Wednesday, July 13, 2011
While the majority of attention around LEED is rightly focused around the LEED building certifications: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum; there are seven professional credentials that you can earn that will help you distinguish yourself and highlight your knowledge of the LEED green building process…
First, let’s start out by explaining what LEED is and what it is not. LEED is an acronym that stands for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design and was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1998. LEED was established as a non-partisan and independent rating standard to allow individuals, building projects, and even neighborhoods to identify themselves with a green building certification. The LEED certification credentials are decided on by the 20,000 members of the USGBC.
While the majority of attention around LEED is rightly focused around the LEED building certifications: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum; there are several important professional credentials that you can earn that will help you distinguish yourself and highlight your knowledge of the LEED green building system.
There are currently seven main professional credentials that make up the LEED program: one general credential, five specialized credentials for specific areas of building expertise, and one mastery credential.
Each of the professional credentials (with the exception of the LEED Fellow) can be earned through a combination of demonstrated hands-on building experience with green building projects, demonstrated knowledge by taking a test administered by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), and by taking a minimum number of LEED continuing education hours every 2 years.
The seven professional credentials are:
LEED Green Associate – is for professionals who support green building design, operations, maintenance, and construction principles and demonstrate basic knowledge and ability to apply these principles. This is the most common and popular credential.
LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C) – is for green building professionals working on commercial and large-scale residential buildings, like high-rise construction projects.
LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C) – is for design professionals who are dedicated to designing and creating high-quality commercial and residential projects (existing and new) that are healthy, productive environments that are less costly to maintain through green building practices.
LEED AP Homes (LEED AP HOMES) – is for professionals who design and build projects that consume less natural resources (energy and water), create less waste, and are more healthful for the buildings residential and commercial occupants.
LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (LEED AP O+M) – is for real estate and construction professionals dedicated to operate and maintain existing buildings with green building and sustainable principles.
LEED AP Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND) – is for development professionals who design and build neighborhoods that are environmentally responsible and sustainable.
LEED Fellow – is the newest and most prestigious credential. This professional designation is available by nomination only for green building professionals who have exhibited exemplary contributions to the sustainable building industry. LEED Fellows must meet the following criteria: have held an AP credential for at least 8 years, have at least 10 years in the green building industry, complete an application and be nominated by their peers. Additionally, LEED Fellows are measured along 4 out of 5 criteria or mastery elements: Technical Proficiency, Leadership, Education and Mentoring, Advocacy, and Commitment and Service.
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