One of the most challenging aspects of qualifying for the LEED AP exam is the LEED Project Experience prerequisite, but from firsthand experience, I know how important that LEED project management experience is…
When I work on LEED projects, there are usually some LEED APs in the office. These professionals knew how to memorize the information needed to pass the LEED AP 2.2 exam, but most of them had no practical experience working on an actual LEED project.
At first, I went to these LEED APs when I had LEED-related questions, but I quickly learned that being a LEED AP does not necessarily mean you know how to work on a LEED project. The LEED APs in the office weren’t able to answer the majority of my questions because they’d never actually worked on a registered LEED project.
As the only Project Manager in my office managing LEED projects, I decided to become the office “expert.” I delved into LEED Online and learned everything I could about the process, procedures, timelines, credit requirements, CIRs, assigning and managing team member roles, completing and submitting credit templates, asking GBCI questions about credits and procedures, leading LEED project team meetings, etc. (This is experience you only gain by working on a real LEED project. You can’t learn this stuff from a book.) Soon the LEED APs were coming to me for answers to their LEED questions.
Nothing can replace the knowledge you receive by actually working on a LEED project. (You can be book-smart, but you also need to be LEED project-smart.)
My LEED project management experience definitely helped me pass the LEED Green Associate Exam.
So what can you do to gain LEED Project Management Experience?
• Check with your local USGBC chapter and ask if any members know of projects that may need your help
• Go online to the various message boards and post an “I’m interested in working on your LEED project – at NO cost to you!” message
• Actively contact local contractors, architect and engineering firms. If you’re a Green Associate, explain to them that you’re a LEED Green Associate and that you’d love to help them out (at no cost to them) managing one of their LEED Projects. (Be sure and tell them that you’re willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement.)
• Get an internship. There is a company that allows you to join a real LEED project for an “internship” fee. With this program you attend team meetings on a working LEED registered project. This intensive one-day program is designed to give you the hands-on experience and the understanding you need to successfully navigate the LEED Certification Process – and gain the LEED project management experience you need to take the LEED AP exams. For more information on this program, visit PTL Exam Prep . When you get there, click on the “Training Link” to find out more about the LEED Project Management Experience training program.
Gaining LEED project management experience is not only important to taking and passing the LEED AP exam, it’s also vital to being a successful (and productive) LEED project team member.
Sherry, LEED Green Associate & LEED Project Manager