Is LEED AP, BD+C worth the continuing ed. costs?


I'm at the point where I need to decide to either start taking continuing ed. classes to maintain my LEED credentials or decide to allow the credential to lapse in April.  Does anyone have any insight as to if the credential is worthwhile to have?  I personally feel that LEED is on the way out, but am curious what others think.

Because the USGBC allows only 5 credits of self study, there is no way to complete the CEU's without spending a good amount of cash on seminars or live classes.

Dec 4, 11 11:51 am

see this thread

Dec 5, 11 10:31 am

thanks but doesn't really answer my question of "is it worth it?"

I suppose this is different for everyone, but will anyone care about LEED in 2-3 years?

Dec 5, 11 2:24 pm

do you do work as the LEED professional on projects?  If so, I would think a current LEED status would be benefitial.


Most projects i work on are going for some sort of LEED status, but the clients i work with all usually hire a separate LEED consultant to handle the paperwork and submittal process.  So for me, its not worth it at all.


Arent the LEED continuing education stuff kind of like the AIA continuing education, where you can get companies to come in for free to give presentations (and lunches)?

Dec 5, 11 3:32 pm

I was mainly concerned that the "ERB" or education review body approved classes would be pretty expensive.  I believe that was the case when I first became certified. 

It looks like there are a number of free ERB classes offered now though.  This means that even though I don't really believe in LEED, I'll prob do the work to maintain the credential

thanks for the comments

Dec 6, 11 10:08 am

I think whether you believe in it or not isnt really the question, its whether or not you will use it professionally.  I'd view it as a tool, and not anything more.  If its a tool that you can use in your career, then it is worth it.


If you just believe in sustainable architecture and think LEED is the way to go, but are never the LEED person on a project and never will be, then its most likely a waste of time and $$ to remain current, though free classes, if nothing else, can keep you reasonably up to date on the procedure side of LEED

Dec 6, 11 11:58 am

it is worth it if your firm decrees that you have to have it :)  Many do.

Dec 6, 11 11:27 pm

that is why I got it in the first place, but now that i've been laid off it seems less important.  In any case, I've found that Trane offers leed specific classes which will allow me to renew without spending any money

Mar 20, 12 2:13 pm

There are plenty of free courses offered you just have to take some time and look. I renewed my license mostly on the basis of free credits. For me after going through the ordeal of passing the exam, at the very least keep it for the amount of time and money spent already. Being LEED certified is not a bad thing so why not keep it if you have it. Never know how it can help. Keep it I say.

Mar 20, 12 4:17 pm

I agree with dbalean15. LEED has become the new norm in building industry in general. Soon after, every building contractors, construction firm, facility manager, and everyone else in the building industry will be looking for someone who has LEED accreditation in his/her credentials. 

Here's a piece of article that addresses this matter:

Sep 23, 13 11:57 am

the icc has a new green construction code out.

anyone have any familiarity with this?  It seems for people who actually care about the environment, a point system might not be the best way to go. it's mostly just a plaque used for advertising right?

having said that, i'm a leed ap, i'm currently working on a leed project, and i just sat through 6 webinars to get more letters after the leed.  of course, i didn't click kmce's links because i'm pretty sure kmce is a spammer.

Sep 23, 13 12:25 pm

for me, as someone who first signed on in 2001 (the original LEED), i've decided not to pursue the new course of certification they've laid out. not because of a stance on sustainability, but because it's becoming an end unto itself. for me, i have enough to do just being an architect and trying to advance our projects - i didn't sign up for another umpteen c.e.'s a year just to keep that certification. if they'd like to do a once every 5 years exam to keep us accredited, then i'd be fine with that. otherwise, no, it's not worth the time or effort in the eyes of most clients. 

Sep 23, 13 12:50 pm

Does the basic LEED AP designation expire?  I've been under the impression that it's the specialty suffixes that required CE...

Sep 23, 13 2:47 pm

they will be releasing a new LEEDv4 soon.  for the time being, you can still get the point for leed accredited professional with the LEED AP legacy thing, but i'm not sure if that will continue in LEED v4, or if there is really any other tangible benefit to being an AP.  I don't have much faith in the people at the usgbc or gbci doing anything to make this a better system, so my assumption is that at some point they will make the legacy title less appealing so they can collect more money by having people transition.  they have a new firm registration for usgbc with tiers that i'm pretty sure will cost more to be a member.  i expect that's how the future of leed is going to go, and it's just a manner of time before we see how they want to cripple the legacy credential.  i say that because i'm cynical.

Sep 23, 13 3:10 pm

That sounds logical and, yes, cynical, curtkram.  But this is the USGBC we're talking about.

The question is: how many of us codgers got in under the wire in/before '09, and how many other have signed up under the new, fiscally-oriented regime.  If enough new folks join, then USGBC can just wait for the rest of us free-riders to die of old age.  But if new enrollments slow down, then the old LEED APs will be painted as drunk-driving, chain-smoking lepers...

Sep 23, 13 3:42 pm

I haven't upgraded my original AP certification to a specialty cert specifically because of the CE bullshit. They want me to, and offer to let me do it for free, but the CE thing is a deal killer.

Sep 23, 13 4:28 pm

pretty sure you can upgrade to leed with letters for free, but you have to watch their 6 webinars and take a quiz after.  i'm still waiting for confirmation from them if that's right, it should take something like 10 business days.  hopefully there are free online avenues for the CEUs, and for my state i can use those CEUs towards keeping my license up, so with that i figured it won't be all that bad. 

since the webinars were free, i figured it's worth trying.  the ongoing CEU thing is time consuming and annoying though.  hopefully if i lapse, i can revert back to legacy.  otherwise someone else can be green, and i'll go back to being a drunk-driving chain-smoking leper.  while i am a leed accredited professional, i am not a leed cheerleader and if they went bankrupt tomorrow i just wouldn't feel all that bad.

Sep 23, 13 4:40 pm

Hmmm, whether you have faith to the accreditation or not, I think the accreditation is as important as the knowledge itself in the eyes of the client.

And geez curtkram, thanks a lot for your cynicism by assuming that I'm a spammer when I was just trying to help answer the question asked by referring to the relevant pieces of information.

Sep 24, 13 12:59 pm

Right on time!

"Dear Citizen, Hope this emails finds you well. Congratulations as you were among the first to earn a LEED AP credential. Did you know you now have an opportunity to upgrade your LEED AP credential to a specialty credential? As this is a limited time opportunity, I would encourage you to consider your options. We have prepared a road map and made a custom package (The Original 30 hour CE book) that will assist you to earn and maintain your LEED specialty credential. Get a FREE Kindle Fire tablet or an Amazon $100 gift card when you purchase the new “Original 30 hour CE book” from LEED-CE-Academy. You can access your 30 hour CE book on your personal computer, smart phone, iPad, tablet or print. In addition, we report your hours to GBCI and AIA. Please respond to this email to get a customized road map and for more details about this introductory offer or visit our website at Sincerely..."

Sep 27, 13 2:21 pm

Not worth it, to me. I am sticking with the Legacy AP credential. As far as I know, if you earned it before they switched up their system, they can't take it away, they can only make it useless. Which is fine, because I haven't used it in years.

Sep 28, 13 12:48 pm

Well said, Fred.

Sep 28, 13 2:37 pm

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