As the demand for green buildings and LEED-certified buildings has increased across the globe, so has the demand for LEED accredited professionals. Right from construction and design, to operations and facility management, LEED professionals are in great demand today.
According to the Green Building Certification Institute, the organization that administers the LEED AP program, “the LEED AP credential indicates that the professional has the knowledge and skills to facilitate the LEED certification process.”
Becoming a LEED professional is a long-term investment not only in yourself, but also in the health of our shared planet as well as your broader community. This credential sets you apart amongst your peers. You become more valuable in the job market and also, your value at your current job peaks.
In order to become a LEED accredited professional, one has to pass an exam that covers green building knowledge in general and LEED specifically.
People interested in obtaining the LEED Green Associate credential have to undertake the LEED Green Associate exam and people who want to go for an advanced in-depth of knowledge of green building practices and by extension, an even greater commitment towards sustainable building can opt for the LEED Accredited Professional (AP) exam.
In order to take either of the above mentioned exams, one has to register for the same at www.usgbc.org. Then, after paying the required exam fees, you have to choose the date, time and place for the exam. The exam is available six days a week (Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) at any Prometric Testing Center.
However, in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated guidance on measures to be taken to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, Prometric temporarily closed test centers in the United States and Canada.
LEED Exam amid COVID-19 concerns
In the times of COVID-19 outbreak, USGBC launched a new method to help LEED Green Associate and LEED AP aspirants take their respective exams.
It made these LEED exams available online!
Individuals are now able to take the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP with specialty exams from home. However, before deciding if an online exam at home or an in-person test center exam delivery method would best suit your needs, complete a systems readiness check and review the testing environment requirements.
In short, now there are two ways to take your LEED AP exam. You may take your exam either at a Prometric test center or online through a remotely proctored, internet-enabled location of your choice, using Prometric’s ProProctor tool.
Five days before your remotely proctored exam, review the ProProctor User Guide in preparation for your exam, and adjust your testing environment accordingly. A ProProctor User Guide link is also available in your exam confirmation email, which you should have received after scheduling your remote proctored online exam.
Things to keep in mind on the day of your remotely proctored exam:
- Plan to log on to the ProProctor site 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam appointment. If you arrive at your virtual check-in after your scheduled exam time, you will forfeit your exam and exam registration fee.
- Upon logging into the Prometric site, you will be prompted to capture a facial image from your webcam, followed by an image of your government-issued ID. Once these steps are completed, you will meet with a remote Readiness Agent, who will guide you through all the security checks before launching your exam.
- The security checks will include verifying acceptable forms of identification, followed by a comprehensive 360-degree webcam scan of the room and work surface area. Similar to being at a test center, the Readiness Agent will then ask you to raise your pant legs above the ankles, empty and turn all pockets inside out and raise shirt sleeves above the wrists. If you are wearing eyeglasses, you will be required to remove them for visual inspection to ensure they don’t contain a recording device. Large jewelry items must be removed due to concerns over concealed recording devices. If you have long hair that covers your ears, you will be asked to pull your hair back to ensure nothing is attached to your ear (such as a Bluetooth earpiece). Upon completion of the virtual security check-in, you may proceed to launch the remote proctored online exam and meet the Remote Proctor, who will be proctoring the exam for its entire duration.
- It is strictly prohibited for you to be out of the webcam’s field of vision at any point while taking the exam. You must remain in your seat during the exam, except when authorized to leave by the Remote Proctor.
- Accessing personal effects during the course of your exam is a security infraction, and as a result, your exam session could be voided without a refund. Audio, video and chat messages are recorded throughout the entire duration of the exam. These recordings may be viewed by Prometric proctoring staff and GBCI in the case of suspected security infractions. Please remember that it is very important that you take your exam in a room with a door that you can close. If someone else comes into the room while you are taking your exam, privacy laws require that Prometric immediately shut down your exam, because the individual entering the room has not consented to be recorded. Your exam results will be voided and you will forfeit the full exam fee.
What if I have a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP exam at Prometric test center that I want to cancel/reschedule due to COVID-19
If you have scheduled a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP with specialty stand-alone exam at Prometric test center that is closed, you can either reschedule it for a later date, or request a refund (contact GBCI), or you can reschedule to a remotely proctored online exam. To reschedule to a remotely proctored online exam, you will first need to cancel your exam appointment at the test center, and then schedule your remotely proctored online exam.
When you reschedule your exam, you will receive a new confirmation email. If you do not, please contact Prometric immediately to confirm that your exam was rescheduled.
LEED Green Associate Exam Prep:
So now that you have the flexibility to take LEED exams from the safety of your home, you may as well start preparing for it!
The key to earning a LEED Green Associate credential is a thorough understanding of green building practices and LEED.
You can now ace the LEED Green Associate Exam with GBRI’s best-in-class all inclusive exam prep.
GBRI, or the Green Building Research Institute, is a proud USGBC Education Partner and one of the leading sources for affordable LEED exam prep and training in the world.
With GBRI’s study materials, you can earn your LEED Green Associate credential in as little as 5 weeks. Based on your schedule, attend the 4 week instructor-led live exam prep sessions OR utilize self-paced online on-demand exam prep modules.
GBRI’s LEED v4 Green Associate Exam Preparation Package includes:
- Access to 5 LEED Green Associate practice tests with 500+ practice questions and answer explanations.
- Each practice test has questions that represent all LEED knowledge domains just like the actual exam. Questions will appear randomly from various concepts and not in a particular order.
- Once you have completed the mock exam, review each question and answer even if you selected the CORRECT answer choice to identify your gaps.
- A score of 85% or higher is a good indicator of being well prepared. If your score is below 85%, identify your gaps and review the online modules (available for purchase) as applicable before retaking the practice exam.
GBRI also specializes in in-person exam preparation and training. The Green Building Research Institute’s Certified Instructor Network spans the world and provides access to quality in-person training for your LEED Green Associate exam prep and sustainability education.
Visit their website to view their locations and get yourself registered at a center near you.
LEED AP Exam Prep:
Please note that earning a LEED AP credential requires specializing in a specific field. The specialization of LEED designation resembles the specialization of graduate school. While pursuing the LEED AP program, it is very important to choose the credential that is in line with your field of work.
You can specialize in each of the different rating systems of LEED that are listed below –
LEED AP Building Design + Construction (LEED AP BD+C)
This applies to whole buildings that are being newly constructed or going through a major renovation and suits professionals with expertise in the design and construction phases of green buildings, serving the commercial, residential, education and healthcare sectors.
LEED AP Operations + Maintenance (LEED AP O+M)
This applies to existing whole buildings that want to be recognized for policies and performance, and distinguishes professionals implementing sustainable practices, improving performance, heightening efficiency and reducing environmental impact in existing buildings through enhanced operations and maintenance.
LEED AP Interior Design + Construction (LEED AP ID+C)
This applies to partial-building projects that are exclusive to interiors and serves participants in the design, construction and improvement of commercial interiors and tenant spaces that offer a healthy, sustainable and productive work environment.
LEED AP Neighborhood Development (LEED AP ND)
This applies to new land development projects or redevelopment projects containing residential uses, nonresidential uses, or a mix. It is for individuals participating in the planning, design and development of walkable, neighborhoods and communities.
LEED AP Homes
This applies to single family homes, low-rise multi-family (one to three stories), or mid-rise multi-family (four to six stories). This credential is suited for those involved in the design and construction of healthy, durable homes that use fewer resources and produce less waste.
There are excellent online courses available to aid in preparation for the LEED AP exams.
GBRI offers all-inclusive LEED exam preparation courses for the LEED AP BD+C and O+M exams. The courses come with several features to ensure best ways to pass the exam including:
- Study Guide and Online Modules
- Practice Exams containing over 500 practice questions accompanied by explanations, increasing understanding of required principles
- Live and on-demand access for a full year
- Flashcards & Memorization Charts
- Audio Files
- Reference and study materials
- Instant access
GBRI’s LEED AP exam preparation programs include access to all LEED Green Associate study materials for students interested in taking the combined LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exam. GBRI LEED Exam Prep is taught in the context of a real LEED v4 project giving you the LEED project experience you need to ace the LEED v4 Green Associate and LEED AP Exam.
It should be noted that if you are a LEED AP, you must earn 30 CE (Continuing Education) hours, out of which six must be LEED-specific, every two years to maintain your credential.
If you are a LEED Green Associate, you must earn 15 CE hours (three must be LEED-specific) every two years to maintain your credential.
With inputs from: