What are the Different LEED Certification Specialties

August 6, 2009 — 1,541 views  

Mid-summer the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard has changed so that anyone pursuing a LEED certification in one of the areas of specialty must now take two exams instead of just one.

The new standard employs a tiered approach to building experts. At the base level or tier one is the Green Associate level. This designation assumes that the holder has a broad, based knowledge of sustainable practices, and that they are involved in a green business at some level. This designation, while it is the building block laying the foundation for all of the specialty certifications, can stand on its own and is very useful for someone who needs an overview of sustainable construction practices without having to delve into any specifics.

If however, you are planning to pursue one of the LEED AP+ specialty designations, then you will need to sit for a second exam in your area of specialty. Where there used to only be three specialty areas including New Construction, Existing Buildings and Commercial Interiors, there are now five.

New Specialty LEED Certifications

The updated standard consists of three tiers the second of which consists of five areas of specialty. So after earning the Green Associate, tier one, designation, a candidate can move on to become an expert in one of the following areas.

ID+C - Interior Design and Construction (previously Commercial Interiors - CI) The LEED for Interior Design and Construction specialist deals with new and existing buildings defining ways to improve conservation by employing methods such as capitalizing on the use of local materials while creating a productive and comfortable environment for the occupants of space.

Homes - Homes The LEED for Homes specialist educates homeowners as to how and why maintaining a green environment in the home is beneficial. As new, progressive products and technologies come onto the marketplace, the LEED for Home specialist, is the local authority on where best to use new technology, and where it fails to improve the project or be cost prohibitive.

O+M - Operations and Maintenance (previously Existing Buildings - EB) The LEED for Operations and Maintenance specialist looks at cleaning and maintenance issues, which include recycling programs, chemical use, and exterior maintenance. They reward current best practices and review operations and maintenance for existing commercial and institutional building. They also suggest where a building can use fewer natural resources and improve operating inefficiencies without sacrificing the comfort of the building's current environment.

ND - Neighborhood Development The LEED for Neighborhood Development specialist helps promote a green construction environment for keying in on five critical areas of the environment which are materials selection, energy efficiency, water savings, sustainable site development and indoor environmental quality.

BD+C - Building Design and Construction (previously New Construction - NC) The LEED for Building Design and Construction specialist rates the sustainability of substantially renovated or new institutional and commercial buildings either private or public. Within the Building Design and Construction specialty there are three sub categories which are New Construction and Major Renovations, Schools New Construction and Major Renovations, and Core and Shell Development.

About the Author

Everblue Training Institute provides online and classroom style LEED certification classes. By taking an Everblue class, you'll be very prepared for the LEED Green Associate exam or one of the LEED AP+ specialty exams.