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Registration deadline sparks LEED interest

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Dustin Block

dustin.block@dailyreporter.com

Tuesday is the last day for people to register for a test to become accredited as a green building professional before the exam becomes more difficult.

The Green Building Certification Institute in June is changing its exam to become a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional. The deadline to register for the old exam, known as LEED AP 2.2, is March 31. People then must take the exam by June 31 to become accredited under the old standard.

The new test is expected to be more difficult than the existing exam, said David Hubka, sustainable projects manager at Total Mechanical Inc. and a LEED AP instructor who helps people around the country prepare for the test.

The current exam covers 80 questions and lasts about two hours. The new test features a 100-question, two-hour exam, plus a second 100-question, two-hour exam specializing in one area.

The second exam requires real-world experience working on green buildings, Hubka said. Many people are “scared” of the longer, more-involved tests, he said.

That could be why there is a rush around the country to register for the LEED AP exam before the switch goes into effect. GBCI’s Web site was down Monday; the nonprofit posted a note last week warning people to register early because heavy demand was expected Monday and Tuesday.

Elizabeth Hittman, membership and special events coordinator for the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance, said the organization is getting a lot of interest in the LEED AP exam as the deadline approaches. Many people interested are students who want to improve their job chances once they leave school, she said.

The current test costs $300 for members of the U.S. Green Building Council and $400 for nonmembers.

Hubka said building professionals with experience working on a LEED project have an advantage in passing the exam. But, he said, nonprofessionals can pass the exam by studying the LEED system.

“It does help to have a base of knowledge,” Hubka said. “Do you need that? No.”

To register for the LEED AP exam, visit www.gbci.org.

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