Path to LEED Accreditation Shifts

New rigor and some red tape come with the new AIA and LEED AP education requirements.

By Tristan Roberts via GreenSource

Image © Dan Page

Image © Dan Page

The popularity of the LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credential, which is open to all professions, has led to the accreditation of over 77,000. By the time the current version of the program is retired later this spring, it is likely that the number of LEED APs will surpass the membership of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a fairly stable 83,000. While AIA membership is not directly comparable to holding the LEED AP credential, the momentum behind the program is remarkable.

The proliferation of LEED APs has come amid concerns about the program’s lack of rigor, so a major overhaul of the program arriving in late spring should not come as a surprise. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), a nonprofit sister to the U.S. Green Building Council, announced its plans to assume leadership of the program at Greenbuild in November 2008. At the same time, effective January 2009, the AIA made sustainability a requirement for its continuing education (CEU) program, ensuring that all architects will need to integrate green building at least into their education, if not their practices.

Continue reading the article at GreenSource Magazine.

LEED 2009 Reference Guide Review

The new LEED 2009, or also know as LEED v3 reference guides have just recently been released, in anticipation of the new rating system roll out on April 27th, 2009.

Joel McKellar, the author and creator of has posted an excellent review of the new rating system and reference guide.  So I encourage you to take the time and read his article.

The Big Review: LEED 2009 Reference Guides Released

By Joel McKellar at

NOTE – This is the longest post in Real Life LEED history. You may groan at the thought of reading the text below, but I assure you it’s a much quicker way to get up to speed with the changes in the new LEED 2009 systems then reading through the new reference guide as I did. Man up, read the following, and sound smart around your colleagues.

Continue reading the review at

LEED Progress & Action Plan

Well the last time that I wrote about my first LEED project, we just received our design review comments with on a few comments from the reviewer.  Well we submitted our responses to their comments and to our surprise they have accepted all of our credits.  So the project still has a fighting chance to receive a Gold certification.  Which puts us at the mercy of our contractor.

Which brings me back to our action plan that I have mentioned in a previous post (here).  So the spreadsheet has gone through some revisions as we understand more how the credits are to be tracked.

LEED Action Plan

LEED Action Plan

However the contractor is using the spreadsheet as a substitute for the actual product data and or manufacturer letters that we need to have on file for if the USGBC decided to audit one of these credits.  And this has been apart of an ongoing problem with this project from day one, incomplete submittals.  Which puts us in a hard place to be in.  First, we do not want to accept the submittal until we have all the data that we requested in our specifications.  However if we reject it without review, the owner thinks we are holding up the project.  So it is difficult to keep track of everything when we are getting multiple submittals for each product.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had trouble getting the required information for LEED documentation and how they dealt with it.


First LEED Design Review

Well just before leaving the office for the day yesterday, we received notification that the USGBC has completed it’s “Design Review” for our offices first LEED project. All in all it was not to bad. Out of 26 credits that we submitted 13 were accepted as is and the other 13 just require some minor clarifications. So no credits were denied. We should be happy about that. :)

Product manufacturer LEED NON-compliance

I am publishing this post more for an entertainment value than anything else.  As I have been reviewing shop drawings and LEED submittals to make sure a certain percentage of our building materials either have some level of recycled content or are manufactured within 500 miles of our project site as dictated by the USGBC LEED-NC rating system.  I am presented with this document as backup information for this companies NON-compliance with LEED and our product specifications.

As you can see I have hidden the identity of the company because there is nothing wrong with their product (fire extinguisher cabinet), and I happen to agree with their statements, however amusing it was at first to read.  If we are anticipating this product to get us over the hump to meet our projects recycled content or regional material goal, then we have not been doing our job correctly.