The LLumar Window Film Blog

Should You Become a LEED Professional?

Posted by Steve DeBusk on Mar 10, 2015

With all of the energy efficiency and water conservation measures you’ve implemented in your commercial facility, is it time to add some credit to your name and job title? With evidence supporting the fact that sustainability fields are growing, the demand for LEED professionals will only increase.

The U.S. Green Building Council has streamlined the process for professionals pursuing LEED credentials. The first step is to work toward a LEED Green Associate accreditation.

Achieving LEED Green Associate status acknowledges your understanding of the LEED v4 green building rating system. You don’t have to be working on a LEED project to achieve LEED Green Associate credentials, but getting this accreditation under your belt may make the process easier if your building ever pursues the certification.

Exam prep courses are available to help professionals understand the ins and outs of the LEED green building rating system. Once you think you have the knowledge you need, you’re required to take a two-hour online test and achieve at least 170 out of 200 points. (The exam contains only 100 questions, but they are scored and weighted differently.)

After you’ve achieved your LEED Green Associate credentials, you need to earn 15 hours of continuing education every two years to keep it current. You’ll also need to decide whether the second level of accreditation – LEED AP – is of interest to you.

As of June 15, 2014, you no longer need project experience to take the LEED AP exam, and don’t need to submit proof of project experience. LEED AP specialties allow you to select whether your focus is in operations and maintenance, building design and construction, interior construction and design, etc. The LEED AP exam works similarly to the LEED Green Associate exam: a two-hour online test with 100 multiple choice questions.

While it’s entirely possible to achieve green building success without LEED professional credentials, facilities managers may benefit from accreditation. A LEED Green Associate or LEED AP credential may:

  • Help set you apart from your industry peers
  • Convey your green building expertise to your current employer
  • Provide new career opportunities in the future
  • Offer you a closer look at LEED, leading to new ideas for reducing operating costs

Have you pursued LEED Green Associate or LEED AP accreditation? Why or why not? What was your experience like?

Steve DeBusk is global energy solutions manager for Eastman Performance Films, LLC. Steve has 30 years of experience in energy efficiency. He is a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, and a Certified Sustainable Development Professional. Follow Steve on Twitter @greenbldgs.

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