Question: Vanessa asks: Are there any differences between Associates and AP+’s? I was wondering if LEED Green Associates can submit documentation for a LEED Project, or if you have to be a LEED AP+. Also for instance as a Green Associate, would you be able to get the innovation credit for being an accredited professional on a project team? Would you be able to sign off on credit templates?
As of this time, the USGBC and the GBCI indicate that the LEED Green Associate will be a first step in a LEED professional’s pathway, evoking good environmental practice and skill in understanding sustainable design. The LEED Green Associate credential should appeal to many companies with established sustainability programs as well as to individuals such product manufacturers, marketers, support staff, analysts, designers, students, etc… who may be involved in a green building project and who are interested in learning as much as possible about LEED.
We believe it will continue to be the LEED AP+’s role to work with the sponsors/owners of a LEED Certifiable project in order to shepherd them through the certification process and get the buildings certified, as opposed to a LEED Green Associate doing such work.
As to a project being able to receive the Innovation Credit for utilizing a LEED AP on a project, we believe that benefit will remain limited to Legacy LEED APs and LEED AP+’s only. We do not believe the LEED Green Associate credential will earn that credit.
Just as we suspect that the LEED Green Associate will be a well-respected title, but not as highly regarded as the LEED AP+ (with fewer benefits), we also suspect, but do not know, whether the LEED AP Fellow honor will bestow LEED AP Fellows with special powers to boost a project’s LEED Certification level (i.e. from Gold to Platinum) just for being involved in a project, or if the LEED AP Fellow is more symbolic.
We’ll keep posting information on the LEED Green Associate as we get it!
Good Luck Vanessa!