"HACK-ing" LEED project experience | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED
Published on
Written by
Posted in LEED

“We’re looking for more experience.”

Those five gut-wrenching words are the bane of every entry-level professional seeking gainful employment. It’s the classic chicken-and-egg scenario that all young graduates face -- how does one gain experience without an opportunity to gain said experience? 

The LEED project experience prerequisite for the LEED AP with Specialty exams can present the same dilemma for aspiring green builders. Meeting this crucial experience requirement may sound easy enough, but you can’t just show up to a jobsite and pick up a hammer. 

To help address this experience gap, BOULD, a certified B-Corporation created by USGBC Colorado Emerging Professionals, is partnering with USGBC chapters and Emerging Professionals committees across the country to host a series of Green Building Hack-a-thons. Starting this summer, these HACKs will provide that elusive LEED project experience while accelerating the LEED certification of local projects. 


During a HACK event, developing architects, builders, students and engineers will form teams around community building projects, e.g. a Habitat for Humanity home. Over the course of a single day, these teams will hack local projects to LEED certification, systematically reviewing each credit and completing project-critical documentation tasks. 

At the end of the day, participants will exit with the necessary LEED project experience required to sit for any of the LEED AP exams and/or earn eight hours of LEED Continuing Education. Plus, the local builders will have LEED registration costs covered, 75% of LEED documentation completed, and a comprehensive plan to effectively build and earn LEED certification for their project!

Like our friends at Startup Weekend (a hack-style event for technology) have learned, these types of multi-disciplinary partnership models are really exciting because they “provide invaluable connections, mentorship, experiential learning and collaborative teams - and these resources are inspiring [people] to take action in their own communities.” 

The tour kicks off this June, with Hacks planned in Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans. We are thrilled to be working with USGBC chapters, Emerging Professional committees and USGBC Student groups in these cities to leverage green building education for community good!

Consider bringing a HACK to your city today!

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
iOS App on App StoreAndroid app on Google Play

Total 3 commentsLeave a comment

Come to the beautiful Hawaii... Hack-a-vacation ! I'll be happy to help in any way..

Any thoughts about coming to DC area?

Executive Director

I was in the Detroit HACK and as someone who has been director for the Midwest LEED for Homes Provider (AES), I think this was a fantastic, unique and just plain fun experience for experts to novices. I can't wait to get these folks back to the Midwest as I believe this one of the better ways to learn about LEED for Homes and get experience. Everyone left the course with a better idea about the program and how they can further their learning and/or accreditation. Also, project teams on the fence approached me and said "We want to do LEED now". Fantastic.

My only recommendations are that there be a little oversite to ensure people are task, dump the hands outs and provide them all via drop box and ensure everyone in the break out groups have enough laptops for the smaller groups so that documents are not flying everywhere. Make sure participants are web documenting everything, maybe create a google doc for everyone to update right away so nothing is lost. Don't forget to point them to the walk score for most of the LL Section (resources and transects)

Keep up the good work!

Leave a comment Don't have an account? Create one

You must be signed in to leave a comment.