USGBC and GBCI seem to enjoy confusing LEED exam takers and making their lives miserable

One thing that I notice is that USGBC and GBCI tend to spread their information everywhere, but not in one place. They seem to enjoy confusing LEED exam takers and making their lives miserable.

For example, they have some information regarding the responsible party and project phase or case studies that are part of their workshops, but not in their reference guide; they also have a lot of information that is at the GBCI and USGBC websites, but not anywhere else, such as CIR guidelines, MPRs and related requirements, etc.

I just finished writing “LEED GA Exam Guide” (published on 10/28/09), “LEED GA Mock Exams ” (published on 8/6/10), “LEED BD&C Exam Guide” (published on 12/18/09), and the “LEED ID&C Exam Guide” (published on 3/8/10). Another thing that I notice is that because USGBC has expanded the LEED systems so much, they have to have different task groups to write different reference guides, but they are NOT even consistent between reference guides for different LEED systems. It seems like their tasks forces do not even talk to each other and coordinate: For example, ALL LEED systems were based on the platform set by LEED NC, but for EAp2, LEED CI only listed 2 related credits as synergies, but the LEED NC has included MANY more credits for synergies for the same credit, and most of them DO apply to LEED CI also, but the LEED ID+C reference guide misses these credits. Page 121 of LEED Interior Design and Construction Reference Guide also mistakenly listed EAp1 as IEQp2 under Domestic hot water systems for Table 1.

If you are taking the LEED AP BD+C Exam, If you are taking the LEED AP BD+C Exam, you can take USGBC courses or workshops. You should take USGBC classes at both the 100 (Awareness) and 200 (LEED Core Concepts and Strategies) level to successfully prepare for Part One of the exam. USGBC classes at 300 level (Green Building Design & Construction: The LEED Implementation Process) can be taken to prepare for Part Two of the exam. A one-day course normally costs $445 (as of publication) with an early registration discount, otherwise it is $495. You will also have to wait until the USGBC workshops or courses are offered in a city near you.

The problem is: when you go there, after you spend 8 hours and close to $500 for each workshop, the instructor will tell you that the workshops are NOT for LEED exam prep. Come on, you have just spent so much money and time and go through the trouble for the workshops, and they just tell you now the workshops are NOT tailored for the LEED exams? Give me a break.

So, I think third party books are absolutely necessary and they are much more helpful than the USGBC publications and workshops or GBCI and USGBC websites alone.

You can find sample texts and other information on the LEED Exam Guides Series in customer discussion sections under each of my book’s listing on Amazon.

Gang Chen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Author of “Architectural Practice Simplified,” “LEED GA Exam Guide,” “Planting Design Illustrated,” and other books on various LEED exams, architecture, and landscape architecture

See all my published books at:

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