Prepare for your LEED AP BD+C Exam | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in LEED
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Posted in LEED

Congratulations on taking your first step toward earning your LEED AP BD+C! The key to earning a LEED AP is a thorough understanding of green building, the LEED rating system and the ability to facilitate the certification process.

Access the candidate handbook for exam policies and procedures

The LEED v4 exam is based on the following test specifications and references. The exam questions reflect Task Domains and Knowledge domains.

Planning to take the Green Associate exam at the same time as the LEED AP exam? Check out the exam prep for the Green Associate exam.

Task Domains: Task Domains reflect the tasks necessary to perform LEED® safely and effectively. These include concepts such as LEED Project and Team Coordination, LEED Certification Process, Analyses Required for LEED Credits, and Advocacy and Education for Adoption for LEED Rating System.

  • LEED Project and Team Coordination (22%)
  • LEED Certification Process (32%)
  • Analyses Required for LEED Credits (32%)
  • Advocacy and Education for Adoption for LEED Rating System (14%)

Knowledge Domains: Knowledge Domains reflect the rating systems’ credit categories and what one needs to know. These include concepts such as LEED Process, Integrative Strategies, LEED credit categories, and Project Surroundings and Public Outreach.

  • LEED Process (8 questions)
  • Integrative Strategies (9 questions)
  • Location and Transportation (9 questions)
  • Sustainable Sites (9 questions)
  • Water Efficiency (9 questions)
  • Energy and Atmosphere (14 questions)
  • Materials and Resources (12 questions)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (11 questions)
  • Project Surroundings and Public Outreach (4 questions)

References

The primary sources for the development of the LEED professional exams are the LEED rating systems. The following list of references is not meant to be comprehensive. When combined with the test specifications, the candidate has the material from which the exam is based.

This exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the design process, to support and encourage integrated design, and to streamline the application and certification process.

Please note: LEED professional exams are updated on July 1 of every year; this update incorporates LEED addenda published through January of the same year. Additionally, no exams will be offered from June 15-June 30 of each year.

Sample Questions

These sample questions were discarded in the process of creating items for the new LEED AP Building Design + Construction exam. The items are provided for your convenience to allow you to better familiarize yourself with the format and general content of items on the exam. Correct answers are marked with an asterisk*.

  1. The city is building a new botanical garden and is attempting LEED® certification. What could the educational program include to earn an Innovation in Design Credit?
    A. Present the building’s sustainable features at the grand opening
    B. Present the building’s sustainable features at a town hall meeting
    C. Provide on-going weekly tours highlighting the building’s sustainable features*
    D. Publish a press release to the local newspaper outlining the building’s sustainable features

  2. How should athletic fields be treated in the calculations for WE Credit, Outdoor Water Use Reduction?
    A. Must be calculated using 100% potable water
    B. May be included or excluded from the calculations*
    C. May be calculated using a standard 20% reduction from baseline
    D. Must be calculated using at least 20% from an alternative water source

Looking for more study materials? Access the following course:

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Total 220 commentsLeave a comment

Electrical Engineer, Orlando Construction Co. W.L.L
Hi, I gained designation of Leed Green Associate in very first instance, Thanks to All-inclusive package. Looking Ahead, am confused which one to opt for specialty. Seek guidance and all-inclusive package discount for it.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Congratulations on your LEED Green Associate credential. The specialty LEED credential you choose depends on what types of projects you work on or would like to work on. For example new construction projects utilize the LEED BD + C specialty and existing building projects use the LEED O+M specialty. Also, please keep in mind if you intend to use your LEED specialty credential for an Innovation on LEED projects you need the LEED specialty credential that correlates to the LEED project rating system registration. You can learn more about the different specialties here: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials. Our Education Partners offer various All-inclusive LEED specialty exam packages here: http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study. For the LEED AP BD + C All Inclusive exam package offered by GBRI visit this link: http://www.usgbc.org/education/sessions/all-inclusive-leed-v4-bdc-exam-p...
Electrical Engineer, Orlando Construction Co. W.L.L
Thanks Dawn, I am an Construction electrical engineer so I believe BD+C is perfect specialty. Can you please guide me the steps to get AIA number and individual membership procedure and cost. In addition, I would like to know the difference between USGBC and CaGBC memberships
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
If you are not already an AIA member you can learn more about their memberships and pricing here: https://www.aia.org/pages/3721-membership. Once you have an active membership you will get an AIA number which you can add to your USGBC profile. Then any GBCI courses you take that are also AIA approved will be automatically be added to your LEED credential CE hours. CAGBC and USGBC are two separate entities but both utilize and promote the LEED rating system. Some of the benefits available as a USGBC member are also available as CAGBC member. Their membership and pricing structures are different so I encourage you to take a look at both.
Intern Architect, Lord Aeck Sargent
Since the LEED AP BD+C test combines the GA and specialty exams, is it possible to pass the GA portion but not the second? Also, if the GA portion is failed, are you allowed to proceed to take the specialty portion?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Your options to become a LEED AP BD+C include taking the LEED Green Associate first, passing this exam, and then scheduling your Specialty only exam or taking both the LEED Green Associate and Specialty exam in the combined or full exam option. Please see this website for details: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials. If you do take the combined exam and pass the LEED Green Associate portion only you can contact us to add the LEED Green Associate credential manually. Only then can you register to take the LEED AP BD + C Specialty portion. We are working with Prometric to have the LEED Green Associate exam portion reported automatically on combined exams but, until that process is ironed out please contact us directly to research and add the credential. I hope that helps and best of luck on your exam.
1-Can one take the LEED AP BD+C exam without taking the Green Associate exam? 2-what is the reference for the Task Domain part of the LEED AP exam? Karzan
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Karzan, Thank you for your questions. Your options to become a LEED AP BD+C include: taking the LEED Green Associate first, passing this exam, and then scheduling your Specialty only exam or taking both the LEED Green Associate and Specialty exam in the combined or full exam option. Please see this website for details: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials. Task Domains reflect the tasks necessary to perform LEED safely and effectively. These include concepts such as LEED Project and Team Coordination, LEED Certification Process, Analyses Required for LEED Credits, and Advocacy and Education for adoption of the LEED rating system. Please see the LEED AP BD+C Handbook for more details: http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/BD+C-Candidate-Handbook_063016.pdf
Project Engineer( Inside Sales Engineer), ATC
Hi, I am preparing to take LEED AP BD+C exam and wondering if there is any book that USGBC recommends as to study as Mock exam to study and get prepared before taking original exam? Thanks,
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in the LEED AP BD + C exam. Since each candidate seeking the LEED AP BD + C credential has a unique combination of knowledge and experience, it is difficult to recommend the definitive study materials one would need to pass the exam. For the LEED AP BD+C exam, I would recommend you consult and study all of the references in the LEED AP BD+C Candidate Handbook for the best chance at passing the test. You can download the handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook. Perhaps one of the best resources is the LEED Reference Guide for Building Design + Construction available for purchase here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-.... You can also find study guides here: http://www.usgbc.org/store/products/publications and online or in-person courses offered by some of our Education Partners here: http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study. The mock exams offered through that website by both GBRI and GBES are perhaps two of the more popular and well received exams. I hope this gives you a good place to start. Best of luck on your exam.
Hi, I would like to know is it necessary to pass LEED GA or one should directly sit in LEED BD+C exam.
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Shadab, thank you for your interest in earning your LEED AP BD+C credential. Candidates must pass the LEED Green Associate exam before sitting for the LEED BD+C exam. However, you can take both exams in one sitting by registering for the full LEED AP BD+C combined exam here: http://www.usgbc.org/credentials#ap. Best of luck on your exams!
Hi Just want to ask If what are the LEED AP exams composition is it theoretically?and also how much is the mem. fee for an individual if I want to be a member Thanks a lot!
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Rhobinne, Thank you for your questions. Regarding the exam, please see the above article which outlines the make-up and exam specifications. You can learn even more by downloading a link to the Candidate Handbook (above). Regarding membership, individuals can only become members of their local chapters or communities. Local memberships have many benefits and all are unique to the specific chapters. You will want to review the benefits or reach out to the local chapter or community before purchasing your membership (rates vary). The other way that people can become members of USGBC is by being a full time employee of a member company. I hope that helps. Best wishes on your exam!
Project Development Manager, Arab Engineering Bureau
I have been LEED GA for 6 years now and I am trying on my second occasion now to schedule a LEED AP exam... however through a hectic series of events this year followed by a few unfortunate events...I have failed to meet my study targets and fear I will not be able to make it this December. Is there any way of extending my exam eligibility for another year? or would I have to pay to register for a new exam?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Henry, Thank you for your question. If you have previously received an extension for this exam eligibility we will likely not be able to provide an additional extension. That said, please send a specific request to http://www.usgbc.org/contactus and we will be happy to provide other options for you. We can discuss the option of a refund for your exam but we can only provide a refund for exams that are not scheduled. Please review our scheduling and cancellation policy: http://www.usgbc.org/help/how-do-i-confirm-cancel-or-reschedule-exam Thank you and again, please contact us directly if you wish to discuss other options.
Deputy General Manager, Alembic Pharmaceutical Ltd.
Hi, I have the LEED GA. Can I now write the LEED AP exam,or are there any other requirements before I can write it? How much period should I consider for preparation - considering 2 hrs /day. What procedure should I follow for registration, study materials, exam sample papers etc.
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Congratulations on your accomplishment passing the LEED Green Associate exam. If you elect to sit for a LEED AP BD + C exam there are no other requirements. Since each candidate seeking the LEED AP BD + C credential has a unique combination of knowledge and experience, it is difficult to recommend the definitive study materials one would need to pass the exam. For the LEED AP BD+C exam, I would recommend you consult and study all of the references in the LEED AP BD+C Candidate Handbook for the best chance at passing the test. You can download the handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook. Perhaps one of the best resources is the LEED Reference Guide for Building Design + Construction available for purchase here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-.... You can also find study guides here: http://www.usgbc.org/store/products/publications and online or in-person courses offered by some of our Education Partners here: http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study. There are many paths to success for this exam, but I hope this offers a direction for you to start. Once you are feeling comfortable with the test material I would then register for the exam since you have 1 year from registration to sit and pass the exam. Please keep in mind that you can only attempt one exam type 3 times in a calendar year. I hope that helps.
Deputy General Manager, Alembic Pharmaceutical Ltd.
Thanks Dawn,,, Will schedule my exam accordingly
Project Manager , Soublière Interiors
Hello, I just paid for LEED AP BD+C exam and booked my dates which includes for GA exam and a speciality . As per my understanding I will be giving the green associate exam and then the speciality exam. Howsoever I was not able to find an option to choose separate dates for them on prometric . Please let me know if I have to give them together on the same date and if I have a option to choose different dates? Also if you can suggest a course material or a book for the same then it will be a great help. Thank you,
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Utkarsh, congratulations on taking the first step to earning your LEED AP BD+C credential! For the LEED AP BD+C combined exam, which you paid for, you will have to take both exams in one sitting. You will take your LEED Green Associate exam first, then your LEED AP BD+C exam. If you would like to take the two exams on different dates, you will need to pay for the LEED Green Associate exam separately from the LEED AP BD+C exam. You will still need to take and pass the LEED Green Associate exam first before you can sit for the LEED AP BD+C exam. Since each candidate seeking a LEED credential has a unique combination of knowledge and experience, it is difficult to recommend the definitive study materials one would need to pass the exam. Please start with this article (http://www.usgbc.org/node/10075156), as it provides excellent guidance for preparing for your LEED Green Associate credential. As the article states, a great place to start is with the LEED Green Associates Candidate Handbook http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-green-associate-candidate-handbook. The references listed in the Handbook are free and available online, with the exception of the LEED Core Concepts Guide (see the Study Bundle hyperlink in article above - it is a very popular resource for people preparing for the LEED Green Associate exam), a resource which most exam candidates find to be very helpful. For the LEED AP BD+C exam, I would recommend you consult and study all of the references in the LEED AP BD+C Candidate Handbook for the best chance at passing the test. You can download the handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook. Perhaps one of the best resources is the LEED Reference Guide for Building Design + Construction available for purchase here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-.... You can also find study guides here: http://www.usgbc.org/store/products/publications and online or in-person courses offered by some of our Education Partners here: http://www.usgbc.org/education-at-usgbc/listing/study. There are many paths to success for this exam, but I hope this offers a direction for you to start.
Project Manager , Soublière Interiors
Thanks for the reply Kristen, I am all good to take both exams on same day. Just to confirm, Combined LEED AP BD + C accounts for both Green associate and speciality exam if I give on the same day so by paying for Combined LEED AP BD+ C, I am good to give both Green associate and BD+C exam on the same day. I do not need to give green associate exam seperately before giving LEED AP BD +C
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Utkarsh, yes you are correct - by paying for the combined LEED AP BD+C exam, you will take both the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP BD+C exams on the same day. Good luck!
Construction Manager, Makati Development Corporation
Hi. I am registered LEED Green Assoc.for 4 yrs. But wasnt able to report enough ce this year. Unlucky me. Its expired last f1eb 27, 2016. I plan now to take the combined exam. What happens if i were able to get 170 or higher for 1st part but wasnt able to get 170 on 2nd part of combined exam. Will i still be able to gain credentials for the LEED Green Assoc.?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Roland, Thank you for your question. I would like to email you directly to discuss in more detail but a quick answer to your question is that if you pass the Green Associate portion of your exam but not the specialty portion you can email USGBC and request to receive your LEED Green Associate credential added based on a score of 170 or more on that portion of your exam. I will email you directly to discuss further. Thanks!
Vice President of Development & Planning, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation
Is the LEED Green Associate exam necessary or can someone go straight to taking the LEED AP BD+C exam?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Yes, you do have to pass the LEED Green Associate before you can move on to take the LEED AP BD + C exam. You have two options however 1) you can take the combined LEED Green Associate core and LEED AP specialty exam in one sitting, or 2) you can take the standalone LEED Green Associate core exam in a first sitting and the standalone LEED AP specialty exam in a second sitting. Thank you for your interest.
Project Manager, The Boldt Company
Did the requirements change where you no longer need experience on a LEED Certified project to be eligible for the AP exams? I'm already a LEED Green Assoc and would like to take the exam, but have not had the opportunity to work on a LEED Certified project yet. Thanks
Green Building Specialist, LEED AP Homes, LEED for Homes Green Rater, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi David, thank you for your question. While LEED project experience is strongly recommended to take a LEED AP with specialty exam, it is not required. However, LEED project experience competency is assessed within the exam. For more information on preparing for the LEED AP BD+C exam, including eligibility requirements, please review the LEED v4 AP BD+C Candidate Handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook.
Overseas Architect, Foster + Partners
I have registered and paid for LEED AP BD + C exam to be taken in London, UK. I have not taken LEED GA exam and plan to take the GA exam on the same day as the AP exam. Do I also need to register for LEED GA exam and pay for it separately as well?
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Rapit, Thanks for your question. You have paid and registered for the combination exam, which combines both exams into one exam sitting. I checked your account and you have purchased the correct combination exam (therefore you do not need to register separately for the LEED Green Associate exam), which allows you to take both exams during the same scheduled exam. I hope that helps and we wish you the best on your exam!
Architect, Free lancing
Hi..i ve passed LEED GA with 95%..now for bd+c i bought 500 questions,flash cards and study guide..to prepare for one month..will it get me passed..
Membership, Credentialing, and Education Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hello Werdah, Congratulations on passing your Green Associate exam. Great work! I would encourage you to employ a similar study approach to your BD+C exam. Each person comes to the exam with their own knowledge base so it is difficult to say how much one needs to study or what is the best material for you to study. Here is a link to the BD+C handbook http://www.usgbc.org/sites/default/files/BD+C-Candidate-Handbook_120414_... I would recommend reading through the handbook and using the references as a guide to ensure you are covering the most pertinent topics.
Architect, Free lancing
Enter your comment Hi..for bd+c exam i ve bought the study guide,500 questions,flash cards and i ve already passed the GA exam with 95%..is this much will get me passed
Architect, Free lancing
Enter your comment Hi..for bd+c exam i ve bought the study guide,500 questions,flash cards and i ve already passed the GA exam with 95%..is this much will get me passed
fresh graduated, I am not working
Hi Wardeh Could you send me please what you have for LEED AP at my email: diananimri90@gmail.com
Architectural Intern, ERO Architects
Is the Sale for the all inclusive package still on-going?
Director of Education, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hi Martin, GBRI does have a sale available on our LEED Exam Preparation. Our AP exam prep material will include online access to modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guides, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! This material can be viewed from anywhere at any time as long as you have internet access. You can get 30% off of this package with GBRI30 coupon code at checkout! https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at kgerstenberg@gbrionline.org. Thanks, Kayla
Will studying for the BD+C exam prepare me for the associates exam?
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
The resources for the LEED AP BD + C exam can assist you in studying for the LEED Green Associate exam. However, because the LEED Green Associate exam covers a general overview of green building and its concepts there are a few things to consider. I would pay special attention to the Introductory and Overview sections of the LEED Building Design and Construction Reference Guide if you purchase it. I would also purchasing the Core Concepts Guide http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-core-concepts-guide. This is not something typically recommended for the LEED AP BD + C exam but, very beneficial for the LEED Green Associate exam. I hope this helps. Best wishes on your exam.
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Nathan, the Green Associate exam is a more general exam that goes over the general green building and sustainable design concepts and the AP exam goes more in depth. It is best to study both the Green Associate and AP material so you are also able to answer the more basic questions being asked on the Green Associate exam. Our AP exam prep material will also include access to the Green Associate material so you are able to study for both exams. Our packages include access to online modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guides, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! We are currently running a sale which makes this package only $129.00 - Coupon Code: BONUSAP https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... Thanks! Felicia - GBRI
Structural engineer, AE7
hi Felicia , Tnx for reply . Just for the last comment , as you said it covers everything and it means i dont need any other source or even book and hopefully i can pass the exam with this package , right? are there PDF file as well so i can download and read them as hard copy or not? regards
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Seyed, it is my pleasure! Our exam prep packages are all-inclusive so you would be given all of the information needed to pass your LEED exam. Our flashcards, handouts, memory charts and study guide are in PDF format so you would be able to save and print those items if you would like! Thanks! Felicia - GBRI
Structural engineer, AE7
Hi, I just passed my Green Associate exam and i want to go for LEED AP bd+ c but i dont know where to start from ... I am living in dubai and its almost impossible to get the book v4 new version . What do u suggest !? What i sthe best way i can follow to finish bd+c without having the book!! Or if any store book or representative institute selling the books in here please inform me...
LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Thank you for your interest in earning the LEED AP Building Design and Construction credential. I would recommend you consult and study all of the resources listed in The LEED AP BD + C Candidate Handbook for the best chance at passing the LEED AP BD + C exam. You can download the handbook here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-ap-bdc-candidate-handbook. Perhaps the best resource is the LEED Building Deign + Construction Reference Guide available for purchase here: http://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-reference-guide-building-design-and-.... You will see in this link that we offer an e-document which allows you lifetime online access to the LEED Building Design + Construction Reference Guide which would alleviate the issue of having a hard copy delivered to your location. The GBRI Prep Course is great but, does not offer this Reference Guide which we feel is the number one study material for the exam. So you may want to purchase the e-document in addition to or as your only study material for the exam. I hope this helps and best of luck on your exam!
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Seyed, There are exam prep packages you can purchase that will help you prepare for LEED AP exam. Our AP exam prep material will include online access to modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guides, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! This material can be viewed from anywhere at any time as long as you have internet access. We are currently running a sale which makes this package only $129.00 - Coupon Code: BONUSAP https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... Thanks! Felicia - GBRI
Electrical Engineer, Arena Engineering consultants
Should I get LEED GA to participate LEED AP BD+C? Thanks
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Ayman, In order to become a LEED AP you must first pass the LEED Green Associate exam. You can choose to take the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams at the same time or you can schedule these exams to be taken at separate times. Our AP exam prep material will also include access to our Green Associate material so you are receiving the exam prep material for both exams at one low price! Our All-Inclusive package will include access to online modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guides, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! We are currently running a sale which makes this package only $129.00 - Coupon Code: BONUSAP https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... Thanks! Felicia - GBRI
INTERN ARCHITECT, NXL ARCHITECTS
I have the LEED GA.Can I write the LEED AP exam,or are there any other requirements before I can write it? Thanks, Divya
Client Relations Supervisor, Green Building Research Institute (GBRI)
Hello Divya, It is no longer a requirement to have project experience prior to taking your LEED AP exam. Although this is no longer a requirement it is strongly recommend you have experience working on a LEED registered project or that you have an exam prep package that will incorporate project experience in your exam preparation. We offer an all-inclusive exam prep package that will incorporates project experience into your exam preparation as well as cover all the other information needed to pass your LEED exam. Our All-Inclusive package will include access to online modules, section quizzes, audio files, study guide, flash cards, memory charts and mock exams for 1 full year! We are currently running a sale which makes this package only $129.00 - Coupon Code: BONUSAP https://www.gbrionline.org/courses/all-inclusive-leed-v4-exam-preparatio... Thanks! Felicia - GBRI
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