Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (otherwise known as LEED) is a green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. LEED certified buildings promote sustainable design and are primarily designed by a LEED AP who has been accredited through the USGBC.
What is LEED
LEED is well-established in both the public and private sectors for classifying a green building. In the U.S. government, LEED is used at the General Services Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Departments of State, Energy, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, and Interior to encourage and evaluate green building design and construction for all new and major renovation projects.
LEED is also used in construction projects of the Navy, Army, and Air Force. Most states require new state-funded projects to achieve a minimum level of LEED certification, and increasing numbers of local governments, higher education institutions, and public schools are encouraging or requiring their new facilities and major renovations to be LEED certified. Many corporations are also choosing LEED certification for their facilities when construction of green buildings supports their corporate mission.
What is the LEED Accreditation System
- LEED Green Associate
- LEED AP with Specialty
- LEED AP Fellow
The LEED Green Associate is the first-tier or level you obtain when working on the LEED Accreditation System. The Green Associate is a prerequisite to obtaining your LEED AP. A LEED AP has passed both the Green Associate and AP portions of the LEED exam. They then have expertise in the field of sustainable construction and show a vast knowledge of the LEED rating system.
How does the LEED accreditation program work?
Before 2009, there was only one LEED credential: the LEED Accredited Professional, or LEED AP. Exam candidates could achieve this credential by following one of three tracks - LEED for New Construction, LEED for Commercial Interiors, or LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance. Each of which focused on the corresponding LEED rating system.
The LEED AP credentialing program now includes five levels of credentials. Each level indicates the level of knowledge, experience, and proficiency in green building design held by an Accredited Professional.
Five LEED AP Accreditations
- Building Design + Construction
- Operations + Maintenance
- Interior Design + Construction
- Neighborhood Development
What is LEED: Testing
The LEED exam comprises two portions including: The Green Associate and the AP. A candidate can elect to take both exams together or separate.
What is LEED: Become LEED accredited
Many people ask us "what is LEED?" A LEED AP is a person who has met all the requirements for the LEED Accreditation Professional credentialing program and has demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the design process and to support a project's LEED application and certification process.
What is LEED accreditation? The accreditation process involves taking and passing an exam as well as meeting certain prerequisites specific to one of the available credentialing "levels".
What does "LEED V4" refer to?
LEED v4 refers to the new LEED Rating System developed and implemented by the USGBC. LEED v4 is the current version used in the LEED system.
What is LEED and what is the current LEED version?
LEED v4 is the current version of LEED for 2021. Newly registered projects will be under the LEED v4 rating system.
Who takes the LEED Exam
The LEED credential is available not only to design professionals - such as architects or engineers - but also to marketing professionals, attorneys, developers, real estate agents, owners, maintenance staff, specialty consultants, product or manufacturers; representatives, lenders, contractors, and any others involved in the design, construction and operation of green buildings.
Why should I take the LEED Exam? What is LEED going to do for me?
Becoming LEED accredited opens the door to a wealth of opportunity within the building, design and construction world. LEED is the most distinguished and widely accepted environmental design and green building certification.