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LEED2009- A Walkthrough

LEED AP Program
Thousands of building industry professionals who have demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building have earned the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credential from the US Green Building Council. With over 65,000 people passing the LEED Professional Accreditation exam by fall 2008, the US Green Building Council transferred the accreditation and management of the LEED AP to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). During the annual GreenBuild conference on Nov. 20, 2008, the GBCI announced significant changes to this credentialing program for green building professionals. In this presentation we will cover those changes. By the end of this presentation, you will be able to
Define the various levels of accreditation Recognize the eligibility requirements for credentialing program Identify the credential maintenance requirements Explain the examination fees, including the free beta exams scheduled in 2009.

LEED Accreditation
With over 65,000 people passing the LEED Professional Accreditation exam by fall 2008 to earn the LEED AP designation. Compared to the much smaller number of building projects currently certified or registered, there are many people that have obtained the LEED AP. In part, this is due to the prestige and market demand for lack of another sustainabilityoriented designation. Others have earned the LEED AP but are not actively implementing LEED in practice. Even more may be aspiring to a role on a LEED project, or students of the profession. Another issue is that there are several different exam tracks with a significant difference, yet in the past, LEED APs were not specialized by that exam track. This created confusion within the green building profession, To address these issues, in November 2008, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) announced that they would be taking the LEED AP and splitting it into three credentials: 1.LEED General Associate 2.LEED Accredited Professional 3.LEED Fellow Let's explore these levels further.

LEED General Associate


In February 2009, GBCI will launch a preliminary beta testing period for the LEED General Associate. Evoking both environmental protection and growth potential, the LEED Green Associate credential attests to demonstrated knowledge and skill in practicing green design, construction, and operations. The LEED General Associate is ideal for people supporting the green building profession such as product and manufacturers, real estate professionals and students or others who aspire to a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP). The LEED General Associates is designed for those who often need to answer questions about LEED, but will not actually be involved in project certification. Eligibility To become a LEED General Associate, you must: Agree to LEED Professional Disciplinary Policy and credential maintenance guidelines. Demonstrate or document involvement in support of LEED projects. There will be a drop down menu for you to choose from, or you will able to write in your involvement. Be employed in a sustainable field of work or engaged in an education program in green building principals and LEED. There will be a drop down menu for you to choose from or you will be able to write in your employment or educational experience. Submit to application audit. 5-7% of all applications will be audited; you will be notified immediately if you are chosen for an audit and will be notified of your eligibility within 14 days. Obtaining the Credential A LEED General Associate take a Multiple Choice Assessment. The LEED Green Associate exam is a computer based, multiple-choice examination; you will have 2.5 hours to complete it. This core exam is also part one of the LEED AP+ examination. Should you become a LEED General Associate and decide later to pursue the LEED AP+ Specialty, you will not have to take the core exam again. You would only have to take the second specialty exam component.

LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP+)


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

The LEED AP+ Specialty Tracks are: 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 The LEED AP+ is designed for practitioners who are implementing LEED on building projects. If you are a current LEED AP, have agreed to the disciplinary policy and credentialing maintenance, you will only have to take the specialty portion of the exam to earn the specialty to your LEED AP+ designation. Eligibility To become a LEED AP+, you must:

Agree to LEED Professional Disciplinary Policy and credential maintenance guidelines. Demonstrate professional experience on at least one LEED project. Document work on a LEED project, within the last two-three years, with verification through LEED Online or employer attestation. Submit to application audit.
Obtaining the Credential The LEED AP+ exams will be two parts. The exams are multiple choice and computer based. The first part will be the core knowledge exam (taken by Tier 1, LEED Green Associates) about green building and general knowledge about the LEED rating system process. The second part will be a specialty exam depending on the track you choose. You will have 4 hours to complete the examinations. If you only pass one part of the exam you will have to retake the part you failed. Note: Existing LEED APs who opt in wil lnot have to take exams unless they want to add a specialty to their designation.

LEED AP Fellow
LEED AP Fellows enter an elite class of leading professionals who are distinguished by their years of experience.

Eligibility Major contribution to the standards of practice and body of knowledge for achieving continuous improvement in the green building field.
Obtaining the Credential LEED AP Fellows will submit to a peer review of project portfolio. The requirements for the LEED Fellow are still under review and finalization, and will be announced by GBCI later in 2009.

Legacy LEED AP (prior to Feb 2009)


If you are an existing LEED AP, or plan to become one before June 2009, you will be grandfathered into the new accreditation system, with two exceptions. Existing LEED AP's will not have to take an exam, but to be active, the Legacy LEED AP will need to maintain the credential through the same continuing education requirements, and sign agreement to the new disciplinary policy. Will Legacy LEED APs have to take another exam? No, unless they want to earn a specialty designation. Opting in allows Legacy LEED APs to use the LEED AP+ designation, but without a specialty area. Additionally, for Legacy LEED APs, there is no requirement to work on specific LEED building projects in order to keep current with the designation. Eligibility To be an active Legacy LEED AP, you must sign the disciplinary policy and agreeing to credential maintenance. Q: How do I fit into the new system as a current LEED AP? A: Legacy LEED AP: Thousands of LEED APs who pioneered the green building field may continue to bear the credential as a legacy with inactive status. To gain active status, they must choose to opt into the new system by June 2011. LEED APs who elect to opt in to the new credentialing system should note the following: Beginning in June 2009, current LEED APs have two years to opt in to the new system. For example, if you choose to opt in December of 2009, you will have until December 31, 2011 to complete your required hours of credential maintenance. In theory, you could wait until June 2011 to opt in, which would then put your credential maintenance requirement deadline at June 2013. Opt-in requires signing the LEED Professional Disciplinary Policy and agreeing to credential maintenance. You will get to use the new LEED AP+ designation and be listed in the active registry. Q: What if I dont opt in? A: You will remain a LEED AP with inactive status in the GBCI registry. If you choose to opt into the system after JUNE 2011, you will have to meet the new eligibility requirements and take the core exam and specialty exam of your choice. Q: What is the cost for a current LEED AP to opt in? A: For the first two years the credentialing maintenance fee is waived. After June 2011, the credential maintenance fee for a Legacy LEED AP that has opted in will be $50 every two years. In summary, if you are currently a LEED AP, you will always be a LEED AP. It will not be taken away from you. No experience is required, no new test, just "opt in" and maintain the credential. If you do not opt in, you will be a LEED AP with inactive status.

Tier 1

Tier 2

Tier 3

Comparing the Four Credential Levels


Title LEED GREEN ASSOCIATE FEBRUARY 2009 Evoking both environmental protection and growth potential, the LEED Green Associate credential attests to demonstrated knowledge and skill in practicing green design, construction, and operations. LEED ACCREDITED PROFESSIONAL FEBRUARY 2009 The LEED AP credential signifies an extraordinary depth of knowledge in green building practices and specialization in a particular field: commercial design and construction, commercial operations and maintenance, commercial interiors, residential design and construction, and neighborhood development. Agree to disciplinary policy and credential maintenance guidelines. Demonstrate professional experience on at least one LEED project. Document work on a LEED project, within the last twothree years, with verification through LEED Online or employer attestation. Submit to application audit. Application Process + Multiple Choice Assessment $50 $300 $50 (maintenance fee, every two years) Peer review of project portfolio LEED AP FELLOW LEGACY LEED AP

LEED AP Fellows enter an elite class of leading professionals who are distinguished by their years of experience.

Thousands of LEED APs who pioneered the green building field may continue to bear the credential as a legacy with inactive status. To gain active status, they may choose to opt into the new system.

Eligibility Requirements

Agree to disciplinary policy and credential maintenance guidelines. Demonstrate or document involvement in support of LEED projects. Be employed in a sustainable field of work or engaged in an education program in green building principals and LEED. Submit to application audit.

Major contribution to the standards of practice and body of knowledge for achieving continuous improvement in the green building field.

Signing disciplinary policy and agreeing to credential maintenance.

Obtaining The Credential Application Fee USGBC National Member Exam Fee Nonmember Exam Fee Biannual Maintenance Fee Biannual CMP Requirements

Application Process + Multiple Choice Assessment $50 $150

$200 $50 15 Hours (min 3 LEED specific)

$450 $50 30 Hours (min 6 LEED specific)

Credential Maintenance = Continuing Education


As most professions evolve, there comes a need to demonstrate competency and stay current through continuing education requirements. GBCI will have credentialing maintenance required for all new levels. As sustainable technologies advance and the LEED rating system evolves, it is important to ensure that LEED Professionals have the latest knowledge and understanding of green building practices. Credential maintenance requirements differ for the three new levels: LEED General Associate Participate in 15 hours of continuing education required every two years, with three (3) hours obtained from an approved program specific to the LEED Rating System, credit categories, and LEED updates. LEED Accredited Professional + Participate in 30 hours of continuing education required every two years, with six (6) hours obtained from an approved program specific to the LEED Rating System, credit categories, and LEED updates. At this time, continuing education does NOT appear to be required related to the LEED AP+ specialty area (e.g. O+M, Homes, BD+C, ID+C, ND) Note: Maintenance requirements for LEED AP Fellows have not yet been defined. Continuing education is available from approved providers in the USGBC Education Provider Program, including some of the online courses offered by Eco Achievers. Other professional development hours (such as AIA Sustainable Design, CSI, CEUs, etc.) will count towards the base number of hours as well. However, LEED-specific education will be required as well (3 hours for General Associates, 6 hours for LEED AP+ and Legacy LEED AP). Further information on credentialing maintenance will be available in 1st Quarter 2009. The system will be designed to be flexible to allow for credit other than taking a class or attending a workshop. For example, working on a LEED project may contribute towards maintenance, and flexibility in earning continuing education requirements in related industries (CEUs, PDH, etc) and applying them towards a LEED credential may be allowed as well. Please visit GBCI.org for more information in 1st Quarter 2009.

Beta Testing and Exam Development


GBCI has announced that prior to formal release of the new exams, they will be conducting a trial exam period called "beta testing. During the beta testing period for each exam, GBCI will collect performance data, statistical information, and candidate comments to help address any issues with the questions and improve the overall validity of the exam. The results will be used to build a valid and reliable exam for public release. Initially, the beta testing will launch with the LEED Green Associate Exam and LEED AP + Operations and Maintenance Exams, in February 2009. Shortly after, in March, GBCI will begin beta testing the LEED AP + Homes exam. While there is not an exact date for retiring the beta testing period, GBCI has indicated "Spring", so there will likely be a 2 or 3 month period for beta testing each exam. During the beta testing period, the exam fees will be waived (yes, it is free!) However, beta testers will not know their exam results until the beta testing period ends, which may be several months. Here is the timeline for each exam's beta testing period:

Feb 2009 LEED Green Associate Exam - Beta Test Feb 2009 LEED AP + Operations and Maintenance Exam - Beta Test March 2009 LEED AP + Homes Exam - Beta Test Spring 2009 LEED AP + Design and Construction - Beta Test Spring 2009 LEED AP + Interior Design and Construction - Beta Test Summer 2009 LEED AP + Neighborhood Development - Beta Test
To become a beta tester, e-mail volunteer@gbci.org

IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE Exams for LEED AP+ specialties will go through beta testing starting in February 2009 with O&M, in March with HOMES, and later in the spring with BD+C and ID+C. Those actual exams will leave the beta testing period and be launched in spring and summer. There is no timeline offered yet for the ND specialty. The credentialing maintenance program will also launch in the summer.

FEBRUARY 2009 LEED Green Associate Exam - Beta Test LEED AP + Operations and Maintenance Exam - Beta Test
MARCH 2009 LEED AP + Homes Exam - Beta Test SPRING 2009 LEED Green Associate Exam - Launch LEED AP + Operations and Maintenance Exam - Launch LEED AP + Design and Construction/Interior Design and Construction - Beta Test New Candidate Application SUMMER 2009 LEED AP + Homes Exam - Launch LEED AP + Design and Construction/Interior Design and Construction - Beta Test New Credentialing Maintenance Program - Launch

What happens to the existing LEED AP exams?


The existing exams (LEED NC and LEED CI) will likely be taken offline after the new exams have finished beta-testing and are ready for launch. For example, the LEED-NC exam will likely be taken offline in "Summer 2009" after the new LEED AP Building Design + Construction (BD+C) exam has finished its beta testing period, roughly scheduled for Spring 2009. The new LEED AP ID+C exam will likely follow a similar timeline (visit GBCI's web site for the latest information). The current version of the LEED exams are not going anywhere for at least several months and will certainly not expire before Dec 31 of 2008. Keep in mind that the existing exams are unlikely to be phased out until the new Reference Guides are released, which is scheduled for Spring 2009. If you are not currently a LEED AP and want to become one, it is likely to your benefit to take the current version of the exam. Not only is the current exam shorter (2 hours) versus the future versions of the exam (2.5 hours for Tier I plus 1.5 hours for Tier II for a total of 4 hours). You also do not have to demonstrate proof that you've worked on a LEED project that the LEED AP+ eligibility requires.

Summary
Beginning in Spring and Summer 2009, the LEED accreditation process will split into the following levels: LEED General Associate (core exam; 15 hours of continuing education every 2 years) LEED Accredited Professional (experience on one LEED project, core and specialty exams; 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years). The LEED AP will have the following specialty areas: LEED AP+ O+M (formerly known as Existing Buildings) LEED AP+ BD+C (formerly known as New Construction) LEED AP+ ID+C (formerly known as Commercial Interiors) LEED AP+ HOMES LEED AP+ ND LEED Fellow (advanced experience and knowledge of LEED; details still under revision) In addition, existing LEED AP's will hold the Legacy LEED AP designation unless they opt into the new system. Opting in will require signing the disciplinary agreement, maintaining the credential, and taking a specialty exam. The changes in LEED credentialing creates an clear distinction between different levels of expertise within LEED, which has obvious benefits for all involved in supporting and working on green building projects.

Thank you..