Previous post:

Next post:

LEED exam resources

by mel starrs on January 26, 2009

in LEED

So today I passed my LEED-AP exam. The intellectual snob in me thought “How hard can a multiple choice 80 question exam really be?”.

The answer – very. The exam is hardcore.

Unfortunately I am under pain of death (well, pain of accreditation removal) if I reveal anything about the test. So instead I shall share how I studied for it, pointing out the useful stuff I found along the way. Unfortunately this information is only going to be useful until 31st March when the new LEED-AP exam comes out, but someone between now and then might find it helpful.

Firstly, I got a copy of the manual. I would recommend getting and then doing the LEED-NC route (not like me, who for boring, unrelated to this post, reasons had got the LEED-CS manual and then did the LEED-NC exam).

As I know BREEAM inside out, I did a credit by credit review, seeing where LEED and BREEAM overlapped, differed and converged. A very useful exercise, and there are a few resources out there which have already done this so I won’t repeat it in this post.

Then it was time to commit to memory the credit numbers, names, intents, requirements and submittals. To do this, I did a couple of things. Printed the number, name and intent onto cards and “played” matching them up; filling in a big A3 matrix of all the information; and finally, drawing out each credit section as a mindmap. Having been in the UK education system, I haven’t really had to do much memorising, except maybe for GCSE Physics, so it was a new(ish) way of learning for me.

Then I used the very very useful site Learning to LEED and did their online flashcards and also the Sample Quizzes. They also have the following list of things to study which I would reiterate and totally agree with – I’ve added comments in italics where I have something to add:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FOR THE LEED-NC 2.2 LEED-AP EXAM

1. LEED-NC 2.2 Categories (SS, WR, EA, MR, EQ, ID)
Know the basic structure of LEED: the 6 categories, the points required for each level of LEED award (Platinum, Gold, Silver, Certified) this is where I found a mindmap useful to plot out and remember categories and points

2. LEED-NC 2.2 Prerequisites
Commit the following to memory for each Prerequisite:
Intent
Requirements
Documentation
Referenced Standards
Design or Construction Phase Submission

HINTS:
• Know the Prerequisites for each Category
• You must accomplish all prerequisites to have a building certified
• There are no points awarded for prerequisites I hadn’t picked this up in the manual first time round!
• There is no Exemplary Performance for prerequisites

3. LEED-NC 2.2 Credits and Points
Commit the following to memory for each Credit/Point:
Intent
Requirements
Documentation
Referenced Standards
Design or Construction Phase Submission
Exemplary Performance level if any

HINTS:
• Absolutely know all the percentages and levels of performance required for each LEED credit. Know the levels for achieving Exemplary Performance.
• There are usually a lot of questions (1) on Referenced Standards, (2) about in which phase a credit is submitted (design or construction), and (3) the levels of Exemplary Performance.
• Know the differences between EAp1 (Fundamental Commissioning) and EAc3 (Enhanced Commissioning). Beyond EAp1, EAc3 requires:
(1) CxA reviews OPR, BOD, review comments and construction documents prior to mid-construction documents phase
(2) CxA review of submittals for building energy systems
(3) CxA to prepare O&M manuals
(4) CxA to verify training of building occupants and operators
(5) CxA to review building commissioning about 10 months after substantial completion

4. LEED-NC 2.2 Processes
Know in detail the following LEED-NC 2.2 processes:
The CIR Process
The Registration Process
The Certification Process Much of this I had gleaned from acquaintances and experience rather than book knowledge – if anyone knows a good online source for this stuff, please leave a comment

HINTS
• The CIR database is accessible by both USGBC member organizations, and non-members who are project team members.
• When you submit a credit for consideration for which you have made a CIR ruling request, include both the request and the ruling with your submission
• The project does not receive a point at the time the CIR request is approved. The CIR request and ruling must be submitted with the other LEED Online documentation.
• Know the number of business days allocated to each phase in the Certification Process: Prelimary Review by USGBC (25 business days); Project Team Response (25 business days); Final Review by USGBC (15 business days); Appeal by Project Team (25 days); Review of Appeal by USGBC (25 days)

5. LEED Products
Know when to apply LEED-NC, LEED-EB, LEED-CS, and LEED-CI

6. Role of LEED-AP and Project Team Administrator
Know what the LEED-AP is supposed to do and what the Project Team Administrator can or cannot do.

7. LEED Online
Know how to administer the project team, assign roles, assign credits to roles, and what information must be input to LEED Online.

8. LEED Synergies
Know which approaches cut across several credits. Some examples:
(1) On-site renewable energy affects EAc2 and EAc1.
(2) Green or eco-roofs affect SSc6.1, SSc6.2, SSc7.2, EAc1 and also may be eligible for Exemplary Performance (100% green roof for SSc7.2)
(3) Use of rainwater or reclaimed water to replace potable water affects WEc1,1, WEc1.2, WEc2, WEc3.1, and WEc3.2 as well as SSc6.1
(4) Low flow and waterless fixtures affect WEc3.1, WEc3.2, and WEc2.
(5) Daylighting strategies affect EAc1, and EQ8.1

9. LEED Calculations
Be sure you understand the following types of calculations:
(1) Glazing Factor for EQ8,2
(2) Water use calculations for WE3.1 and 3.2 reiterate this – calculating water use is worth revising
(3) All the MR calculations involving materials reuse, recycled content, local and regional materials, rapidly renewable materials, and certified wood.

10. LEED Glossary
(1) Know the technical terms in LEED and what they mean, for example, Tvis, Glazing Factor, post-consumer recycled content, pre-consumer recycled content, local/regional materials, sustainably harvested wood, rapidly renewable resources, renewable energy systems, tertiary treatment

(2) Be sure you know what abbreviations used in LEED: ASHRAE, IESNA, SMACNA, SCAQMD, SMACNA

All in all, it is one of the toughest exams I’ve every done, even if it was multiple guess!

I must mention Twitter for being a fantastic resource during my LEED study and special thanks to everyone across the pond who put up with my endless questions, especially: @CindyFW, @sarasweeney, @elaineishere and @chrischeatam. All their advice was invaluable. And to everyone else on Twitter who’s put up with my wittering on about LEED for the past 3 weeks – thank you!

edit 31 Jan 2008: The Green Building Education Service comes recommended by some – I did not use it myself, and it is not free. They have flash cards and on-line prep exams. If you are in the UK and are not used to north american multiple choice, it may be useful to try a few. A taste of how hard multiple choice exams can be can also be found in the GMAT (the standard test used for admission into MBA programs).

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
  • Amey

    Hi,
    I am also interested in knowing more about LEED. How much it will cost, etc.

  • Amey

    Hi,
    I am also interested in knowing more about LEED. How much it will cost, etc.

  • http://www.air-conditioning-inspections.co.uk/ Air Conditioning Inspection

    The best place to start finding more information is http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

    or, Google it 🙂

  • http://www.air-conditioning-inspections.co.uk/ Air Conditioning Inspection

    The best place to start finding more information is http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19

    or, Google it 🙂

  • http://www.Green-Buildings.com Rob Freeman Jr, LEED AP

    Hi, congratulations again on earning the LEED AP credential. For those readers who are interested in LEED credentials and have become familiar with LEED v3, the new starting point is LEED Green Associate. Even if you have LEED project experience and are interested in sitting for the LEED AP exam, you’ll still have to pass the LEED Green Associate exam first during the exam session before going on to the LEED AP portion. We recently launched a free LEED Green Associate practice test with detailed answers and an interactive forum on Green-Buildings.com. It’s a great way to test knowledge and readiness without committing capital up front. http://www.Green-Buildings.com Good luck to all new aspiring LEED professionals!

  • http://www.Green-Buildings.com Rob Freeman Jr, LEED AP

    Hi, congratulations again on earning the LEED AP credential. For those readers who are interested in LEED credentials and have become familiar with LEED v3, the new starting point is LEED Green Associate. Even if you have LEED project experience and are interested in sitting for the LEED AP exam, you’ll still have to pass the LEED Green Associate exam first during the exam session before going on to the LEED AP portion. We recently launched a free LEED Green Associate practice test with detailed answers and an interactive forum on Green-Buildings.com. It’s a great way to test knowledge and readiness without committing capital up front. http://www.Green-Buildings.com Good luck to all new aspiring LEED professionals!

  • http://www.everblueenergy.com Lesley LEED AP

    Congratulations on passing the LEED Exam. Will you be posting a new article on the latest changes to the LEED Exam standards. The LEED AP exam that you passed was based on the LEED 2.0 standards. Between may and September of this year, we transition to the LEED 3.0 standards. This means that LEED Exam candidates now have to take two exams to earn the same level of credential. This new multi-tiered approach is actually very good as it gives people an overview of the LEED project process before diving into the technical standards of one type of construction. To learn more, we have an entire section of our website explaining the new LEED credentialing processes and we have courses to help you pass the exam: http://www.everblueenergy.com/leed-certification

  • http://www.everblueenergy.com Lesley LEED AP

    Congratulations on passing the LEED Exam. Will you be posting a new article on the latest changes to the LEED Exam standards. The LEED AP exam that you passed was based on the LEED 2.0 standards. Between may and September of this year, we transition to the LEED 3.0 standards. This means that LEED Exam candidates now have to take two exams to earn the same level of credential. This new multi-tiered approach is actually very good as it gives people an overview of the LEED project process before diving into the technical standards of one type of construction. To learn more, we have an entire section of our website explaining the new LEED credentialing processes and we have courses to help you pass the exam: http://www.everblueenergy.com/leed-certification

  • Gavelect

    Good and bad news regarding the UK construction industry. British construction activity contracted for a 21st month running in November but the pace of decline eased and new order volumes rose for the first time since February 2008, a survey showed on Wednesday. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply/Markit construction contracts PMI index rose to 47.0 in November, its highest since August, from 46.2 in October. The recent rise in house prices boosted residential construction, which expanded for a third month running and at its fastest rate in over two years. But both commercial and civil engineering sectors reported further declines and employment overall declined for an 18th consecutive month.

  • Gavelect

    Good and bad news regarding the UK construction industry. British construction activity contracted for a 21st month running in November but the pace of decline eased and new order volumes rose for the first time since February 2008, a survey showed on Wednesday. The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply/Markit construction contracts PMI index rose to 47.0 in November, its highest since August, from 46.2 in October. The recent rise in house prices boosted residential construction, which expanded for a third month running and at its fastest rate in over two years. But both commercial and civil engineering sectors reported further declines and employment overall declined for an 18th consecutive month.

  • http://www.everblueenergy.com LEED AP and Energy Auditor

    I am a LEED AP. What is the difference between the BREEAM and the LEED standards? What are the differences of the AP in these standards as well?

  • http://www.everblueenergy.com LEED AP and Energy Auditor

    I am a LEED AP. What is the difference between the BREEAM and the LEED standards? What are the differences of the AP in these standards as well?

  • ShamimSam

    Why take the LEED Exam Prep course?

    Studying and applying to become a LEED AP can be both expensive and time consuming. Our programs are designed to get you through the process quickly and easily. CleanEdison has developed a comprehensive course of study to help you master the ins and outs of the exam, so you can start enjoying the many benefits of being a LEED Accredited Professional.

  • http://gweenreed2500@gmail.com ShamimSam

    Why take the LEED Exam Prep course?

    Studying and applying to become a LEED AP can be both expensive and time consuming. Our programs are designed to get you through the process quickly and easily. CleanEdison has developed a comprehensive course of study to help you master the ins and outs of the exam, so you can start enjoying the many benefits of being a LEED Accredited Professional.