GBCI Streamlines LEED Credentialing, Offers New Window for Legacy LEED APs

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LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 01 2012 LEEDuser Moderator Post a Comment

In an email going out today to LEED Professionals, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is announcing a series of changes to its LEED Credential Maintenance Program (CMP), as well as related changes to how people become LEED credentialed. The changes are all being made with the intent of easing requirements that LEED APs have for years complained about as confusing and bureaucratic. Among the changes is a new opportunity for LEED APs with an older version of the credential to upgrade to the new credential.

“We analyzed a lot of the feedback from the last three years, looking at the whole program from start to finish and analyzing the pain points,” Erin Emery Hartz, manager of marketing and product development at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), told LEEDuser. According to Emery Hartz, a team at USGBC and GBCI “looked at the entire process from taking the exam to recording hours, looked at every business rule, and cut out half the requirements.” She noted, “The effort is to simplify and to make a much better credential experience.”

Most of the changes will take effect on November 12, according to Emery Hartz. Following are the most noteworthy changes.

  • Streamlined activity types: The four types of activities that will contribute to continuing education hours will be Education (including from approved providers, colleges, etc.), LEED Project Experience, Volunteering, and Authorship. Previously, there have been eight activity types, each with its own rules about how many hours can contribute to the 30 required biennially. Now, volunteering will have a 50% limit, while the others will have no limit.
  • Categories eliminated: Credential holders will no longer have to report a category (such as “Project Site Factors,” or “Water Management”) when reporting CE hours. GBCI still hopes professionals will spread out their hours among various topics, but it won’t ask you to prove it.
  • Simplified reporting forms: CE reporting forms are going to be a lot simpler, according to Emery Hartz, asking only for dates, title, number of hours you’ve earned.
  • Automated reporting: Although GBCI does not have a firm roll-out date for this feature, they are working on allowing education providers to automatically report CE hours on your behalf, much like AIA allows. Greenbuild attendees will enjoy this benefit as part of a staged rollout. (And BuildingGreen, Inc. publisher of LEEDuser, will offer this option as soon as GBCI enables it.)
  • LEED Green Associate (LEED GA) eligibility: GBCI is eliminating eligibility requirements to become a Green Associate—the credential will be open to anyone over age 18. (A letter from one’s employer meeting lengthy requirements can now be skipped.)
  • LEED AP eligibility: It will be easier to confirm eligibility to become a LEED AP. No more lengthy letter—just submit the email address of their supervisor, and GBCI will take it from there.
  • Exam application: GBCI is cutting in half the steps for exam application and registration.

Prescriptive path alternative

There is one more change that Emery Hartz touts as having the broadest impact. “Legacy” LEED APs—those whose credential became outdated with the introduction of LEED specialties (like LEED AP BD+C) in 2009, have previously been asked, in order to demonstrate broad LEED and green expertise, to either retest or follow a complicated prescriptive path to earn their specialty.

GBCI, with USGBC, will offer an alternative: USGBC has developed an intensive six-hour webinar series, Principles of LEED, which will be offered free to all LEED APs. Let’s break down the impact of this offering:

  • For LEED APs with specialty who opted in to prescriptive credential maintenance, the webinars offer a quick and easy alternative. Just complete the webinar series and your prescriptive requirements are met.
  • Legacy LEED APs who did not opt in (the initial two-year opt-in window closed for everyone a little over a year ago) can use this series to opt in and meet their prescriptive requirements. That’s right—“It’s a final opportunity for those who never opted in,” says Emery Hartz. (Retesting always remains an option, of course.)
  • Any LEED AP with specialty or Green Associate can use the free webinar series to earn six free LEED-specific credential maintenance hours.

What do you think?

What do you think of these changes? If you've been frustrated with the the LEED CMP, will they be enough to assuage your concerns? If you're a Legacy LEED AP, will you opt in? Post your comments below.

47 Comments

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Michael Miller Project Architect
Aug 19 2013
Guest
2151 Thumbs Up

Categories and prescriptive path alternate option

I opted-in to the prescriptive CMP path near the initial deadline in 2011, so I am close to my first renewal. I already have all of my required LEED_specific hours, but need a few hours in certain categories.

If I understand the webinar "prescriptive path alternate" option correctly, it would eliminate the need for me to earn hours in those specific categories. However, if I do not take the prescriptive-path-alternate option, I would still need to earn credits in specific categories, correct?

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Erin Emery Hartz Manager, Marketing & Product Development, U.S. Green Building Council Aug 19 2013 LEEDuser Member 94 Thumbs Up

Hi Michael, that's correct. You need to complete all six hours of webinars in the series in order to circumvent prescriptive and then fill in the remaining hours you need (to get to 30 total) with any topic you want. If you have fewer than six hours remaining in prescriptive, you might prefer to stick with it and do your best to find education relevant to your remaining categories.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP Integrated Architecture
May 23 2013
LEEDuser Expert
15062 Thumbs Up

last minute

Just a warning to people who wait to the last minute for things. It will take USGBC about 10 business days to add the completed webinar to your GBCI account.

You can self report the (6) courses but it will not remove the "category" requirements. And the system will not let you submit for renewal unless the category requirements have been met. So, hypothetically, if your deadline was tomorrow for example, you would need to email GBCI's customer service to ask them to manually clear this requirement. Just an extra step to reward those procrastinators. Not that I'm pointing fingers. Just an FYI.

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Daniela Castro Salgado LEED AP BD+C / Architect Edmonds International Ltd
May 21 2013
Guest
670 Thumbs Up

Project Participation

I have too many LEED-Specific hours and I am missing some CE hours. Is it possible to register Project Participation as CE hours instead of LEED-Specific hours?

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USGBC IP Account U.S. Green Building Council May 21 2013 LEEDuser Member 259 Thumbs Up

Hi Daniela,
LEED specific hours are still CE hours, so you can have as many as you want and they will count toward your 30 required hours. You can list unlimited project participation hours.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager Lawrence Group
Apr 30 2013
LEEDuser Member
1083 Thumbs Up

What is a self-reported course that qualifies for CMP

The CMP guide lists self-reported courses as seperate from preferred courses and presentations form registered providers, does this mean we can report a course / presentation that hasn't been approved by the USGBC? I go to a number of presentations that, from a content standpoint, would comply; however, the presenter (or their company) hasn't gotten it approved through the USGBC. Can I report these presentations as Education hours? It is a little confusing. Thanks.

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Erin Emery Hartz Manager, Marketing & Product Development, U.S. Green Building Council Apr 30 2013 LEEDuser Member 94 Thumbs Up

Yes, you may report courses for credit that aren't delivered by approved education providers so long as they meet GBCI requirements for relevant educational material. Unlike approved courses, these hours are subject to audit, so be sure to save supporting materials for reference.

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Todd Bundren Director of Sustainabilty - Architectural Project Manager, Lawrence Group Apr 30 2013 LEEDuser Member 1083 Thumbs Up

Thank you Erin, your insight is very helpful.
One quick follow-up: Do the LEED specific (6 hours for LEED AP w/ specialty) hours need to be from an approved provider?

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Erin Emery Hartz Manager, Marketing & Product Development, U.S. Green Building Council Apr 30 2013 LEEDuser Member 94 Thumbs Up

Yes, LEED-specific hours must come from approved providers or from working on LEED projects.
Remember that now through October, you can get all six required LEED-specific hours for free through USGBC's Principles of LEED series, whether you're in the prescriptive path, looking to upgrade or already have a current credential. Register here: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials/leed-ap/upgrade

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Bonnie Richardson AIA, LEED AP Architect/Principal Planner City of Tempe
Nov 07 2012
LEEDuser Member
51 Thumbs Up

Legacy LEED AP

Thanks so much for coming up with a simplified and reasonable way of documenting ongoing education! Over the years I've accummulated many more hours than required for a LEED Specialty, and I have a thick file of the documentation of these hours, but everytime I begin to input the data I have to reacquaint myself with all the rules and then still feel confused about what goes where -- and I end up putting it off until I 'have more time.'

I opted in for the Specialty, and now I feel it will be much easier to complete the task. Also, I really appreciate the opportunity for free webinars!! I often take advantage of webinars and on-line learning opportunities that are fee-free, and it sounds like these webinars will contain valuable content. Thanks!

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Zachary Rohlfs Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer
Nov 06 2012
Guest
161 Thumbs Up

How does this people still using the title LEED AP

How is this relevant to the fact that people may still use the title LEED AP without needing CEU hours or keeping themselves up to date on current building practices? I would love for someone to explain what benefit there is to upgrading, I am only seeing negatives.

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Erin Emery Hartz Manager, Marketing & Product Development, U.S. Green Building Council Nov 07 2012 LEEDuser Member 94 Thumbs Up

Hi Zachary,
Having the specialty credential shows clients, colleagues and employers that one's knowledge of LEED and green building is current and being actively cultivated and maintained. We feel that the market is recognizing the difference. Like LEED certification, it's a third-party verification that a professional is rigorously keeping up to date with his or her knowledge of quickly evolving principles and practices.

Beginning with LEED V4, only a specialty credential will earn a project the ID credit for having a LEED professional on its team.

And although we will never revoke the LEED AP credential, USGBC/GBCI will eventually phase out its support services for LEED APs without specialty, such as their listing in the public LEED Professional directories.

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Zachary Rohlfs Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer Nov 08 2012 Guest 161 Thumbs Up

I have to disagree with you Erin, as someone who is a LEED AP BD&C I do not like or think it wise to have people still able to be just plain LEED AP. USGBC could 'upgrade' them all to LEED GA if they do not pick a specialty. This would weed out the people who no longer wish to be a LEED AP.

Similarly, almost every Engineer or Architect would never allow the PE or AIA name to be tarnished with people who never complete some form of continuing education, USGBC is once again making a mistake in my eyes. I am sorry if you feel differently, but people respond better to having something taken away than being given something.

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Larry Sims Principal, Studio4, LLC Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 2069 Thumbs Up

Erin, LEED APs were made aware that their credential would never be revoked, but when was the decision made to "eventually phase out its support services for LEED APs without specialty, such as their listing in the public LEED Professional directories"? It was my understanding that USGBC, at first, placed LEED APs on an "inactive" list, but this was withdrawn given the outrage expressed.

Zachary, how can you equate a LEED credential, earned by some simply studying a few documents, with a PE or AIA, earned through a multi-year college education program and work experience? Whether you like it or think it wise, prior to LEED 2009, it was these very 60,000+ professionals who were instrumental in elevating USGBC to the position the organization enjoys today in the field of sustainability. And we did so by self-educating ourselves while educating USGBC. In the majority of instances I agree with the Specialties and CMP, but I will never understand why anyone, including USGBC, disparages and belittles LEED APs. Being retired from the active workforce, since 2008 I’ve dedicated myself to educating and tutoring thousands of LEED candidates around the globe, often at no charge to impoverished people in third world countries. I simply have neither the desire nor time to pigeon-hole myself with one or more specialties.

BTW, these changes are great and will be welcomed by all.

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Zachary Rohlfs Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer Nov 12 2012 Guest 161 Thumbs Up

Larry,

I agree the first LEED APs were integral in creating what is the current situation, so why was there not a General LEED AP created or the LEED AP title kept and you 'could' specialize. LEED APs would still have to perform CEUs pay a fee and the specialties would be that showing that you are an 'expert' in the subject. On the side Green Associate is such a bad title I doubt anyone would ever try to get just that and not get their LEED AP immediately.

My main question is 'Did the existing LEED APs feel they had done enough and didn't want to have to do more?' The USGBC seems to have written the laws as such. I would be happy to listen to some other profession where there is a credentialing system similar to this that is taken seriously. That is what the USGBC wants is it not?

I honestly, feel until USGBC addresses some of these issues, they will continue to be something that people 'game' to gain the tax credits, status or whatever they want from the organization.

-Zach

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15062 Thumbs Up

Zach said, "Similarly, almost every Engineer or Architect would never allow the PE or AIA name to be tarnished with people who never complete some form of continuing education..."

My State does not require PE's to have any continuing education. I am also licensed in 2 other states that do require continuing education of 8 hours and 30 hours. It is very dependant on the state. Some states will even allow a person to be a PE without having a 4-year degree from an accredited university. I wouldn't say the title is tarnished because of the various levels to compliance. The title has meaning and value because the authority (states) gives it meaning and value.

Likewise, if the GA title has little value to you then it's a result of the authority (USGBC) not giving it any value.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

Testing has little to do with the knowledge required for a engineering or architecture job.

I have a PE license. The knowledge required to pass the test is not knowledge you will use again.

I started on the path to earn a Architecture license, but stopped after a few tests. The cost of renewing the license did not seem worth it.

What is most important about testing, is not knowing the answer to a specific question, but knowing how to solve a problem using available resources and knowledge learned from past experiences. Experiences can come from anywhere, they do do not need to be related to what you learned in school or a university.

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Zachary Rohlfs Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer Nov 12 2012 Guest 161 Thumbs Up

Bill,

I honestly, would like to see some value to the LEED specialties. This is the crux of my argument from the beginning. What is the point of the specialties except for more letters and you need CEUs and pay a fee.

Sure people in the 'know' know what the difference is, but if you walk up to someone on the street and say hi I am a LEED AP or LEED AP BD+C they will not know the difference.

I am honestly curious how many people care about the differences.

EDIT: I would happily trade my LEED AP BD+C for a simple LEED AP status where I do not have to do CEU and pay a renewal fee.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

I work with a lot of people who have LEED APs with specialties. What I find is that most have no clue how to document or manage a real LEED project. Yes, they passed the test and maintain their credential. But, a maintained credential has little to do with certifying an actual LEED project.

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Zachary Rohlfs Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer Nov 12 2012 Guest 161 Thumbs Up

Well, my experience has been the opposite. I am a LEED AP with specialty and I have worked with LEED APs who are clueless. My current office is better than my previous one. I still knew many LEED APs who studied and passed the test easily and then did not care anymore.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

I don't understand your point.

A LEED AP maintained credential is not a guarantee that an individual can completely manage and document a LEED project from start to end.

A LEED AP credential that is not maintained does not mean an individual cannot completely manage and document a LEED project from start to end.

Just so you know, I met the maintenance requirements for my credential within the first six months of the reporting period. Before the first year was up I could meet the requirements by solely following two different paths. I have over maintained my credential.

I have also helped a lot of LEED APs document LEED credits, and I let them claim the credential maintenance hours as long as they do a significant part of the work required. I give away a lot of credit hours. That is the way it should be, in my opinion.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow 7group
Nov 05 2012
LEEDuser Expert
42316 Thumbs Up

Just in Time!

My date is in December and I have procrastinated doing anything. Sounds like I may be glad I waited.

I would also put in a plug for waiving the CMP entirely for LEED Fellows!

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Larry Sims Principal, Studio4, LLC Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 2069 Thumbs Up

Agreed Marcus. And congrats on being "exceptional"!

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 42316 Thumbs Up

Thanks Larry. Not sure about exceptional, more like lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15062 Thumbs Up

I was just wondering what it would mean if one of the first LEED Fellows, who drafts language for the next version of LEED, and who is a LEEDuser Expert with the highest thumbs up rating, can't meet the CMP requirements?

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 42316 Thumbs Up

Hey Bill,

I can meet the requirements easily, that is not the issue. LEED Fellows must currently meet all the CMP requirements and are also given added responsibilities. So while it is an honor to have the title, there are no other direct benefits which come along. More is asked of us who have already given much. I certainly have benefited from LEED so I am happy to contribute which is why I give freely here and as a USGBC volunteer. So being excused from the CMP reporting requirements would be a nice benefit and incentive to others.

My comment was not to excuse Fellows from continuing education but from the reporting system. Last time I renewed my credential I opted for testing instead of CMP as I was required to do so as LEED Faculty. Although the fact that CMP got easier recently will hopefully mitigate the difficulty associated with my procrastination.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP, Integrated Architecture Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 15062 Thumbs Up

I didn't think you were trying to make an excuse. I just found it ironic if one of the most qualified individuals hasn't been able to meet the CMP requirements. I consider documentation as part of the requirements.

When LEED Fellow first came out I thought it would be a lifetime designation that didn't require any CMP. Then I realized that you have to maintain your AP w/ specialty status in order to keep the Fellow status. :( I'd be fine not requiring continuing education for individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to education and engagement.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

I can concur with Marcus, the GBCI/USGBC does not give any of the original LEED APs, or Fellows, and developers any credentialing credit.

As one of the developers of LEED CI, as well as a developer of LEED NC, and vice chair of a LEED Technical Advisory Group (TAGLEED Technical Advisory Group (TAG): Subcommittees that consist of industry experts who assist in developing credit interpretations and technical improvements to the LEED system.), I had the option of selecting either BD+C or ID+C for my credential. I chose BD+C. To get the ID+C I have to pay for and take the test. Same for any other specialty credential.

The way the LEED credentialing system works, it makes you wonder why anyone would volunteer their time to help the USGBC develop LEED.

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Marcus Sheffer LEED Fellow, 7group Nov 12 2012 LEEDuser Expert 42316 Thumbs Up

It is somewhat ironic Bill but mostly my fault.

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Gang Chen Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C ArchiteG, Inc.
Nov 03 2012
Guest
211 Thumbs Up

I am very happy to see these

I am very happy to see these changes. They are long overdue.

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Bill Swanson PE, LEED AP Integrated Architecture
Nov 02 2012
LEEDuser Expert
15062 Thumbs Up

With Specialty expired

I know several people who opted in but never completed the 30 hours of continuing education in the required 2 year period and now have expired specialties. Will these people be treated like all of the other Legacy APs and allowed to opt in again? Or have they used up their chance?

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Tristan Roberts LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser, BuildingGreen, Inc. Nov 02 2012 LEEDuser Moderator

Bill, those people have a fresh shot.

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Erin Emery Hartz Manager, Marketing & Product Development, U.S. Green Building Council Nov 02 2012 LEEDuser Member 94 Thumbs Up

Hi Bill, Tristan is correct. They can access instructions on how to upgrade again via this link: https://new.usgbc.org/leed/credentials/leed-ap/upgrade

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THOMAS HARDEY Principal, Hardey Green Consulting Co. Nov 03 2012 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

Like the extending of the vote on LEED v4, it shows a high level of responsiveness to members by the USGBC. I like it.

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THOMAS HARDEY Principal, Hardey Green Consulting Co. Nov 12 2012 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

I am a LEED AP BD+C. I am not a design professional although I do have an engineering degree I've never used. My career took me in a different direction into technical sales/consulting in a number of technical fields.

I care a lot about LEED. In less than twelve months I have far exceeded the 30 hour requirement for CMPs through continuing ed, webinars and extensive volunteering with my local USGBC chapter through leading a LEED GA study program .and other activities. However, other than the required project experience, I have not gained any additional project experience.

Zachary, is it your contention that individuals like myself, who gained LEED AP specialty through extensive study and through legitimately meeting USGBC requirements, somehow devalue the prestige of the AP designation?

That seems to be what you are implying.

Do you feel that, say, professional city planners or code enforcement professionals who are not engineers or architects, but for whom green building knowledge and practice are of great value, devalue AP designation?

Is it your suggestion that USGBC's policy of inclusion, versus exclusion, of certain professions, serves to lessen the legitimacy of an AP accreditation?

Is it your contention that the passion of a non-design professional who stays involved and educated on green building principles and practices contributes less value to the USGBC "brand" or image than a licensed design professional who earns AP accreditation and does nothing with it?

I admit these are questions that concern me as a non-design professional looking to contribute in some way to the advancement of sustainable building practices and to earn a living from it, at least in some small way.

I suggest, from my perspective, your view is somewhat jaded and possibly shared by many of equal professional standing. I am not naive to the idea these attitudes exist.

Just take caution that it does not serve as a means to discourage well minded professionals from other fields who can potentially contribute great energy, passion and insight to a flawed, but evolving discipline.

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Zachary Rohlfs Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer Nov 12 2012 Guest 161 Thumbs Up

Here is my contention.

LEED AP does not equal LEED AP (speciality) yet for most layman it does as I contend they do not know the difference.

LEED AP can sit do nothing and still claim LEED status. LEED AP (speciality) have to do something but can still do the same.

I contend the arbitrary nature of the LEED AP status not having to get CEU (which can cost a lot of money and personal time) and paying a fee is unfair given the LEED AP (specialty) does.

This is not I personally do x,y,z to stay current this is about what you have to do to maintain a status.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

Let me tell you what is really ugly about LEED AP maintenance hours. I have been victimized by well-known architects and owner who are LEED APs with specialty.

After doing all of the work to document a project, some of these APs have attempted to claim credit hours as LEED Project Administrators and have done nearly nothing on the project. They have also attempted to claim continuing hours for specific credits by insisting they can enter the final data into the LEED Forms, without having collected the information, and not knowing how the information should be entered into the form.

The above problem is occurring because some LEED APs are desperate to maintain their credentials, and have no desire to actually do the work. They want someone else to do their homework.

As far as I can tell, the GBCI does not want to get involved with this type of cheating. They leave the dispute up to the parties involved. Unfortunately, the GBCI policy is to always do what the owner wants. If the owner or Project Administrator is unscrupulous there is nothing you can do about it.

Many firms and owners are honest. I am starting to see some who are not.

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THOMAS HARDEY Principal, Hardey Green Consulting Co. Nov 12 2012 Guest 33 Thumbs Up

Hernando, It does not surprise me that people "struggling" with ethics or desperate to maintain their credential in the 11th hour would do such things.

I would suggest this is something that would best be addressed in the design contract stage, i.e., closing a loophole, if you will. As unfortunate as it is to have to do something like that, it is no different than any other legitimate measure to protect one's 'intellectual property' in an agreement for services.

Looking at it from that angle, I would understand USGBC's hesitance to put themselves in between two parties in such a dispute. Otherwise, the entire enterprise would come to a screetching halt.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

The GBCI has a lot of work to do to prevent false-claiming of maintenance hours from happening.

I have no need to keep the hours for myself. I am willing to give up hours but only if someone does a significant part of the work themselves. Significant means about 1/3rd to me for LEED documentation.

One of my green goals is teaching others how to document LEED credits on their own. It is truly ugly to find people who refuse to take me up on my offer, have me do the work, and then try to claim credit themselves.

Unfortunately, that is how "business" works in the real world. It should not be part of the green world, but taking credit for work done by others is starting to rear its ugly head.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 12 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

As an interesting side note, I just got an email for a continuing education class taught by someone listing the following honors:

PE
Ph.D.
CIPE
CFPE
LEED AP
PE Civil
PE Electrical
PE Mechanical

The class is not one I would typically take, but it might be worth the $50 fee to find out what this individual has to say about sustainability.

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Brian Giguere AIA Senior Architect, sdoi Nov 13 2012 Guest 8 Thumbs Up

With these recent changes, I am again considering a LEED specialty designation. However, in our practice, we do projects under BD&C and ID&C, and occasionally under EBOMEBOM is an acronym for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance, one of the LEED 2009 rating sytems.. I would have to chose one. I COULD get them all, but the CE burden would be quite significant. If I were only to work on ID&C projects and not get project experience on a BD&C project in my two year window (or vice versa) where does that leave me if I select a specialty? The implication here is that professionals can only be good at one thing....why doesn't GBCI consider adding CE requirements and a fee to keep just the LEED AP designation as a more general category. That seems to be part of the issue in this whole discussion with the people who have chosen a specialty, that the legacy professionals are getting by too easily and not having to stay current. Believe me, if you don't stay current you probably won't get any work related to LEED, the competition out there is way too fierce.

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Hernando Miranda Owner, Soltierra LLC Nov 13 2012 Guest 7369 Thumbs Up

I was one of the first five people to earn a LEED AP.

I could have retained the AP designation, and worked on LEED projects. What I would not be able to do is claim the LEED AP ID Credit. That required me to dumb down my credential.

I was a developer of LEED CI, as a volunteer to the USGBC, and I wrote more than 1/2 of the LEED CI Pilot Reference Guide, essentially for no fee. Still, the USGBC/GBCI require me to take the LEED ID+C exam and provide additional continuing education hours, evidently to prove I know something about ID&C.

I don't how what a legacy LEED AP like me is required to do by the USGBC/GBCI makes anyone think we are getting by too easily, and not staying current.

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Erin Emery Hartz Manager, Marketing & Product Development, U.S. Green Building Council Nov 14 2012 LEEDuser Member 94 Thumbs Up

Hi Brian,
You can select the primary specialty that makes the most sense for you. Project experience is one of four ways to earn CE hours, but it is not required.

You can add additional specialties by taking the specialty exams. It would be another 6 hours of CMP every two years for each additional specialty.

We will not be changing the terms and conditions of the LEED AP designation. However, we agree with you that the specialty AP and CMP is the best way to show your knowledge is current in the competitive market landscape.

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Marsha Gentile CSBA, LEED AP BD+C Construction Sustainability Specialist, Ledcor Construction Limited Nov 28 2012 LEEDuser Member 11 Thumbs Up

I am happy to see streamlilned CE Reporting and simplified eligibility requirements. I am a LEED AP BD+C and am into my third reporting period having just submitted my latest 30 CE hours and $50.

I am not sure how I feel about the 'Legacy LEED APs' now being able to watch a webinar to meet their prescriptive requirements. Everybody had the same opportunity to 'opt in' and some chose not to. Since 2009 those of us with Specialties will have documented between 30 and 60 CE hours to 'earn' and keep our Specialties. I think this kind of devalues the credential.

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deborah lucking associate, fentress architects Dec 17 2012 LEEDuser Member 1316 Thumbs Up

I will be happy to see all these Legacy LEED APs "opt in". Yes, there is dishonesty in reporting; yes, there is gaming of the system. But by requiring continuing education in the form of CMP, USGBC is incentivizing more people to keep their knowledge-base current, and maybe even understand and actually practice the principles of sustainable design. The ultimate goal is to improve how we build for the future - and encouraging sustainability literacy - not just knowledge of LEED project administration - is one more way to get us there.

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James Trynosky Mechanical Engineer, AECOM Jul 03 2013 LEEDuser Member 12 Thumbs Up

My specialty just lapsed and I am out of the grace period, but I have enough project experience and credits to have renewed. Is there anyway to do this retroactively?

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Larry Sims Principal, Studio4, LLC Jul 04 2013 LEEDuser Expert 2069 Thumbs Up

On its face, it depends on when your credential expired and whether or not you earned the credits during your two year reporting period. There are hardship circumstances GBCI will consider.

http://www.gbci.org/cmp/fees-and-renewal.aspx

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Sep 20 2014
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