Is GBA’s LEED-EBOM Project Experience Course Right for You?

Do you want to become a LEED Accredited Professional (AP)?  If you’d like to demonstrate that you’re a leader in the green building movement and an expert in creating healthy, high-performing spaces, then this is a credential you should pursue.  In order to do so, though, you’ll first need LEED project experience.  We can help!

In April 2014, GBA is offering a LEED-EBOM Project Experience Course to help recertify the CCI Center.  Since you might be wondering who is eligible for this course, what is expected of class participants, and if it’s the right fit for you, I’m answering those questions and more!

Why should I pursue a LEED AP credential?
The LEED AP is a well-respected credential that demonstrates proficiency in documenting the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.  The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created the rating system and the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) awards LEED building certifications and professional credentials.  The LEED AP credential affirms your advanced knowledge in green building, as well as expertise in a specific LEED rating system.  At GBA, we believe lots of folks can benefit from such a credential — architects, engineers, building owners and managers, educators, policymakers, and more!

The LEED-EBOM credential is especially useful for anyone who is involved in the operations and maintenance of a building.  Even if you’re not personally designing buildings, having this qualification will give you the confidence, credibility, and knowledge needed to engage in conversations with other professionals in the field.  

The U.S. Green Building Council strongly urges candidates to gain meaningful project experience prior to taking the LEED exam.

What can I expect from GBA’s LEED-EBOM Project Experience course?
This is a hands-on, in-depth course in which participants will document LEED credits and receive an overview of all the elements that need to be completed in order to certify a project under the LEED-EBOM rating system.  You’ll receive practical training in using LEED Online (which is used to register and certify projects), documenting credits, and working with various stakeholders.  GBA staff will assist students and industry experts Marc Mondor (evolveEA), Angelica Ciranni (Sports & Exhibition Authority), and Elena Goldstein (evolveEA) will share their perspectives on working through the LEED-EBOM process.   Participants should plan to attend all classes and will need to set aside some time outside of the classroom as well.  No refunds will be made for missed classes, but we’ll attempt to videotape most sessions in case you just have to miss one.

What will I get out of the course?
Where do I start?  In return for the time you put into it, you’ll emerge with an intimate knowledge of how the LEED-EBOM rating system works.  But, first and foremost, you’ll get LEED project experience, including a hands-on, step-by-step look at how LEED certification works in the real world!  This is valuable on many levels and will qualify you to take the current version of the LEED AP exam.  You’ll also get to learn from some of the top local sustainable building design and operations experts, make connections with your classmates and instructors, work on real LEED credits for a real LEED project, learn how to navigate LEED Online, AND get an inside look at the operations of one of our region’s most well-known green building resources: CCI Center.  This course is a resume-builder, confidence-builder, and network-builder. 

This course is a resume-builder, confidence-builder, and network-builder.

There are various specialties under the LEED AP credential.  This course focuses on Operations + Maintenance, but I’m not pursuing that specialty.  Will this project experience still qualify me to sit for my exam even if it’s for a different specialty?
Yes!  It’s true, there are several specialties under the LEED AP credential: Building Design & Construction (BD+C); Homes; Interior Design and Construction (ID+C); Operations & Maintenance (O+M); and Neighborhood Development (ND).  Each exam will be different; however, the prerequisite for project experience does not mandate that your experience match up with your specialty.  It also does not require that a project be certified, only that it’s registered with LEED Online.

I’ve heard that LEED exams are switching over to LEED v4 in mid-June and that project experience isn’t required under the new version.  If I’m going to wait to take my exam, should I bother getting the project experience?
The important thing to know is this:  if you are taking the current LEED AP exam by June 15, 2014 (the last day to take the LEED 2009 test), you are required to have proof of LEED project experience.  If you are taking the exam under LEED v4 (the new version, which will begin on June 3o, 2014), you are not required to have project experience, but you WILL be tested on project experience competency.  In fact, GBCI and USGBC “strongly urge candidates to gain meaningful project experience prior to taking the exam.”  So project experience will be important either way.   

If I haven’t already passed the LEED Green Associate exam, can I still take this course?
That depends.  Course participants should have existing, basic green building knowledge and be ready to take on specific credit assignments.  This does not mean that all participants must have their LEED GA credentials, but we highly encourage it and we’d like everyone to start out with a basic terminology and understanding of the LEED rating system, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).  If you have questions about your specific situation, please feel free to contact me at 412-773-6006 — or comment on this post so others can see your questions — and we’ll work through it! 

Hopefully I’ve provided you with a good idea of what this course offers and what participants can expect.  The rest is up to you!  If you want to become a LEED AP (or learn more about how the LEED rating system works ), this is an excellent way to do so. Is this the course for YOU?

If so, hurry up and register because space is limited!  I look forward to seeing you at CCI Center in April!


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