentialing, spoke for an hour on the LEED 3.0/LEED 2009 Standards. She clarified many of the questions about LEED 2009 and about the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP requirements.

Speaker: Beth Holst, VP Credentialing, GBCI

Introductory Comments: Please note that the GBCI and USGBC are sister organizations, but there is a clear distinction between the two. Also, GBCI wants to maintain a level of credential quality that provides third-party verification and credentialing. Quality, independence, and credibility are key to LEED credentials.  Bottom line: LEED AP is only worth something if it is realistically applicable. Beth is excited about the growth of the LEED program. Now LEED AP is a full-time job on most projects.

For LEED NC 2.2

-       Is LEED NC 2.2 still available? Yes as long as you have eligibility ID, you can still schedule for LEED NC or LEED CI Exam dates.

-       Before March 31st there were 85,000 LEED APs. The Legacy LEED AP ranks will grow exponentially after all procrastinators done by June 30th. More LEED exam candidates registered in the last week of March than all current LEED APs. How many of them will actually take the exam?

-       Failures will be enable to enroll in a Beta test of the exam if still available (several hundred applications already submitted) 


Will new LEED exams be harder? Hmm, trickier is what she likes to say. There will not be as much recall/memorization but more application and analysis questions. If you’ve been working on LEED projects and understand the LEED rating systems, then you’ll do fine. The new LEED exams will push the envelope of your understanding of LEED.

Why the LEED exam application and fee? The application fee will prevent someone from hitting submit 47 times to register for an exam (a person did this in March). It’s really meant to weed out hundreds of people that register but never actually take the exam. Oddly enough, I would have thought that they’d already have taken care of this.


LEED Green Associate Exam ($50 Application Fee): 

-       Meant for building industry’s supporting cast: students, Realtors, manufacturers, field reps. 

-       Basic green building knowledge + LEED process

-       LEED Green Associate will be a two-hour computer-based exam. This is a change from the 2.5 hours previously published.

-       LEED Green Associate Beta exam was available in February.

-       LEED 3.0 Exam registration opens tonight at midnight if their website works.

-       LEED Green Associate Eligibility Requirements: Show how field of work somehow relates to sustainability. Want this to be very open to people. I think the key word is "somehow."

-       Will not qualify for ID-2.  Interesting but really how many of the 85,000 LEED APs actually claimed this on a project anyway?


LEED AP Specialty Exams ($100 Application Fee):

-       LEED AP Exam will be two hours in length. Change from the previously published 1.5 hours.

-       Meant for building practitioners

-       O+M tonight & May 18th

-       Homes available mid-June.

-       BD+C + ID+C Late Summer. This has been delayed because of how swamped they were in March.

-       ND – Fall --> January 2010.

-       LEED Schools, Retail, Healthcare rolled into BD+C exam but will probably split out into own exam in future.

-       Eligibility: Must work on LEED Registered or Certified Project in the last three years.

What Study Materials should candidates use? No reference guide. LEED Green Associate is born out of job task analysis and common green building practices. The study guide will have a list of references for people to use in addition to a guidebook that USGBC will publish. USGBC ancillary reference but not THE reference.  aking an Everblue LEED course is a great way to prepare for the LEED exam.


Legacy LEED APs

-       Until June 30, 2011 Legacy LEED APs are exempted from having to take the Green Associate Exam.

-       After June 30, 2011 would have to take both parts to convert to LEED AP Status.

-       If you decide to enroll in Continuing Education, then you will be given BD+C designation automatically.

-       Once approved, you will have one year and three chances to take the LEED exams. If fail then you are locked out -> This ensures quality. No infinite retest. There will be a three-month waiting period between LEED Exams. Ouch that hurts. Better study hard and pass the first time.

-       Can you get multiple LEED AP designations? Yes, the GBCI encourages this. However, you have to pass multiple LEED AP tests and commit to 6 additional CEU hours for each additional designation. Most common combination will be LEED AP BD+C and Homes.

-       Study Materials: Appropriate Reference Guide.

-       Encourage multiple designations if you are a good test taker.

-       Overseas exams depends on where you are. Hundreds of testing facilities around the world.

-       What qualifies as LEED project experience? Do not have to be listed in database but just need a letter listing your role in any scope. They will check project but not necessarily the role.


LEED AP Fellow

-       Lots of very strong opinions. I bet and wonder if architects will try to reserve exclusively for senior architects?

-       More info later this year at Greenbuild.

-       USGBC will decide whether inactive LEED APs will earn ID credit 2

-       The GBCI will be auditing the credentialing maintenance.

Credentialing maintenance

-       First two years for legacy LEED APs is prescriptive requirements to update you on latest standards.

-       LEED AP CEU Program is very flexible. Points for prescriptive or standard method.

-       Self Study, Conference Calls / Webinars, Conferences, Courses, etc would all count towards LEED CEUs. Anyone up for taking an Everblue training course?