3 Perspectives on Being a LEED Green Associate


The D+R International (D+R) team values staying up to date in the world of sustainability and green building. Every year, members from our team choose to study for professional certifications in order to stay up-to-date on their green building knowledge. Professional certificates are a great way to build on our existing backgrounds in areas such as sustainability, environmental science, and environmental engineering.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) professional credentials have been popular among the credentials and certificates earned by the D+R team. LEED, developed by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC ), is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. By taking the LEED Green Associate Exam, sustainability professionals are able to measure their general knowledge of green building practices.
We asked LEED Green Associates around the office about why they decided to go through this process:

I had been interested in USGBC and the LEED program for a long time, but never had the opportunity to work directly on a LEED project. I pursued the LEED Green Associate credential to get a more in-depth understanding of how the certification works and how USGBC addresses the varying elements of building life-cycle sustainability through its point system. I appreciated the overview of the program that I got from studying for the test and have a personal interest in digging deeper into the requirements, potentially through a LEED AP credential. Having this credential has made me think more critically about all of the home renovations I have been doing over the past year, and I appreciate the cost considerations for LEED projects! – Erika Burns

I took an engineering class during my graduate program at Johns Hopkins that was mainly focused on the LEED Green Associate so that sparked the idea. I mainly got certified because I think everybody in our field should take it. – Melisa Edwards

The CEO of USGBC went to Syracuse University, so my local university chapter was strongly nurtured by CEO Rick Fedrizzi, which I joined as a junior and senior. I graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering, but decided I wanted to focus more on energy efficiency rather than traditional water resource engineering. I ended up taking the LEED Green Associate Exam after starting at D+R to increase my awareness of sustainability in the built environment. – Rosemary Jojic

Based on our experiences, we have found the LEED Green Associate Exam to be a great way to solidify a general understanding of green building and sustainability for professionals who do not work directly on LEED projects. Studying for this exam and being involved in the green building community has added perspective to our personal and professional endeavors. This is one of the many certifications that allows us to expand on our interests by learning outside of the office.

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