LEED Isn’t the Only Green Building Certification in Town

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It’s true. With more than 24,500 certified projects, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (better known as LEED) is by far the industry standard for green building projects. But there’s another green building certification initiative that’s picking up steam – one that targets a different segment of the market, but at the same time complements LEED certification efforts.

Launched in 1998, the Green Advantage Certification was created with support from the US EPA, SAIC, The Nature Conservancy and the University of Florida. Green Advantage is recognized throughout the building industry as the “green builder credential for construction workers.” The Green Advantage Certification is designed for the construction market – architects and engineers, contractors, subcontractors and trades people. But it’s not just for construction workers, other building and environmental professionals can also benefit from becoming Green Advantage Certified – including owners, developers, facility managers, code officials and realtors.

The green construction professionals who pass the Green Advantage Certification demonstrate that they have a practical knowledge of current green building principles, materials and techniques and the foundation for green building. Similar to LEED, there are several different certifications that focus on specific areas: Commercial, Residential and Commercial/Residential.

When a person becomes Green Advantage (GA) certified, they demonstrate general knowledge, comprehension and the ability to analyze green construction concepts, materials, and practices. Emphasis is given to construction field practices as they relate to the role construction personnel have in improving the environmental and health attributes of the building environment. The Green Advantage certification is designed to help improve green building project collaboration and allows construction professionals to differentiate themselves from others in the industry.
The green building field is always changing and evolving. GAs need to recertify every three years in order to maintain Green Advantage Certification. (Recertification is a pain, but if you’re in the green construction industry it’s worth the hassle.)

If you’re working on a LEED project, having the Green Advantage Certification is a bonus. A HUGE benefit of becoming Green Advantage Certified is that having that certification can help your LEED project. The Green Advantage (GA) personnel certification program has been approved by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) as a LEED Innovation Credit for projects seeking LEED Certification.

This USGBC approval allows construction projects registered under LEED 2009 BD&C that meet the Green Advantage Field Personnel Standard to include this Innovation Credit in the LEED project’s submitted point total. The Green Advantage Field Personnel Standard requires at least 30% of select construction personnel be Green Advantage Certified prior to and throughout a LEED project’s construction.

Available nationwide, Green Advantage Exams are administered ‘open book’ and may be taken either at testing centers or on location in group settings. Exams are available for both residential and commercial practitioners.

Visit http://www.greenadvantage.org/for more information on what it takes to become Green Advantage Certified.

If you’re interested in trying to become Green Advantage Certified, check out this Green Advantage Commercial/ Residential Exam Preparation study course.

One Comment

  1. Great alternative to LEED, I still think LEEd is the primary and this could definitely be a strong alternative. After all we are all working towards Green Building.

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