These days, everyone is looking to go green. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification play an integral role in the green building movement. According to the USGBC, the LEED Green Buildings Ratings System and its complementary LEED Certifications recognize and promote green building design through a “whole-building” approach. This approach involves sustainable site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The LEED Green Buildings Ratings System is used by a variety of professionals beginning with those involved in the design and construction process and continuing to those involved with the subsequent operations of a building. The LEED system has a broad and growing appeal in a host of disciplines. Some professionals who use the LEED system include architects, real estate professionals, facility managers, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects, construction managers, lenders, and government officials.
Two general categories of LEED Certification exist: Project Certification and Professional Accreditation. The former confirms the environmental responsibility, efficiency, and healthiness of a building, while the latter is awarded to professionals who attain a certain level of expertise on LEED principles and develop strong, environmentally sound practices and skills. Essentially, a LEED Accredited Professional has the necessary knowledge and skill to pursue LEED Certification of a building, which, of course, carries with it all the benefits of an energy-efficient and ecological structure.
Becoming a LEED Accredited Professional, a LEED AP, is governed by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and requires the passage of the LEED AP examination. The exam is offered numerous times throughout the year in three major subject areas. You can register for the exam on the GBCI website at. In addition to online registration, the website provides information regarding exam administration, the knowledge needed to pass the exam, and exam tips. The LEED AP Candidate Handbook, which is available for download on the site, is an excellent resource for starting the process of accreditation.
The benefits of becoming a LEED AP are many. In today’s environment of high energy costs and increasing environmental regulations and incentives, the value of strengthening your environmental efficiency or marketing green building solutions cannot be overemphasized. In addition to the substantial benefits that are derived from developing green building knowledge and skills, LEED Accreditation also provides practical advantages. LEED AP’s are listed in the Directory of LEED Accredited Professionals and obtain a LEED AP certificate from the GBCI. Pursuing LEED Certification of building projects and LEED Accreditation of professionals within your company may just be the edge that propels your business to the next level of success.« Back to news