You can easily earn this point, simply by including a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) as an integral member of the project team. Since the LEED certification process relies on detailed understanding of LEED, having a LEED AP on board benefits the project and can save significant time and effort, while earning your project a point with this credit.
The LEED AP needs to be involved as a “principal participant” from the start of the project, according to the credit language.
The LEED AP credential program was overhauled in spring 2009. Anyone who received LEED AP recognition before then is equally eligible to contribute to this credit.
One of the features of the new LEED AP system is “LEED AP+” specialties corresponding to the different LEED rating systems. For a "Design and Construction" project, a LEED AP BD+C (for “building design and construction”) should have specific design and construction knowledge and project experience, and is probably worth seeking out.
A LEED Green Associate is a lower-tier credential compared to a LEED AP and will not earn the credit.
Becoming a LEED AP will lead to some costs related to exam
preparation, the exam registration fee of several hundred dollars, and
any training manuals or classes. However, unlike other credits that may
require capital investments, these expenses may be considered normal
professional development, and will benefit this project and future
projects as the individual applies their LEED and green building
As part of the updated requirements, to be eligible to take the exam, you must have
experience working on at least one LEED project within the last three
years, as well as having a letter of recommendation.
Identify if any integral member of the project team has obtained LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) status.
A LEED AP should be significantly involved throughout the project. There are no specific requirements or actions that the LEED AP must be responsible for, but there are recommendations below for Design Development and beyond.
A LEED project team is generally made up of owners, engineers, architects, interior designers, landscape designers, civil engineers, commissioning agents, contractors and other professionals. Some projects will also include energy auditors, LEED consultants, operations personnel, and representatives from service contractors. Any of these individuals may be a LEED AP, or may find it worthwhile to become one.
Any type of LEED AP—one with or without specialization—can qualify the project for this credit.
A team member holding the LEED Green Associate credential would contribute to the project with background knowledge in green building, but this lower-tier credential does not qualify the project for this credit.
The LEED AP credential program was overhauled in spring 2009. Although the credential is now being administered very differently, anyone who already received the LEED AP designation before these updated requirements is still equally eligible to contribute to this credit.
A LEED Accredited Professional who has worked on the specific rating system your project is filing under will be more effective than one who has worked on other rating systems or on no LEED projects at all.
If project team does not include a LEED AP, consider hiring a LEED AP to assist with the project, or asking one or more team members to become LEED APs. The LEED AP credential should be earned prior to the start of the project. Doing so ensures that person’s availability in assisting with planning before the start of the design.
It is more helpful to have a LEED AP that is not directly responsible for design as the LEED AP will ideally be assisting all design and construction trades to ensure the LEED process is on track. It may be difficult for a LEED AP to effectively manage the LEED process if, for example, they are also responsible for the architectural design.
Becoming a LEED AP will lead to some costs related to exam preparation, the exam registration fee of several hundred dollars, and any training manuals or classes. However, unlike other credits that may require capital investments, these expenses may be considered normal professional development, and will benefit the project building in many ways as the individual applies that green building knowledge.
There is no formal training required to pass the exam and become a LEED AP. The cost of exam preparation can be reduced through independent studying and use of free information on green building.
The LEED AP needs to be an integral member of the project team, but there are no specific requirements that will hold true for all projects. Below are recommended action steps.
The LEED AP helps the design team set appropriate LEED credit goals and works with all aspects of the design team helping to ensure that the goals are met.
Orient team members to their exact responsibilities and what they will need to deliver as part of the LEED submittal.
Decide whether the project will do a phased submittal—with a Design submittal of eligible credits, prior to a Construction submittal. A phased submittal gives you an official opinion on whether you are on track to receive a specific credit, or not. This gives you a chance to adjust your approach on any rejected credits, and make changes during construction to earn additional credits to meet a certification target.
Review all Design credit submittals as documentation comes in from all the team members. If you are doing a phased submittal, submit all Design credits at the end of Construction Documents.
Provide a scanned copy of the LEED AP certificate and confirm the LEED AP status as an integral project team member.
Coordinate the collection and submission of all LEED documentation, working with all team members involved in the construction phase of the project. Review all documentation as it comes in.
If you are doing a phased submittal, submit all construction documents at the end of construction. If you are not doing a phased submittal, submit all design and construction documents at the end of construction.
Excerpted from LEED 2009 for Schools New Construction and Major Renovations
To support and encourage the design integration required by LEED to streamline the application and certification process.
At least 1 principal participant of the project team shall be a LEED Accredited Professional (AP).
You may use the LEED v4 version of this credit on v2009 projects. For more information check out this article.
Educate the project team members about green building design and construction, the LEED requirements and application process early in the life of the project. Consider assigning integrated designAn integrated design process (also called "integrative" design by some proponents) relies on a multidisciplinary and collaborative team approach in which members make decisions together based on a shared vision and holistic understanding of the project. Rather than a conventional linear design process in which a design is passed from one professional to another, an integrated process has all key team members talking together through out the design and construction process as they share ideas and use feedback across disciplines to iteratively move toward a high-performing design. and construction process facilitation to the LEED AP.
GBCI is the organization running the LEED credentialing programs, and provides information on obtaining LEED AP+ designation, including test registration.
Documentation for this credit is part of the Construction Phase submittal.
This tipsheet outlines essential steps for preparing to ace the LEED Green Associate exam.
This webinar recording offers essential guidance on the new LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) program and its credential maintenance requirements.
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LEED AP BD+C, Editorial Director – LEEDuser
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