LEED - The Green Exam Jul 14, 2022 14:24:32 GMT -5
Post by Dothracki PE on Jul 14, 2022 14:24:32 GMT -5
I will kick this one off since I got this one the latest. The LEED exam is a great certification to look into, especially if you are in the construction industry, materials/R&D, building operations, community development, and more. For those unfamiliar with LEED, it stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is one of several programs out there aimed to better construction processes for the environment. LEED is created and run by the U.S. Green Building Council (website). You many have also heard of GBCI, Green Building Certification Institute, which is a sister company formed from USGBC that governs LEED certifications for construction and individuals. There are several focuses when it come to green design and LEED looks to steer designers and contractors towards a greener initiative by reducing energy usage in electricity, water, and other resources. The USGBC website has a lot of information on LEED and green building if you are interested.
For the LEED certification, it is a two-exam process similar to the PE exam and many others. The exams are mostly testing your knowledge and understanding of the LEED program and green building initiatives. So there is a fair amount of study and memorization required in order to pass the exam. If you have worked on LEED projects in the past and are familiar with the categories and credits on the LEED building certification, you shouldn't have too much of an issue.
The first step is the LEED Green Associate Exam, which I took about three years ago. The Green Associate is a generalized exam that is tested on all of the LEED categories and their credits. Since it is a more generalized exam, the test will be only a lot of the major categories, key topics, and prerequistes. Not to say that the exam couldn't go more into one of credits. Especially in one of the more common categories that you would see on any LEED project. This book was the only reference I used to prepare for the Green Associate exam. I just read through the entire book while taking notes throughout and then reviewed the book and my notes for the exam. There are many more resources available out there. There are a few sites with more resources available including more in-depth training classes either virtual or on-demand depending on cost.
I did not go this route, but there is an option to take both the Green Associate Exam and an accredited professional specialty exam in one day. Should you go this route, I would recommend investing in some of the online training courses available. Many of them have courses for both the Green Associate and AP exams.
The second step is to take one (or more) of the LEED Accredited Professional (AP) exams that are available. There are 5 options for this and I would suggest that you would go for the credential you might use most. These options are Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Interior Design and Construction (ID+C), Homes, Neighborhood Development, and Operations and Maintenance. If you are familiar with LEED, you know that these are just about the same categories for a project seeking LEED certification. There are a few others projects can file under, but these are the categories of individual certification. If you are not sure of where to go, most professionals obtain BD+C certification. These exams focus a little more than the Green Associate exam does on a specific LEED category, however the scope is less on each exam as compared to the Green Associate exam.
I work in interior fitout for most of my work, so I went for the ID+C certification. For this exam, I decided to take some on-demand training through GBES.com. They have a complete on-demand course for each AP exam as well as many study aids, quizzes, and full credit libraries. Even after I passed, I found the subscription helpful as they have continuing education classes. There are many other options out there that you can find. The exam was fairly as expected. I actually had to take it twice and passed on the second try. I was not as well prepared on the materials and resources catgeory as I should have been, but understandable given that I never really look at that section on projects.
Both exams are a 100 question, multiple-choice test that you have 2 hours to complete. I believe all three times, I only needed about an hour to complete the exam so theoretically time shouldn't be an issue. (I know I am probably a fast test-taker). At worst case, try to keep pace of answering a question within 30-45 seconds and if you start spinning your wheels, you can flag a question and come back to it. Even if you aren't sure, you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to review questions your aren't sure of or want to double check.
Exams are scored with varying question weights with a maximum of 200 points achievable. A score of 170 is the minimum passing grade, but given that the question weights are unknown, don't focus to much on trying to get a certain amount correct.
If anyone else has any experience with these exams, what references did you use? Any tips, suggestions for others?