LEED Green Associate and LEED Credentialing

The LEED Green Associate credential is intended for professionals who want to demonstrate green building expertise in non-technical fields of practice.  The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has created the LEED Green Associate credential, which denotes basic knowledge of green design, construction and operations.

The LEED professional credentialing program provides third party administration and verification of the LEED Professional Credentials (LEED Green Associate, LEED APs).

LEED Professional Credentials demonstrate current knowledge of green building technologies, best practices, and the rapidly evolving LEED Rating Systems. They show differentiation in a growing and competitive industry, and they allow for varied levels of specialization. Show your industry expertise!

A LEED Professional Credential provides employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders with assurances of an individual’s level of competence and is the mark of the most qualified, educated, and influential green building professionals in the marketplace.

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system,  providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. LEED is flexible enough to apply to all building types – commercial as well as residential. It works throughout the building lifecycle – design and construction, operations and maintenance, tenant fitout, and significant retrofit.

Army National Guard Sustainable Design & Development and Facility Operation Training

GPTC completed training & consulting for Installation Command (IMCOM). Army National Guard Facility Managers received policy training and education on energy efficiency, water use consumption reduction, development of renewable and alternative energy, green building operations & maintenance.  It is a very important rating system for the Army, because over 80,000 of their existing structures are over 30 years old. While new construction can be rated under the LEED for Building Design & Construction system, these older structures can benefit greatly from a LEED for EBOM overhaul, saving millions of taxpayer dollars in the long run.

The first two days of the training seminar covered the basics of LEED for Existing Buildings in great detail, covering all of the material we generally discuss in our Live and Online Training Courses. The third day of training consisted of a hands-on LEED Project Registration, wherein the students were assigned a variety of LEED credits, and used the support documents for the project to actually go through the process of registering a LEED project on LEED Online. This is equivalent to what our LEED Project Management Experience students have the opportunity to do, and not only does it help the students to gain valuable experience, it also makes them eligible for the LEED AP exam, as the prerequisites for that exam require you to have participated on a LEED Project!

Day four was a special trip to Phoenix’s Burton Barr Public Library, a LEED for Existing Buildings Gold project. There the students were able to view many project additions and enhancements in person, including a building automation system, rooftop HVAC enhancements, and low-water landscaping. Our thanks to the Phoenix Public Library system and Wally Scholz, our tour guide for the day. And we hope that everyone had a fun and educational couple of days in Phoenix!

California Green Jobs

Our Working Definition of Green Jobs
Green jobs produce (supply) goods or services that result in:
Generating and storing renewable energy
Recycling existing materials
Energy efficient product manufacturing, distribution, construction, installation, and maintenance
Education, compliance and awareness
Natural and sustainable product manufacturing

Comparison to Other States’ Green Workforce Surveys?
Green jobs as a percent
of total employment
California 3.4%
Washington 3.3%
Oregon 3.0%
Michigan 3.0%

Caveat: Definitions vary somewhat between states. Renewable energy, recycling, and energy efficiency are in each states definition

Regional Distribution of Green Jobs
Bay Area
Central Coast
Central Sierra
Greater Sacramento
Northern California
Northern Sacramento Valley
San Joaquin Valley
Southern Border
Southern California

Energy Auditor Training

This training provides administrative and technical training for energy managers, school officials, building operators, and others responsible for energy-efficient facility operation.

In many cases 25 percent or more of a facility’s utility bill can be attributed to inefficient equipment and building operation procedures and is therefore paid unnecessarily. Our workshops are designed for school districts, hospitals, and local government entities who would like help identifying ways to eliminate their unnecessary energy waste.

This Workshops will cover the following topics: energy accounting, energy retrofit financing and energy program planning and evaluation, state-of-the-art energy management technologies and energy efficient building design.


This training is conducted by successful facility energy managers, experienced energy professional. They provide tools and proven strategies to design a locally controlled energy management program that really works. Participants leave the course armed with an customized action plan.

Preliminary Energy Assessment Service

Investing in our communities through improved energy efficiency in private & public buildings is a win-win opportunity for our communities and the state. Energy-efficient buildings reduce energy costs, increase available capital, spur economic growth, and improve working and living environments.

$166,000 Training Grant Award!

The Green Professional Training Center will receive $166,000 from the Employment Training Panel for Green Job Retraining to help California Employers retool their workforce and pursue green job opportunities. America at Work & Green Professional Training Center will administer this training and deliver a comprehensive overview on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the New California Green Building Code (CalGreen) plus provide Energy Star Certification training to small business who need to train employees but otherwise could not afford to pay for this green building training. Once these small business have completed this training they will be able to pursue and compete for Energy Efficiency retrofits, LEED Building Certification, CalGreen and Energy Star building certification projects.

Environmental Specialist

If you don’t have a green job, you may soon be left in the dust. Green-collar jobs have experienced a 9 percent increase in the last 10 years. There’s no turning back now.

The Obama Administration has proposed a $10 billion budget for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop new environmental programs aimed at protecting the country’s ecological resources, while creating new jobs. Additionally, President Obama promises to spend $150 billion over the next decade to create 5 million green-collar jobs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has siphoned billions of dollars into the development of renewable energy. Green building will support an estimated 7.9 million jobs by 2013 and the American Solar Energy Society predicts that renewable energy and energy efficiency will be responsible for 8.5 million new jobs in the years to come.

At Green Professional Training Center, we offer a training programs suited for careers in green industries. We recently introduced four additional programs for people interested in becoming geothermal installers, environmental specialists, hybrid automobile specialists and OSHA safety-trained workers.

Accredited geothermal installers install, operate and maintain geothermal systems. Geothermal is a renewable form of energy that doesn’t add pollution or greenhouse gases to the atmosphere because fossil fuels don’t combust during its operation. The extreme heat trapped in the earth core’s liquid rock creates naturally occurring hot water and steam, which, when close enough to the surface, can be piped to generate electricity. These systems draw from beneath the ground where the temperature is roughly 60 degrees year-round, and the process is used to heat and cool buildings.

Certified environmental specialists protect and preserve the natural environment and human health. They address problems associated with drinking and surface water quality, solid and hazardous waste storage and disposal, indoor and outdoor air quality, radiological health, occupational health, system ecology (interrelationships of organisms and their environments) and sanitary hygiene. Environmental specialists collect and research hazardous samples, record data, prepare reports, maintain monitoring gear and provide support to engineers and scientists. These specialists work in the fields of environmental management, public relations, landscaping, food protection and more. Regulatory and public health agencies, industry, utility companies, engineering firms and universities all seek professionals trained as environmental specialists.

OSHA safety personnel understand the basics of occupational safety and health. They recognize health hazards that may be present in the workplace and offer prevention measures. OSHA training programs are intended for workers, safety directors, foremen and field supervisors in construction and general industries. Those who undergo training obtain a Department of Labor completion card.

We’re pumped about how the United States is retooling its workforce to meet the demands of the burgeoning green economy, and we hope you are too.

LEED Certification, Exam and The USGBC & GBCI

About the USGBC

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that is concerned with improving the quality of life through the establishment of green buildings. Their mission is to change the way that buildings are built and operated to improve the quality of overall life in the U.S.

One of the USGBC’s goals is to change the amount of CO2 emissions the U.S. is responsible for. Changing the way buildings are designed, built and operated can help to change the amount of CO2 they emit. Buildings emitting less CO2 emissions will be better for the environment. This will also be better for the health of the people who live in the community in which the building is located.

The USGBC has other goals also. One of their goals is to make the amount of energy that U.S. buildings use less. They also hope to lessen the amount of water consumption that buildings in the U.S. use yearly.

Buildings that are built by the standards of the United States Green Building Council are called green buildings. Residential and Commercial buildings can be green buildings. By building green buildings the council hopes to also create millions of jobs in the U.S.

About the GBCI

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) is the institute that supplies certification for buildings that have taken measures to become a green building. A green building is a building that has been built by individuals who took the environment into consideration every step of the way during design, construction and operation of the building. A green building can be a commercial building or a residential building. There are even some green communities in which every building in the small community is a green building.

The GBCI offers third party certification and credentials for buildings that meet specific green qualifications to be certified as a green building. Qualifications are based on a numbers ratings system that was set up by the U.S. Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED).

The GBCI certifies and give credentials to those individuals who meet the standards set by LEED. Someone must register to be considered for certification. After the building is registered and ready to be inspected The Green Building Certification Institute works with firms that inspect buildings with the LEED rating system. Buildings that pass all aspects of the inspection based on a number rating system are given credentials to show they are certified.

The LEED Exam

The LEED exam is an exam designed to measure the skills and knowledge of an individual in green design and construction. The exam also tests ones knowledge of green operations. There is also an exam that tests ones knowledge in the LEED certification process.

The LEED exam is two parts. A person may chose to take only the first part or he may chose to take both parts. A person who completes the first part only must complete 15 hours of continuing education. A person who completes both parts must also complete 30 hours of continuing education.

To take the LEED exam a person must have experience. Experience is considered either having experience with a LEED project or attending an education program that teaches the basics of green buildings.

A teacher or employer must write a letter and describe the involvement of the person in the LEED project or class to the CGBI. The person must than pay the fee if he is accepted to take the exam. Once he has been accepted and paid the fee he can take the exam or exams. When the person passes the exam and completes his continuing education hours he will be certified with credentials as having taken the exam.

Why should you Certify with LEED? Why Should You Get Certified?

As the benefits of green living come to the forefront in our society, many industries have developed standards to reduce their impact on the environment. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating Systemâ„¢ was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to serve as the green standard in the building industry. LEED certifies projects ranging from new construction and commercial interiors to schools and homes. There are many benefits to having a LEED certified project such as: lower operating costs, conservation of water and energy, increased value, reduced emissions, healthier occupants and a more productive work environment. The long-term benefits of having a LEED certified building outweigh the initial impact to the project budget.

LEED Rating System

There are six categories open for registration in the LEED rating system, with three in the pilot stages of development. The categories are:

  • LEED for New Construction covers institutional projects, high-rise residential, and government buildings. LEED for Multiple Buildings falls under this title and should be used for projects such as corporate campuses, college campuses and other multi-building settings.
  • LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance covers exterior maintenance programs, recycling programs and chemical use in building cleaning to help occupants reduce environmental impact.
  • LEED for Commercial Interiors covers tenant improvement projects by ensuring that the interiors are healthy, productive places to be and less expensive to operate and maintain.
  • LEED for Core and Shell covers projects in which the developer may have limited control over the construction process. It helps builders implement green building strategies in areas of the project where they do have control.
  • LEED for Schools covers new construction and major renovation projects for K-12school facilities. The certification is designed to address the specific needs of school districts, such as mold prevention, classroom acoustics and master planning.
  • LEED for Homes ensures that homes are designed and constructed with performance and sustainability in mind. As a result, green homes create less waste, use fewer natural resources, and are healthier environments for living.
  • LEED for Retail (in pilot) aims to address the specific needs of new and existing retail space. Both New Construction and Commercial Interiors are expected to launch in the first quarter of 2009.
  • LEED for Healthcare (in pilot) aims to cover long term care facilities, inpatient care facilities, medical offices and assisted living facilities. The program is waiting for approval from the USGBC membership.
  • LEED for Neighborhood Development (in pilot) aims to be the first national system for green neighborhood design. This covers areas that are close to existing towns and city centers, have good transit access and are adjacent to existing development.

LEED For Interior Design & Construction

LEED for Interior Design Exam Track

The LEED for Interior Design exam track provides a standard for professionals participating in the design and construction phases of high performance, healthful, durable, affordable and environmentally-sound commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings.

LEED Accredited Professional

The LEED Professional Accreditation (LEED APs) distinguishes building professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully participate and oversee the LEED Certification process. The LEED AP has demonstrated a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles and the LEED Green Building Rating System. The LEED AP credential represents knowledge of the LEED Rating System and its application in practice. LEED APs facilitate the integrated design process and streamline the LEED Certification process. Many building professionals from across all areas of practice have become LEED APs since the program was launched in 2001.

Benefits for LEED APs include:

  • Valuable and marketable credential for employers, prospective employers, or clients.
  • Listing on USGBC website directory of LEED APs.
  • LEED AP certificate Recognition for involvement in LEED project Benefits for Employers.
  • Eligibility for projects on which owners are mandating the participation of a LEED AP.
  • Strengthened qualifications when responding to RFPs requiring LEED APs. Encourages employees to continue increasing their knowledge and understanding of green building and LEED.


Existing building owners, investors and managers can reduce on-going operating costs and increase occupants’ productivity by “Going Green” and using the LEED for Commercial Interiors Rating System.

This rating system allows renovations, refits and remodels of existing commercial buildings to enter the LEED certification process. It uses voluntary, sustainable performance standards for the ongoing environmentally sound operation of buildings either in use or facing minor changes and updates.

Guidelines cover building: operations, regular upgrades to mechanical systems such as HVAC, slight space-use changes and building processes. The Commercial Interiors system requires proof that each entire building, including tenant spaces, meet LEED prerequisites and attempted credits.