Sarah Corbitt-Intern Architect LEED AP BD+C

Archive for February, 2011

Why I Decided to Convert My LEED Accreditation

Friday, February 4th, 2011

I recently attended a US Green Building Council Charlotte Region Chapter event on LEED AP credentialing and maintenance, as part of the process of ‘converting’ my general LEED AP credential to the more up-to-date designation of LEED AP With Specialty. As a Specialty, I’ve chosen BD+C, which is the USGBC’s acronym for Building Design + Construction. This is the rating system which is roughly equivalent to the New Construction rating system test that I originally took to become accredited.
Why would a LEED AP do this? As someone who tested under the LEED 2.2 rating system, I can opt (Option 1) to remain a LEED AP under all successive versions of LEED (we’re in LEED 3.0/2009 now) in perpetuity. And the LEED AP BD+C requires 30 hours of continuing education over 2 years to ‘convert’ (Option 2). With continuing education guidelines which are more stringent and also different than the AIA’s CEUs, I am looking at a lot of continuing education. And for what? Well, the benefits aren’t entirely clear right now – there’s no threat the general LEED AP designation will expire in the foreseeable future. But, I believe in trying to quantify the effects of good, green design choices, and it’s worth it to me to stick with LEED, and stay up-to-date. I’m also looking at the conversion process as a bonus for research that I would already be doing – might as well get the credential!
There is a third option for ‘converting’ to a specialty AP designation, and that option is retesting (Option 3). I’m more interested in the continuing education rather the testing, so the continuing ed makes more sense for me, right now. As usual, in design and sustainability, there are choices and trade-offs to be made, and no ‘wrong’ answer.

I’ll keep you posted on how the Credentialing Maintenance Program (CMP) is going – that’s the documentation of my continuing education hours.

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