What is LEED AP?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is often abbreviated as LEED. It is a globally recognized green building certification system. LEED provides third-party affidavit to a building or a community that was designed or built using strategies attached to improve performance in prosody such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and position of resources and their sensitivity to their impacts.

The LEED Professional Exams are managed by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) for professionals quest to earn credentials and certificates. These exams test the knowledge of a professional based on the U.S Green Building Council's LEED Rating Systems. The LEED Professional Credentials were formed to inspire green building professionals to maintain and improve their knowledge and expertise.

A LEED Professional Credential provides assurance to the employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders of an individual's current level of competence and stands as a mark of the most qualified, educated, and influential green building professionals in the marketplace. All the LEED Professional Credentials necessitate adherence to the LEED Professional Disciplinary and Exam Appeals Policy and also require current credential maintenance requirements either through continuing education and hands-on experience or through biyearly retesting.

The LEED Professional Credentialing program has three tiers:

Tier 1: LEED Green Associate

Tier 2: LEED AP (with specialty)

Tier 3: LEED Fellow.

LEED AP: The LEED Accredited Professional credential signifies an advanced depth of knowledge in green building practices. It also indicates the ability to specialize in a particular LEED Rating System. The LEED AP Exam consists of two parts. The first part is the LEED Green Associate exam which exhibits the general knowledge of green building practices. The second part of the LEED AP Exam is a specialty exam based on one of the LEED Reference Guides.

The specialties include:

  1. LEED AP Building Design + Construction
  2. LEED AP Homes
  3. LEED AP Interior Design + Construction
  4. LEED AP Neighborhood Development
  5. EED AP Operations + Maintenance


The Professional applying for the LEED AP Exam must have a documented professional experience on a LEED project within the last 3 years. It should be verified through LEED Online or employer attestation.


The applicants for the LEED AP Exam can register on its official site.


To prepare for the LEED AP Exam, you can download the GBCI Candidate Handbook for the credentials you are looking for. Additional training can also be taken from institutes. Online guides, test papers and mock tests can also be taken to check your preparation.


The LEED AP Exam consists of a suite of nine ratings system for the design, construction and operation of buildings, homes and neighborhoods. Since the LEED AP Exam consists of two parts of multiple choice questions, the professional must qualify in both sections in order to pass the exam.

The first section of the LEED AP exam is the LEED Green Associate exam which consists of 100 questions to be completed in 2 hours. A professional must at least score 170 out of 200 to clear this section. The second section of the LEED AP exam is the LEAD AP Specialty exam which requires a candidate's in-depth understanding of one of the five main rating system.

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