A LEED AP is a credential that someone receives after demonstrating their understanding of the USGBC LEED rating system. Candidates prove themselves through the testing process by passing two multiple-choice exams. There are currently over 37,000 people worldwide who have successfully completed their Accredited Professional credential.
Meaning of a LEED AP
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a globally recognized framework for sustainable construction. The term AP stands for Accredited Professional. Combined (LEED AP) they make up the premier credential a person can achieve in the LEED rating system.
To become an Accredited Professional, you must pass two exams: The Green Associate and AP Specialty. Each exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that test your knowledge of the rating system.
The Green Associate is your first step into the LEED credentialing system. It is a prerequisite to the AP Specialty Exams. A Green Associate showcases your basic understanding of the rating system. As a valuable member of a planning team, your typical responsibilities include credit checklists and note-taking. There are currently over 26,000 Green Associates worldwide.
LEED AP Specialty
There are five different Specialty Exams that a candidate can obtain: BD+C, O+M, ID+C, ND, and Homes. Candidates choose their AP credential based on the types of projects they would like to work on. Accredited Professionals earn a point for participation on a project that fits under their specialty credential.
Building Design + Construction (BD+C)
The Building Design and Construction Credential is the most popular. It primarily serves the commercial, residential, education and healthcare sectors. Projects are typically under the New Construction or Core and Shell rating system. There are currently over 27,000 people worldwide that have this accreditation.
Operations + Maintenance (O+M)
The Operations and Maintenance Exam showcases a professional understanding of sustainability, performance and efficiency of existing buildings. This LEED AP credential primarily focuses on the Existing Building certification system. It has candidates that have a primary role of the day-to-day operations of an existing building. There are over 2,200 candidates who have chosen this credential.
Interior Design + Construction (ID+C)
Candidates who have their Interior Design and Construction credentials primarily work on construction improvements to interior commercial spaces. They help develop sustainable and productive working conditions and have a good understanding of commercial interior projects. The Interior Design and Construction AP currently has more than 2,000 candidates globally.
Neighborhood Development (ND)
A Neighborhood Development AP is someone who works on the planning, design, and construction of neighborhoods. Typically, a person works or plans on working for a developer who has more than one project in a given area. With this accreditation, you will design communities by making them walkable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. There are currently over 800 people with this credential.
Because of the demand for LEED in the homes setting, the Homes credential was created. This credential is a perfect fit for candidates working on sustainable design for housing. By having this credential, you are demonstrating your knowledge in the rating system for houses, multifamily low-rise and multifamily high-rise projects. There are currently over 500 candidates that posses their Homes credential.