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I was glad that my employer, BuildingGreen, picked up the cost of my LEED-AP exam. Becoming a LEED Accredited Professional through the Green Building Certification Institute (the new manager of the exam for the U.S. Green Building Council) costs a small chunk of change, in addition to the study time. How do firms approach this investment?
The Zweig Letter, "the voice of reason for architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms," a weekly newsletter that we subscribe to, recently ran an article by Khrista Trerotola asking, "How does your firm get employees LEED accredited and how is the process handled and the costs covered?" From the article:
Adam Gross, principal at Ayers/Saint/Gross (ASG) (Baltimore, MD), a 140-person architecture and planning firm:
"ASG has 51 staff members who are LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED AP). This represents 51% of our architectural staff. The firm set a goal of getting more than 50% of our staff LEED AP, which we achieved by the end of 2007. We are also proud that 77% of our principals and 72% of all titled staff are LEED AP.
"We have a Sustainable Team within each office that coordinates general sustainability efforts relating to our projects. ASG encourages all its employees to become LEED APs.... ASG reimburses all employees when they pass the LEED exam for the full cost of the test. Up until the end of 2007, the cost of the test was $250 per person; currently, it is $300. To date, certifying our staff has cost ASG $12,750. We also compensate staff for 2.5 hours of time to take the test. As we have many staff who have already passed this test, the office has a strong support system in place to assist others with this effort...."
David Ohlemeyer, principal at The Lawrence Group, Inc. (St. Louis, MO), a 200-person building design, planning, and project delivery firm:
"Peer-led study groups for each section of the LEED... exam began here in August 2006.... The group was named Lawrence Group LEEDers. Volunteer teams presented material that is on the LEED accreditation exam to help participants gain an overall understanding of the LEED process and intent. The study group was open to anyone in the company, and The Lawrence Group provided the main conference room, lunch, and enormous encouragement. To date, The Lawrence Group has assisted 24 designers in becoming LEED APs."
How do your firms and businesses support you and your colleagues in becoming LEED-APs? How effective and useful is that support?
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