LEED AP – Word of advice

November 3rd, 2008 8:18 pm

To all Future LEED Accredited Professionals,

Energy efficient buildings are quickly becoming an industry standard. We, interior design professionals, are expected to specify not only the best products, but also the most cost effective and environmentally friendly at the same time. “Green” interior elements play an integral part in earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification on a project. And we must do our best to help achieve this certification.

LEED certified projects are emerging left and right (which causes huge delays in submittal review times at USGBC HQ). Number of LEED Accredited Professional is also growing vastly. Earning a LEED AP status is very important to individual career growth, but also to the entire building industry. In order to be a vital part of the LEED Project Team, we must demonstrate extensive knowledge of all the intents, requirements and standards so critical to reach either one of the Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum level of Project Certification.

So, how do you get yourself ready to successfully pass the LEED AP exam? The following few paragraphs will go over the details of what and how to study, a list of great online sources every candidate should know about and more.

You may become an accredited professional in one of the six rating systems, which does not limit you to working on a specific project type…you may, for example, take a LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) test but find yourself working on totally different projects in the future (like New Construction or Residential). That is completely fine.

First and foremost, this is not an easy test, so plan to study long and hard. The LEED 2009 exams will be even more difficult with an expected pass rate of only 20% percent, compared to 34% for the current exams.

I have spent three months (two-three nights a week and weekends) on memorizing the material and I think that was a good amount of time to get well prepared. Joining a classroom style or an online study group is a smart idea; make sure you take part in discussions, forums etc, and ask questions!!! It is ok to not know; it is not ok to waste your instructor’s time and breeze through the material without active involvement. Both www.ppi2pass.com/ppi and www.greenexamprep.com offer great training/study groups you should check out.

As for study materials, there is a lot available at this time both in print and online. If you think that you can swing by without actually buying the Reference Guide (about $200.00), you are hugely mistaken. The Reference Guide is a LEED bible. No matter which Rating System you are interested in pursuing, there is a Reference Guide for it, and you need to get it one way or another. Other useful study materials include USGBC website www.usgbc.org, LEED Prep, and Flash Cards. I strongly recommend purchasing the Sample Exam available on www.greenexamprep.com. It was the best $49.95 I spent in a while! You get instant access to four sets of 80 very realistic, and true to the exam questions. All questions are designed to provide an extensive explanation to the correct answer. If you are looking for free-of-charge sample test questions, visit www.leedapprep.com – it is an online database of questions posted by professionals who have successfully passed the exam and wish to share their knowledge with others.

If you are looking for more info on LEED related issues, have a question that you can not seem to find an answer to, or just want to look around, visit these few websites;

Some are blog sites:

Others offer inside into specific areas of green design:

Use the resources available to you. Plan to study long and hard. Ask questions. Have a good night of sleep before the test day – and I trust you will do just fine…Good luck!

Your sincerely,

Proud LEED Accredited Professional (since Oct 30th, 2008)


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6 Responses to “LEED AP – Word of advice”

  1. Jodie Thill says:

    Aga –

    Congratulations on passing the LEED examination and now officially being a LEED AP. This is a great accomplishment. I think you are right on the mark in encouraging others. It is also vital that Interior Designers have a grasp of the complete scope of LEED and are not religated to only understanding the Materials & Resources section. LEED should not only create a basis for more efficient and sustainable buildings, but also more sustainable design teams with diverse backgrounds, experience leading to creative problem solving for the 21st century. I am thrilled to have another strong LEED AP in Wisconsin!

  2. Jodie Thill says:

    Aga –

    Another great blog to check out is http://www.reallifeleed.com. Good commentary and humor.


  3. Dave Milman says:

    “Congrats on passing the test.. This was by far one of the hardest for me! Not only because of the
    content but because of the time it took to study..not to mention the stress from the fear of failing.
    Glad to say I passed the exam the first time..barely but I did! Couldn’t have done it without
    Cleanedison.com. Their courses were right on target and the way the information was presented helped
    me retain a lot of it. Great way to expand your career.”

  4. LEED Certification says:

    Everblue Training Institute also offers LEED Exam Prep Courses. You can find them at http://www.everblueenergy.com/.

  5. Nakesha Bretos says:

    I like your blog a lot. Will bookmark. Keep up to briliant info on it. ty

  6. Kennith Ayuso says:

    Another Great blog post, I will save this post in my Newsvine account. Have a awesome evening.

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