LEED Green Associate Certification, Exam and Study Guide

leed green associate certification and examWhat is LEED?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an accreditation system developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to identify buildings that follow certain environmental design guidelines.  To achieve certification, the building requires a LEED Accredited Professional (AP) to help the project with design strategies and documentation that needs to be submitted to the USGBC.  LEED AP’s are generally recognized as experts in sustainable design.

As the necessity for sustainable buildings increases in the world, stricter laws are being implemented in the field of green design and construction, and the demand for LEED AP’s is increasing.

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LEED Green Associate

This first part of becoming a LEED AP, is passing an exam to obtain the LEED Green Associate (GA) certification.  Although it is not a requirement, the green associate certification is an accepted international accreditation which will give anyone who has it a professional advantage.  For building projects in the United States, LEED professionals and associates are preferred because they are well versed with LEED guidelines that can be implemented into the design and construction of green buildings.

To become a green associate, you will have to pass a two hour, multiple choice, computer based exam with 100 questions that will test your understanding of green building core concepts.  To be eligible for the LEED GA exam, you must be involved in a LEED registered project, have experience working in a sustainable project, or you must attend a green education program.

Study Guide

There are several LEED GA exam practices, study guides and references in the internet.  Here are a few simple, but true concepts that you should apply before taking the exam. If you apply only these, you will more than likely pass.

  • Memorization is key.  Get the LEED core concepts reference guide from the USGBC website and study it.  I recommend reading it at least once first, and then going back and memorizing key elements in it.
  • Study for 4 weeks before the day of the exam and study every single day.
  • Find flash cards online to help you remember concepts
  • Practice with several exams you find online to test your knowledge and if you pass those, you will pass the test.
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