I had decided not to get any LEED accreditation due to the fact that LA's have so little impact on the overall score for LEED but am now considering LEED GA. Frankly, 15 hours of CE units is enough for me but I am concerned that this new designation is going to be deemed inferior in some way. Let's be honest, we only need to specialize in a small portion of LEED anyway and I feel that what the USGBC deems as "basic" is more than enough to complete the portions we are generally responsible for. I am trying to decide if it is worth my time or if I should continue to learn more about the Sustainable Sites Initiative and apply my effort to that instead? Thoughts?

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Hey Brian! The question you should ask is...if you get further LEED accreditation, will you actually get projects and clients to pay for that service. Being an LA, I imagine that the answer typically would be no. We are almost never in the position to be the LEED professional, which, in my experience, is an employee of the architect or subconsultant (probably another architect). Why would any of us want to put the money and the effort to maintain CE's, when it provides very little in terms of actual fees generated. I would focus on learning about SSI (not that I am biased towards that :)
That said, I wouldn't ignore further LEED accreditation... there might be some benefit down the road with LEED ND. That is, if development actually resumes again and we begin design neighborhoods again... Look at it as more than adding a title to your name, can it actually generate work and fees beyond what is typically asked of you?

This is at least my experience with LEED...hopefully there will be somebody else who has had different experiences being an LA with LEED!?!
Brian, Matt is 100% correct with his reply. My experiences are mostly the same, but I will say we have been added to engineering teams to pursue projects because I do have the LEED AP tag. Of course, those engineers then went on to write the project approach and left me out of the LEED discussion for hte most part and we have never won a project because of my LEED Accreditation, so it really hasn't gained us any real projects, just damaged relationships with past engineering firm partners and wasted overhead dollars.

Since I am a LEED Legacy currently under the new v3 (I am a v2 LEED AP), I have not gotten into needing the CEU's. This has caused me much diliberation on deciding to stay a LEED Legacy (which means you are not up to date on all issues by definition of the new LEED AP+ system) or to go for the LEED AP+ designation to stay current. I can't hardly see it is worth it to go for the LEED AP+ based on the lack of revenue it brings in, but I don't want to just let this pass me by. Of course I have 2 years to decide.

Quite a conundrum USGBC had put us in, but of course I expect nothing less from an organization whose complete motivation is from the money they bring in fom their program. It is good and all, but it is a little overbearing with all of the fees and expenses that come with their organization.

anyhow, good luck with your decition!
Thanks for your responses guys! Your angle on marketing helps keep it in perspective. I have decided to go ahead and get the GA part done and then I'll wait and see if LEED ND is worth it. Thanks for your advice, I appreciate it.
Brian - I manage many different types of LEED projects. Good LA are in need desperate need! ones that understand not only plant materials, best practices, but storm water control, bio swales, how to do bio filtration rain gardens, designing interior landscape environments. All of them are important elements. You can also expand your GA to ND as noted above and become an integral part of the planning process! LA's are usually overlooked by site and civil engineers. shame on them. I will work with a landscape architect over site civil anyday!
Hi Do you know where you can qualify in LEED accreditation in Ireland

This is a good question.  I think today, especially with federal government requirements trickling down to local government and into the private sector, I think LEED qualifications are becoming a necessity.  Not they we are being paid more for the recognition, but because NOT having it becomes a barrier.  I am not yet certified in LEED, but I have been on several federal projects where I was part of the team.  Because competition for projects is becoming more tough, LEED certified teams are winning the projects over those that are not fully certified, in my experience. 


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