Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the LEED Study Guide:

Are the Existing Buildings and Commercial Interiors tracks covered in the study guide?
The BD+C and Green Associate study guide focuses mainly on BD+C. 

I have an old study guide, is there a way to find out what has been updated without buying a new one?
Yes, you can find the updates by downloading the errata sheet. New content is included in the errata sheet locating on the Study Guide homepage.

What is in the study guide?
You can download the table of contents.

How many pages is the study guide?
The study guide with practice exam is 91 pages (front and back).

Is the study guide all I need to prepare for the LEED AP exam?
No. The study guide is best used in connection with the reference guide available at

How many questions are on the practice exam?
There are 80 questions on the practice exam, complete with an answer key, and a number of short quizzes in each section.

Can I just order the practice exam separately from the study guide?
No, we only provide the exam in the context of the study guide.

Can I order a PDF version of the study guide?
No. At this time we are only supply hard copies of the study guide.

Where does my money go when I buy the study guide?
Study guide sales support the operation of USGBC Colorado, a non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Colorado.

Questions about LEED®:

What is LEED?
The LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a voluntary, consensus-based standard to support and certify successful green building design, construction, and operations. LEED is transforming the marketplace by providing a nationally recognized certification system to promote integrated, whole-building design practices in the building industry. The LEED Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.

What types of buildings can use LEED?

LEED certification is available for all building types including new construction and major renovation, existing buildings, commercial interiors, core & shell, schools and homes. LEED systems for neighborhood development and retail are currently in pilot test and a rating system for healthcare is currently under development and will begin pilot testing in 2008. To date, the LEED system covers over 3 billion square feet of construction space.

How does LEED work?
LEED is a point based system where projects earn LEED points for satisfying specific green building criteria. Within each of the six LEED credit categories, projects must satisfy particular prerequisites and earn points. The six categories include Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Materials & Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation in Design (projects can earn ID points for green building innovations). The number of points the project earns determines the level of LEED Certification the project receives. LEED certification is available in four progressive levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Can products be certified under LEED?
No, LEED applies to green building projects. Individual products can contribute to points under the rating system; LEED criteria are performance-based. In attempting to meet these requirements, LEED practitioners identify products that have desired attributes. However, some LEED criteria do require specific product data as a part of a successful submittal.

How much does it cost to register a project?
The registration fee for a project is $450 for USGBC members and $600 for nonmembers.

What is the average LEED certification fee?
LEED certification fees vary by project size but the average certification cost is $2000.

Does green building cost more?
No, green buildings do not have to cost a penny more. LEED certified projects to date demonstrate that you can achieve LEED certification and reap its many benefits with a common-sense approach to design with no additional dollars. Depending on your green building strategy and the level of certification your project is targeting, there may be mid- and long-term ROI associated with additional green features that merits an investment in first costs.

What are the benefits of LEED certification?
LEED certification is third-party validation of a building’s performance. LEED certified projects blend environmental, economic, and occupant-oriented performance. They cost less to operate and maintain; are energy- and water-efficient; have higher lease up rates than conventional buildings in their markets; are healthier and safer for occupants; and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them. Visit for more details.

Questions about USGBC Colorado Chapter:

How do I join USGBC Colorado?
USGBC Chapters across the country provide on-the-ground resources and education for green building practitioners. Meet green building experts in your area, help accelerate the adoption of green building at the local level, and tour green building projects by joining your local chapter. Visit the Colorado Chapter's Membership page to learn more.

How much does it cost to join USGBC Colorado?
$65 Regular Membership
Open to all individuals not currently employed by an organization that is a member of USGBC.

$50 National Employee Membership
For individuals belonging to an organization which is a national member of the USGBC.

Don't know whether your company is a USGBC national member? Find out

$45 Emerging Professional Membership
This local chapter membership category is reserved exclusively for those 30 years and younger with 5 years or less expereince in the field of sustainability and green building.

$25 Full time Student Membership
This local chapter membership category is reserved exclusively for full time students

Do I have to be a LEED accredited professional to be a member of USGBC Colorado?
No. Members come from a variety of professional backgrounds. We welcome all levels of experience and interests in green building.

Can you recommend a LEED consultant?
You can view a variety of consulting firms in the area that are USGBC Colorado members by visiting our Membership Directory.

What is the difference between chapter membership and national membership?
Individuals join their local Chapter. Membership in the Colorado Chapter allows any individual, regardless of whether or not his or her company is a member, to participate in the chapter and take advantage of local chapter benefits. Companies and organizations join USGBC national, permitting all full-time employees of member companies to participate in USGBC activities on a national basis and enjoy all the benefits accorded to National members. These company's employees also receive a discount on their Chapter Membership.

What benefits come with being a member of my local chapter?
As a member of USGBC Colorado, you become an integral part of the most influential sustainable building organization in Colorado. Your membership provides you with high quality learning opportunities, numerous ways to engage in green building activities in the region, access to free and low cost continuing education hours, a direct link to a robust professional network and the chance to have a voice in public policy issues impacting the building community at the state and local levels. JOIN TODAY!

Questions about The LEED Professional Credentialing Program

What is the LEED Professional Credentialing program?
The LEED Credentialing Program distinguishes building professionals with the knowledge and skills to successfully steward the LEED certification process. More than 100,000 people have earned the LEED AP credential since the Professional Accreditation program was launched in 2001.

In 2008, administration of the Professional Accreditation program transitioned to the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). The Green Building Certification Institute, established with the support of the U.S. Green Building Council, handles exam development and delivery to allow for objective, balanced management of the credentialing program. As of 2009, GBCI developed a new, multi-faceted credentialing system that ensures that LEED professionals have the latest knowledge and understanding of green building practices and that they are recognized for distinction.

The LEED AP credential will continue to signify an advanced depth of knowledge in green building practices; it also will reflect the ability to specialize in a particular LEED Rating System. The LEED AP exam is divided into two parts. The first step is the LEED Green Associate exam, which demonstrates general knowledge of green building practices. The second step is a specialty exam based on one of the LEED Rating Systems. These parts may be taken together or separately.

What are the Credentialing Program Tiers?
The LEED Prefessional Credentialing Program has three tiers:

1. The LEED Green Associate is the first step in a LEED professional’s career pathway, the Green Associate credential attests to basic knowledge and skill in understanding and supporting green design, construction, and operations. There are no specialties within the LEED Green Associate tier.

2. The LEED AP with specialty credential is the next step in the credentialing program. It signifies an advanced depth of knowledge in green building practices and specialization in a particular LEED Rating System: 

  1. Building Design & Construction (BD&C)
  2. Operations & Maintenance (O&M)
  3. Interior Design & Construction (ID&C)
  4. Homes
  5. Neighborhood Development (ND)

3. The LEED AP Fellow distinguishes an elite class of industry professionals. Fellows contribute to the standards of practice and body of knowledge for achieving continuous improvement in the green building field.

For more information about the tiers and their requirements, please visit

What LEED workshops does USGBC offer?
USGBC offers a variety of LEED training workshops and online educational webinars including a basic introduction, technical reviews, and advanced application oriented sessions. Workshops are available nationally in conjunction with local chapters, at industry tradeshows, and at Greenbuild. Private workshops can also be scheduled for your company. Please contact USGBC Colorado to schedule a private workshop: 303-292-6181

I want to host a private LEED workshop at my company. How do I do this?
Please contact USGBC Colorado to schedule a private workshop:303-292-6181



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