The Many Paths to LEED Accreditation

Thu, 2009-09-24 01:29

Everblue Principal Chris Boggiano was recently interviewed by Construction Informer. Here is the article:

There are many paths you can take to become a LEED accredited professional and starting about a month ago there became an expanded array of accreditations.

The five AP credentials now include: interior design & construction; homes; operations & maintenance; neighborhood development; and building design & construction. There is also a LEED Green Associate credential and LEED Fellow credential.

By most accounts getting some kind of LEED accreditation can only expand opportunities for people in the AEC fields. Perhaps because of that, and because of the continuing interest in all things green, there are many options becoming available to help people get ready to take the LEED exams.

The United States Green Building Council has online and classroom courses and it supplies study guides and exam preparation materials. There are also many private firms that are certified by the USGBC to provide training as well.

I was curious about some of the reasons people would choose a particular training regimen over another, and about a few other things related to LEED accreditation training, so I asked some questions of Chris Boggiano a principal at Everblue Training Institute, a member of the USGBC provider program.

According to the GBCI there are three things that will qualify someone to sit for the LEED Green Associate exam. One of those is to attend an education program that addresses green building principles. What are the key things people should look at when choosing such an education program?

They should look for a comprehensive program – a course that not only provides material, but can sufficiently instruct and prepare a candidate to master the material. It’s also important to consider a training institute that prepares and presents their own content, and a program that spans multiple days since that generally works better than one-day programs.

What are some reasons people might consider attending training for LEED in a classroom environment?

If it has been a while since they’ve taken a test they may want to get back into the rigors of learning in a classroom environment. For every hour spent in a classroom learning environment, it saves a student three to four hours of attempting to master the material themselves.

What are the reasons some people might consider getting LEED training in online courses?

Live instruction courses are not available everywhere, online is cost effective, and by making it conveniently accessible it saves a person time.

Are there any statistical indications, or anecdotal evidence, that one type of LEED training (classroom, online) is better than another when it comes to passing the accreditation tests?

LEED material is very dry and even in a live setting it can be difficult for a student to stay focused and attentive which is why quality of instructor and course content is integral. Although learning online is not impossible it may not be the best way of learning LEED material for some. 

What are the key attributes of a person who has the highest chance of success when studying for, and passing LEED accreditation exams?

Discipline and consistency with studying, taking the LEED exam material seriously, and successful implementation of a study plan.

How much money should a person expect to spend in order to become a LEED AP+?

Strongly recommended, but optional, prep course fee ($100-$500), $100 application fee, $450 exam fee.