An emerging new trend among attorneys is appending “LEED AP” to the “JD” already behind their name. The acronym stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional”, and a LEED AP is an individual who is certified by the Green Building Certification Institute as having demonstrated expert knowledge of green buildings and the LEED rating systems.
by Robert Gluck
Penn State gave us the distinctive, brilliant football legend – Joe Paterno and now they’ve given us a ‘green’ gem - C. Timothy Baird.
An associate professor of landscape architecture, Baird was honored for his ‘green’ work with Landworks Studio Inc., a Boston-based firm for which he serves as consultant and adjunct principal.
Landworks Studio’s landscape design for the Macallen Building in South Boston received an Honor Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) in recognition of being Boston’s first green residential structure.
The Macallen Building was featured in the film “The Greening of Southie”, a documentary directed by Ian Cheney and produced by Bullfrog Films.
The project also received a 2009 Award of Excellence from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, and received Merit Awards from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects.
Awarded a gold rating by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building ratings system, the project continues to rack up honors and awards for the Macallen project.
Landworks isn’t done yet with its majorly ‘green’ & LEED certified enterprises.
One of the firm’s other projects, the ‘Blackstone Steam Plant’ renovation in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently received a LEED platinum rating.
Baird and members of the firm developed and led a design charrette–an intense period of collaborative design activities in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem.
The charrette, called “Making the Matrix: an Exercise in Material Space-Making,” was for the 2009 International Landscape Architecture Student Conference held at Penn State.
More than 30 students participated in the daylong ecological endeavor to design and build an interior spatial exploration installation.
On the faculty at Penn State since 2000, Baird teaches design, implementation, and the history of landscape architecture beyond Modernism. His research focuses on environmental art as land reclamation, sustainable designed landscape form, and the memorial landscape.
While with Landworks Studio he has played a pivotal role in developing the firm’s evolving body of earth-friendly work that reflects a commitment to proto-urban, strategic renewal efforts with aggressive ecological agendas.
According to Joel Bittle of GreenBuildingElements.com, the film “The Greening of Southie” is worth watching.
“I cannot recommend this film enough to anyone who is or wants to be part of green building,” Bittle said.
At the film’s website, www.bullfrogfilms.com you’ll find this description: “In the traditionally Irish-American working-class neighborhood of South Boston, MA, a new kind of building has taken shape.
From wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dual-flush toilets, the Macallen building is something different: a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design. But Boston’s steel-toed union workers aren’t sure they like it.
And when things on the building start to go wrong, the young developer has to keep the project from unraveling.
Building Boston’s first LEED Gold certified building turns out to be harder than anyone thought. Yet among the I-beams and brickwork emerges a small cadre of unlikely environmentalists who come to connect their work with the future of their children.”
by Robert Gluck
No prizes for guessing who is next in line for a LEED certification ………you guessed it – President Obama!!!
Soon the White House will have a LEED AP certification and be environment-friendly.
According to an article titled, “From the White House to the Green House”, published in the Environmental Leader, President Barack Obama plans to upgrade the White House, with the main intention of obtaining LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
This is indeed a refreshingly ‘green’ bit of news as going green with one of the most powerful and famous structures of the World will speak volumes about the significance of this step and of the imperativeness making the planet environmentally sustainable.
The Federal Energy Management Program will work with the White House Council on Environmental Quality to implement changes in procurement, energy and water systems, and waste.
CEO of USGBC, Rick Fedrizzi, told National Geographic magazine that updating & ‘greening’ the White House will be difficult because of the building’s historic status and the security requisite to protect the First family.
Still, USGBC has offered to advise the White House as it goes through the process of converting to an energy-efficient home.
“LEED certified buildings or a normal ‘green building’ is already a challenging assignment, and this is something that’s a historic structure, one of the nation’s most historic structures,” Fedrizzi told National Geographic.
“For instance, in a normal green building retrofit, all windows would be replaced. But windows in the White House are revered for their historical significance, including the glazing. One option would be to add a film to cut UV rays”, he adds.
The National Geographic article, titled “Can The Obamas Turn the White House Green?” written by Eliza Barclay, stated that the Obamas are not the first presidential couple to flaunt their environmental consciousness at home.
Past presidents like Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter cut back on energy usage & focused on utilizing renewable energy in the White House, and George W. Bush installed a small photovoltaic system and two solar water-heating systems.
But in its first hundred days, the Obama administration indicated, Barclay writes, that it plans to go further than its predecessors, starting with the garden and moving soon to the White House Center—the complex of buildings and facilities at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The green building certification will cover the White House Center.
Changes may include monitoring toxicity and life cycle when making purchases for the facilities, such as using biodegradable cleaners, equipment made with recycled content, and paints and sealers with low volatile organic compounds.
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has decided to cut off the carbon footprint of the White House to as much extent as possible by steps like installing computerized energy management systems, automatic light sensors that turn off in unoccupied rooms and low-flow water valves.
Though there is time in achieving the end result of a White House that doesn’t vex the Mother Nature too much, just the fact that the President of the United States aimed for it is enough to tell the World that - it’s time everyone went green.
by Robert Gluck
Home ownership continues to garner top billing as the number one dream of most Americans. But the new trend, if you haven’t noticed, is to let’s “go green”.
Building a green home or retrofitting an existing residence to make it eco-friendly with sustainable features not only adds value to the real estate investment, it allows homeowners to find meaning and purpose in their lives.
Perhaps just as importantly, it allows trained personnel who have LEED Certification having taken the LEED Exam Prep and passed the LEED Green Associate exam to seize an opportunity to make a difference in the world.
Ever hear of these green innovations?
- low-flow toilets
- formaldehyde-free furniture
- concrete floors finished with non-toxic sealants
- reception counters made with Dakota Burl – a composite material that looks like wood but consists of pressed sunflower seeds.
Green building and green remodeling, especially LEED certified ones are hot right now, and practices that conserve energy as proven by an Energy Audit Certification issued by an energy auditor who passed the Energy Auditor Training, and materials, encourage recycling and sustainability which a LEED rating performed by a LEED AP who passed the corresponding LEED courses will attest, and aim to cut costs while improving health and safety are winning over the hearts and minds of homeowners nationwide.
Of course you’ll learn about these innovations and much more. when you take courses with CleanEdison, on Energy Audit Training, BPI Training, LEED courses, Solar Training, IREC course, NABCEP Education, Geothermal Classes, Thermography Training, and Weatherization Training.
Want to get more info about all these ‘going green’ courses? Just click here -
- Sealing up windows,
- installing programmable thermostats,
- and replacing standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, which cost more but last a lot longer and use less energy
- these ideas are just the beginning of your Energy Auditor training or BPI training and building analyst course that you’ll pass on to homeowners.
Through your BPI training, you’ll learn how and why replacing a home’s traditional water heater with an on-demand water heater can save large amounts of energy (because they the former doesn’t keep the whole amount of water heated 24/7) which anyone with an Energy Auditor training can confirm and certify.
Eco-friendly features certified by a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP help sellers better market a home’s environmental strengths. If the home has money-saving appliances, and an energy assessment or energy audit certification for the property, or a property’s LEED certification as a green home, this can also add value at closing time.
CleanEdison instructors know all about BPI certification, Energy Audit Certification, Energy Auditor Training, Solar Energy Training, LEED Training, Nabcep Certification, Solar Certification, Home Star, LEED Certification, Geothermal Certification, LEED BD&C, Thermography Training, Weatherization Training and are more than willing to mentor students with hands-on field work to brush up on green home skills.
Bottom line: people want to go green but they also want to make money on their real estate investments.
You can help them do both.
By Robert Gluck
Hopewell is going green, with as the Beatles have succinctly put it – a little help from its friends at Rutgers University.
According to an article titled “Hopewell Changes Local Laws to Be Environmentally Friendly”, published in New Jersey’s The Star-Ledger, if the officials in this Mercer County town are interested in showing off the central New Jersey borough’s brand new green-conscious land usage laws, they need only wait until it rains!
The borough’s pavement is composed of a porous material that absorbs rainwater effortlessly, while also conveniently preventing runoff and recharging the water supply at the same time.
Well, that’s how LEED certified buildings work – healthier work, better utilization of resources, increased productivity and of course, much better (read – greener) lifestyle choices.
Now the question that arises is – are they pursuing a LEED certification yet?
Any strenuous efforts from their end to score the maximum LEED points/ratings or strain for a LEED exam prep?
While we wait with bated breath on those crucial queries, let’s talk about the major innovative (very green-focused) design & structure changes taking place at Hopewell.
Basically a rural ‘upper middleclass’ town, Hopewell, redesigned its land-use ordinances and adopted other environmentally-friendly rules with the helping hand of the Rutgers Center for Green Building and a grant from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions.
The Rutgers’s website puts across these viewpoints about the Center’s programs: “The Rutgers Center for Green Building, housed at the E.J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, forms a common umbrella for existing and proposed initiatives being carried out through separate Centers at the Bloustein School, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (formerly Cook College), the School of Engineering and other Rutgers units that are integral to developing and implementing innovative green building strategies.
The Center conducts applied research utilizing planned and existing green building projects, works with industry and government to promote these concepts, and develops undergraduate, graduate and professional education programs.
Initial funding was provided by the Rutgers University Academic Excellence Fund and subsequently by our strategic partners and clients and through various grants.
The Rutgers Center for Green Building seeks to establish itself as the pre-eminent interdisciplinary center for green building excellence in the Northeast, while serving as a single accessible locus for fostering collaboration among green building practitioners and policymakers.”
For more vital ‘green’ information on Rutgers, follow this link - http://www.greenbuildingrutgers.us/.
Hopewell’s administrator and engineer Paul Pogorzelski believes that working with Rutgers helped immensely.
“They worked with us on creating a package for land-use criteria, like recycling, building design, pedestrian circulation, bike ways and pedestrian ways,” Pogorzelski informed. “It’s a big deal to change our land-use ordinances.”
Since March, 227 of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities have taken part in the Sustainable Jersey program, which teaches local leaders how to go green.
Hopewell has also installed solar panels on its public works building and is planning to purchase alternative-fuel vehicles.
Now, a LEED AP certification would just about make Hopewell’s precious green efforts truly green!
My experience taking the LEED exam twice has taught me more than just LEED material. I found a better way to study and learn compared to what got me through my education. Since the LEED exam is very technical with requirements and guidelines that strictly follow the LEED rating system, a lot of the questions deal with hypothetical situations. When studying for the LEED exam make sure you understand not just the names and intents of each prerequisite and credit, but of what the requirements are doing and how it affects the environment. I usually try to take the content for what it is and try to understand that it exists because someone came up with a good that’s better on the environment. By doing a little reading on the side about environmental issues I learned quickly the incentives of the LEED prerequisites and credits which helped me understand why they exist and how they work.
- Create a study schedule and give yourself enough time to comprehend the material.
- Try to find a study partner or study groups who have similar exam dates
- Sign up for a LEED Exam Prep course. These are taught by a building professional typically with LEED experience and will help you understand from firsthand experience how the process works as well as answer any questions.
- Memorize reference standards for each credit and try to understand why they exist
- Take plenty of practice exams. Practice exams are set up pretty similar to the actual LEED exam and from trial and error you will know how to break down the questions for better understanding
- Lastly, read additional materials in your spare time to get a better understanding of why all of the prerequisites and credits exist. There are plenty of environmental books and literature that have valuable information about the environment.
CleanEdison has created tools that can assist you in your study for the LEED AP exam, by taking our courses you’re increasing you chances significantly.
There are a variety of new LEED exams. The one that everyone will have to take is called the Green Associate exam. This exam is a little bit easier in the sense that the questions are less technical, but it could prove more difficult for some candidates for a variety of reasons:
- There is no Green Associate reference guide so you don’t have as much guidance on what to study.
- The questions are very picky and ask about such topics as proper use of the USGBC logo and the difference between terms such as the difference between a project boundary vs. a site boundary.
- The recommended study references include a range of about twenty resources including all the USGBC reference guides, and several academic writings such as the cost of going green and treatment of refrigerants by LEED.
- It is a new exam, so study materials and help from friends will be limited. In this case, taking a LEED Exam Prep course, such as the one offered by CleanEdison would prove to be useful. The course also comes with 4 online practice exams that you can take for unlimited number of times during your 60-day license.
The new LEED AP exams (which can be taken only after first passing the Green Associate exam), will be fairly similar to the old LEED AP exams. Each exam is specific to a rating system, and the USGBC publishes a reference guide for each rating system as well. A good way to go about studying would be to become fully knowledgeable about all the content in your reference guide, all the content on the USGBC website, and to get your hands on some practice exams. If a prep course or additional study materials are available, these would prove to be highly useful, as the pass rate for these exams is expected to be around 34%.
From a roundabout way of researching exam pass rates, the LEED AP exam has been mentioned to have a very small pass rate for first time takers, perhaps around 34%. From experience of taking the exam twice I can tell that you that studying for this exam is very tedious. After taking the exam for the first time I realized what materials I needed to study in order to make it through the next, knowing that I didn’t want to take that exam any more than that I studied for several months up the exam, at least two times a week with a study partner. Doing so will enhance your ability to pass the exam and having confidence in the understanding of many LEED concepts and strategies.
But since the USGBC does not submit testing results for the LEED exam we have to go from speculation and word of mouth, most people I spoke to who took the LEED exam have either missed the mark the first time or found a way to study well and be prepared for the very intense LEED AP exam, and pass on the first time. Purchasing quality LEED Exam Prep will be key in making sure you aren’t one of the unlucky 34% crowd!
According to the USGBC, the Education Provider Program adheres to the following description:
“The USGBC Education Provider Program facilitates access to high-quality, peer-reviewed courses for professionals seeking to go beyond LEED and enrich their knowledge of green building theories, techniques, and business trends. Education Provider courses – developed and delivered by USGBC member organizations and chapters – serve a broad audience of building professionals, trades, and anyone interested in expanding their knowledge.
Education Provider courses:
- Are preeminent in green building education and align with USGBC’s educational mission.
- Offer courses at all learning levels to supplement USGBC’s core educational offerings.
- Are thoroughly reviewed and meet USGBC’s criteria for instructional design and content quality.
USGBC developed the Education Provider Program to address the widespread need for green building education beyond LEED. The program’s primary goal is to drive green market transformation through quality education. USGBC seeks new courses from Education Providers to train a diverse green workforce, and support the continued education of all levels of the LEED Professional. All USGBC Education Provider Program courses are included in a course catalog on the Greenbuild365 education portal.
The LEED AP exam has been through several stages of exam development. Since the start of the LEED exam which started in 2001 the USGBC has reached out to green building professional to assist in creating the exams. While the first version covered basic green building strategies and very loosely required technical information for the LEED rating system the newest LEED AP exams have pulled information from green building professionals all around the country in a very specific and rigorous session of questions relating the program requirements of each individual LEED rating system.
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) have limited the LEED AP exam to only those who now have LEED project experience. After 8 years of anyone being able to take the exam there are plenty of people who now are designated as ‘green building professionals’ but work as a horse trainer or perhaps a baker. Not that it’s a bad thing that anyone can pass the exam that focuses on sustainability, the USGBC wants everyone to be aware of how buildings affect our environment. But now the gate has closed for non-building professionals and is being taken more serious as taking on the title as a LEED Accredited Professional.
Every couple of years the process will repeat itself in terms of reaching out to green building professionals to help create and maintain the LEED AP exams. Their inside knowledge has given LEED AP candidates a run for their money, literally. A true green building professional has to be competent and understanding of all the LEED requirements in some technical manner or another.
Every good LEED Exam Prep practice exam should reflect the actual iterations of question development that the USGBC has gone through.