The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), Washington, D.C., is now testing candidates who wish to pursue the new LEED Green Associate credential or the new LEED Accredited Professional (AP) Operations and Maintenance (O+M) credential. The LEED Green Associate credential represents the demonstrable knowledge and skills needed in the allied professions and non-technical fields of practice related to green design, construction and operations. It's also the first step for professionals if they later choose to become a LEED AP. “LEED APs have become a force for change in the building industry.” said Peter Templeton, president of GBCI. “The new LEED Green Associate credential will recognize professionals who possess the core green building knowledge to help bring about market transformation in related disciplines in the workforce.”

The LEED AP O+M credential recognizes the advanced knowledge in sustainable operations and specialized expertise in best management practices required for greening existing buildings. The new credential was designed to be consistent with the knowledge base and requirements of the new LEED 2009 rating system released last month. Attaining the LEED AP O+M credential is a two-part process requiring a candidate to first pass the LEED Green Associate exam to demonstrate general knowledge, and to then pass a second operations and maintenance specialty exam.

“This highly specialized credential brings with it tremendous value at a time when retrofitting our existing building stock is critical to addressing energy dependence and climate change,” Templeton said. “It signifies practical knowledge and deep expertise in how to save energy, water and money for the owners and operators of the 5.1 million existing commercial buildings in the U.S., virtually all of which can benefit from the operational efficiencies LEED promotes.”

For more information related to the exam structure, eligibility requirements and maintenance programs for these credentials, visit www.gbci.org.

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