Congratulations! You’re now a LEED AP or LEED Green Associate (GA). Passing the LEED exam is the first step in your green building profession. Throughout your career, it’s crucial for you to remain current on the latest green building practices; LEED changes and updates; local, state and national green-related codes and laws; green building strategies and techniques; green products, etc.

If you want to succeed at LEED, learning must be a part of your green building professional career. LEED education is extremely important to the USGBC and GBCI, too. Therefore, to maintain your LEED AP or Green Associate (GA) credentials, you need to continue your LEED education even after you’ve passed the exams. (After all, clients want to know that the LEED professionals they hire are current on the latest green building and LEED information.)

To maintain your LEED credentials, LEED Green Associates (GAs) are required to earn 15 CE hours biennially (3 hours must be LEED specific). LEED APs are required to earn 30 CE hours biennially (6 hours must be LEED specific.) So how do you get your CE credits/hours? There are eight ways to earn LEED GBCI CE hours:

  • Education Review Body-Approved Activities
  • College and University Courses
  • Live Presentations
  • Self-Study
  • Authorship
  • Certificates, Professional Licenses and Other Credentials
  • Committee and Volunteer Work
  • LEED Project Participation

Here are some great ways for you to earn your LEED CE hours:

Green Building Education Services has created some amazing LEED GBCI CE online courses. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has approved the technical and instructional quality of these courses for 20 GBCI CE hours towards the LEED Credential Maintenance Program. For only $99 the GBCI CE 20-Hour Package gives you the online LEED continuing education courses you need to get all (or the majority of) your LEED credential maintenance program CEs. All of these CE hours count as ‘Education Reviewing Body-Approved Activities’ (Activity Type 1 in the CMP guide).*

Self-Study is a great opportunity if you’re short on time — or money. To earn CE hours, self-study must be at least one hour in length and pertain to a CE category that is relevant to your specialty. You can earn 1 CE hour for the first activity hour and 0.5 CE hour per additional half of an activity hour. Self-Study LEED CE hours cannot exceed five hours. Any study (research, reading, etc.) that pertains to a relevant CE category will qualify for CE hours. You will need to provide a record of the periodical, specifying the pages you read and the topic(s) it addresses. Here are some very informative and easy-to-read books that you can read and count towards your LEED self-study CE hours:

  • Green Building Fundamentals 2ndEdition by Michael Monoya
  • LEED-New Construction Project Management by Vijaya Yellamraju
  • Green Construction Project Management and Cost Oversight by Sam Kubba
  • Guidebook to the LEED Certification Process by Michelle Cottrell

You can find these and other great LEED-related resources at Amazon.com.

(Just a friendly note about buying books. I have more than 15+ years’ experience in the publishing industry. Self-publishing is really easy these days, so you’ll find a lot of poor quality LEED books on Amazon.com. I recommend that when you’re looking for a book to read, first take a look at the publication/copyright year. Only purchase books that were written in 2010 or later (unless the topic is one that doesn’t change rapidly). The other thing to pay close attention to is the publisher. Only purchase books from well-known publishers like Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wiley or other nationally known publishing companies. These are books that you know contains information that has been cross-checked for accuracy.)

Write, Write, Write A great way to build your LEED professional reputation AND earn LEED GBCI CE credits, is to write an article or book. To earn CE hours, published articles and books must pertain to a CE category that is relevant to your specialty. You can get LEED-specific credit as long as the article or book focuses heavily on LEED. The only catch is that the article must be published during your reporting period. Some great ways to get your articles published is to become an author on eZineArticles.com or other article websites or to check with industry magazines to see if they accept LEED article submissions. For writing about LEED, you can earn 3CE hours per published article and ten CE hours per published book.

These are just some of the many ways to get your LEED CEs. With a little creativity, you may even find that completing your CEs is almost as rewarding as passing your LEED exam. All the best!!