I am pleased to report that last week I took and passed the exam to become a LEED Accredited Professional (AP). LEED is the certification system for green buildings created by and managed by the US Green Building Council. There are many programs and certifications for green buildings that have sprung up over the last couple of decades, but LEED is the most well recognized in the United States. By passing the test I demonstrated my understanding of the LEED certification process, the criteria to certify a building and a basic understanding of green building practices and technologies. (Although I will note that anyone with enough time to cram a bunch of information into their head could probably pass the test. . .at least until now: they are currently changing the certification process for the future.)
What the US Green Building Council and other organizations (such as EPA's Energy Star Buildings program) are doing to transform the built environment is critical in the battle against climate change. Buildings are responsible for 35%-40% of greenhouse gas emissions and use more than 60% of the electricity generated in the US. They have an enormous environmental impact. What's great is that the technologies and practices to make a huge improvement in the energy performance of buildings is already out there. Organizations like LEED, with the help of practitioners like me (hopefully), can help accelerate the adoption of those technologies and practices and help transform the buildings sector.