LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design“. Generally speaking, LEED is a building rating system that determines how substantial a building is in the environmental community. Technically speaking, LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at increasing performance, reducing waste, and improving the quality of life.
The LEED rating system was created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED ratings are international benchmarks for the design, operation and construction of green buildings. LEED was established in 1998 and has grown to include over 20,000 projects in 50 states and 30 different countries around the world. LEED promotes an approach to sustainability that recognizes performance in five areas of human and environmental health.
The LEED rating and certification system is rapidly becoming an industry standard for environmentally sustainable buildings and is recognized by engineers, architects, developers, and other professionals as a highly sought after credential. It is also becoming an important networking tool for professionals in the building and construction industries. Many professionals meet others and establish mutually beneficial business relationships in LEED certification programs, classes and testing facilities.
Different Levels of LEED Certification
There are basically three levels of LEED credentials They are:
1. Tier I has one credential available. It is called “LEED Green Associate“. A LEED Green Associate must pass a 2 hour LEED Green Associate exam and has to demonstrate that they possess the knowledge and skill to support green operations, design and construction.
2. Tier II has five credential available. They are all recognized as “LEED AP with Specialty”. The LEED AP with Specialty credential signifies an advanced depth in knowledge of green building practices. There are 2 hour specialty exams available for each of five major categories for LEED. Candidates only need to pass one of the five exams to be a LEED AP with Specialty.
3. Tier III is a single credential reserved for “LEED AP Fellows”. A LEED Fellow is a distinguished class of leading professionals that possess great experience and outstanding service in all areas of LEED and the green building field.
Benefits of Being Associated with LEED
There are several benefits to becoming accredited in the LEED certification program. Among the many benefits, here is a list of the ones that stand out the most:
-Provides networking opportunities for building and construction professionals interested in green development and maintenance.
LEED accreditation is a very attractive quality to potential employers.
You don’t need prior experience to find work if you are LEED accredited.
-Calling yourself a LEED Accredited Professional will get you more work and respect for your business or trade.
-Companies can become eligible for involvement in projects only open to LEED participating companies.
-Become part of a growing association of workers and businesses that are involved in green building and maintenance of buildings that promote a clean, safe, green environment.
There are really too many benefits to list with no apparent losses, so becoming LEED certified can only be seen as a positive step for any individual or company in the construction or building maintenance industry. So if you have the opportunity to become LEED certified, by all means do it. It seems like only good can come of it. Have a great time learning about LEED.
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