LEED Green Associate Exam Guide (LEED GA)
by Gang Chen, LEED AP BD+C, AIA

Print on Demand Publisher A Must-Have for the LEEDComprehensive study materials, sample questions, mock exam, green building LEED certification, and sustainability (2nd Printing of 1st Edition)
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Book Information
Genre:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Construction / General
Publication:
Oct 30, 2009
Pages:
406
 
Books by Gang Chen, LEED AP BD+C, AIA
Starting on December 1, 2011, GBCI began to draw LEED Green Associate Exam questions from the second edition of Green Building and LEED Core Concepts Guide. We have incorporated this latest information in our book, and changed our book title to LEED Green Associate Exam Guide.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is one of the most important trends of development and is revolutionizing the construction industry. It has gained tremendous momentum and has a profound impact on our environment.

From this book, you will learn how to:

1. Pass the LEED Green Associate Exam.

2. Use LEED exam preparation strategies, study methods, tips, suggestions, mnemonics, and exam tactics to improve your exam performance.

3. Effectively understand, digest, and retain your LEED knowledge.

4. Understand the process of registering and certifying a building for LEED.

5. Understand the scope, main intent, core concepts and strategies, as well as identify the regulations, recognition, and incentives for each major LEED category.

6. Identify the strategies for case studies.

7. Identify the synergy in case studies.

8. Implement the most important LEED related codes and building standards.

9. Get points for categories not yet clearly defined by the USGBC.

There is NO official USGBC book on the LEED Green Associate Exam. This pocket guide fills in the blanks and demystifies LEED. It uncovers the secrets, codes, and jargon for LEED as well as the true meaning of “going green.” It provides a solid foundation and fundamental framework for LEED. It covers every major aspect of LEED in plain and concise language, and introduces it to ordinary people.

This guide is small and easy to carry around. You can read it whenever you have a few extra minutes. It is an indispensable book for ordinary people, developers, brokers, contractors, administrators, architects, landscape architects, civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers, interns, drafters, designers and other design professionals.

You may be interested in other books I wrote:

Architectural Practice Simplified. It is available at:

http://outskirtspress.com/agent.php?key=11011&page=architecturalpracticesimplified

Click here to view Architectural Practice Simplified


Planting Design Illustrated (2nd edition) . It is available at:

http://outskirtspress.com/agent.php?key=11011&page=plantingdesignillustrated

Click here to view Planting Design Illustrated (2nd edition)


LEED BD&C Exam Guide. It is available at:

http://outskirtspress.com/agent.php?key=11011&page=LEED-BDC

Click here to view LEED BD&C Exam Guide


LEED AP Exam Guide. It is available at:

http://outskirtspress.com/agent.php?key=11011&page=examguide

Click here to view LEED AP Exam Guide


 
Sample Text from LEED Green Associate Exam Guide

Preface

There are two main purposes for this book: to help you pass the LEED Green Associate Exam and to assist you with understanding the process of getting your building LEED certified.

The LEED Green Associate Exam is the most important LEED exam for two reasons:

1. You have to pass it in order to get the title of LEED Green Associate.

2. It is also the required Part One (2 hours) of ALL LEED AP+ exams. You have to pass it plus Part Two (2 hours) of the specific LEED AP+ exam of your choice to get any LEED AP+ title unless you have passed the old LEED AP exam before June 30, 2009.

There are a few ways to prepare for the LEED Green Associate Exam:

1. You can take USGBC courses or workshops. You should take USGBC classes at both the 100 (Awareness) and 200 (LEED Core Concepts and Strategies) level to successfully prepare for the exam A one-day course can cost $445 if you register early enough, and can be as expensive as $495 if you miss the early bird special. You will also have to wait until the USGBC workshops or courses are offered in a city near you.

OR
2. Take USGBC online courses. You can go to the USGBC or GBCI websites for information. The USGBC online courses are less personal and still expensive.

OR
3. Read related books. Unfortunately, there is NO official USGBC book on the LEED Green Associate Exam. However, there are a few third party books on the LEED Green Associate Exam. LEED Green Associate Exam Guide is one of the first books covering this subject and will fill in this blank to assist you with passing the exam.

To stay at the forefront of the LEED and green building movement and make my books more valuable to their readers, I sign up for USGBC courses and workshops myself, and I review the USGBC and GBCI websites and many other sources to get as much information as possible on LEED. LEED Green Associate Exam Guide is a result of this very comprehensive research. I have done the hard work so that you can save time preparing for the exam by reading my book.

Strategy 101 for the LEED Green Associate Exam is that you must recognize that you have only a limited amount of time to prepare for the exam. So, you must concentrate your time and effort on the most important content of the LEED Green Associate Exam. To assist you with achieving this goal, the book is broken into two major sections: (1) the study materials and (2) the sample questions and mock exam.

Chapter One covers LEED Exam Preparation Strategies, Methods, Tips, Suggestions, Mnemonics and Exam Tactics to Improve Your Exam Performance.

Chapters Two and Three cover general information. I use the question and answer format to try to give you the most comprehensive coverage on the subject of the LEED AP exam. I have given you only the correct answers and information to save you time, i.e., you do not need to waste your time reading and remembering the wrong information. As long as you understand and remember the correct information, you can pass the test, no matter how the USGBC changes the format of the exam.

Chapter Four contains the LEED Green Associate Exam Technical Review, including Overall Purpose, Mnemonics, Core Concepts, Recognition, Regulation and Incentives, Overall Strategies and Technologies, and Specific Technical Information.

Specific Technical Information for each credit includes Purpose, Credit Path, Submittals, Synergies, Possible Strategies and Technologies, Extra Credit (Exemplary Performance), Project Phase, LEED Submittal Phase, Related Code or Standard, and Responsible Party.

A few of the credits are only for schools or CS, and are unlikely to be tested on the LEED Green Associate Exam. We just list these credits’ names and related points, omitting their detailed discussions.

In the back section, you will find sample questions and a mock exam. These are intended to match the latest real LEED Green Associate Exam as closely as possible and assist you in becoming familiar with the format of the exam.

Most people already have some knowledge of LEED. I suggest that you use a highlighter when you read this book; you can highlight the content that you are not familiar with when you read the book for the first time. You can try to cover the answer and read a question first. If you can come up with the correct answer before you read the book, you do not need to highlight the question and answer. If you cannot come up with the correct answer before you read the book, then highlight that question. This way, when you do the review later and read the book for the second time, you can just focus on the portions that you are not familiar with and save yourself a lot of time. You can repeat this process with different colored highlighters until you are very familiar with the content of this book. Then, you will be ready to take the LEED Green Associate Exam.

The key to passing the LEED Green Associate Exam, or any other exam, is to know the scope of the exam, and not to read too many books. Select one or two really good books and focus on them. Actually understand the content and memorize it. For your convenience, I have underlined the fundamental information that I think is very important. You definitely need to memorize all the information that I have underlined. You should try to understand the content first, and then memorize the content of the book by reading it multiple times. This is a much better way than “mechanical” memory without understanding.

There is a part of the LEED Green Associate Exam that you can control by reading study materials: The section regarding the number of points and credit process for the LEED building rating system. You should become very familiar with every major credit category. You should try to answer all questions related to this part correctly.

There is also a part of the exam that you may not be able to control. You may not have done actual LEED building certification, so there will be some questions that may require you to guess. This is the hardest part of the exam, but these questions should be only a small percentage of the test if you are well prepared. You should eliminate the obvious wrong answers and then attempt an educated guess. There is no penalty for guessing. If you have no idea what the correct answer is and cannot eliminate any obvious wrong answer, then do not waste too much time on the question, just pick a guess answer. The key is, try to use the same guess answer for all of the questions that you have no ideas at all. For example, if you choose “a” as the guess answer, then you should be consistent and use “a” as the guess answer for all the questions that you have no ideas at all. That way, you likely have a better chance at guessing more correct answers.

The actual LEED Green Associate Exam has 100 multiple-choice questions and you must finish it within 2 hours. The raw exam score is converted to a scaled score ranging from 125 to 200. The passing score is 170 or higher. You need to answer about 60 questions correctly to pass. There is an optional 10-minute tutorial for computer testing before the exam and an optional 10-minute exit survey.

This is not an easy exam, but you should be able to pass it if you prepare well. If you set your goal for a high score and study hard, you will have a better chance of passing. If you set your goal for the minimum passing score of 170, you will probably end up scoring 169 and fail, and you will have to retake the exam again. That will be the last thing you want. Give yourself plenty of time and do not wait until the last minute to begin preparing for the exam. I have met people who have spent 40 hours preparing and passed the exam, but I suggest that you give yourself at least two to three weeks of preparation time. On the night before the exam, you should look through the questions on the mock exam that you did not answer correctly and remember what the correct answers are. Read this book carefully, prepare well, relax and put yourself in the best physical, mental and psychological state on the day of the exam, and you will pass.

2. LEED exam preparation requires short-term memory

Now that you know the nature of the LEED Exam, you should understand that LEED Exam Preparation requires Short-Term Memory. You should schedule your time accordingly: in the early stages of your LEED exam Preparation, you should focus on understanding and an initial review of the material; in the late stages of your exam preparation, you should focus on memorizing the material as a final review.

...

... SSc5.2: Site Development: Maximize Open Space (1 Point for NC and CS and Schools) Site development: Maximize Open Space (1 Point)

Purpose:

To promote biodiversity via a high ratio of open space to development footprint.

Credit Paths for NC and CS and Schools:

1) If local codes have open space requirements, provide open space with plantings in the project boundary to exceed the local zoning requirements by 25% and/or reduce the development footprint, i.e., the total area of parking, access road, hardscape and building footprint.

OR
2) Provide open space with planting area equal to the building footprint if there is no local zoning requirement. This requirement shall be maintained for the life of the building.

OR
3) Provide open space with planting area equal to 20% of the site in areas with a zoning ordinance but no open space (zero) requirements.

For all 3 paths:
a) If your project is already earning SSc2 and is located in an urban area, you can still use the vegetated roof areas to contribute to credit in this category.

b) If your project is already earning SSc2 and is located in an urban area, a pedestrian-oriented hardscape area can contribute to credit in this category. For this purpose, at least 25% of the open space counted shall be vegetated.

c) Vegetated, naturally designed ponds (ponds designed in naturalistic style) and wetlands with a side slope less than 1:4 can be counted as open space.

Submittals:

1) A site plan highlighting the qualifying open space

2) Calculations showing the qualifying open space meets or exceeds the credit requirements

Synergies:

Vegetated open space on-site may contribute to the following credits:

SSc6.1: Storm Water Design: Quantity Control

SSc6.2: Storm Water Design: Quality Control

SSc7.1: Heat Island Effect: Non-Roof

SSc7.2: Heat Island Effect: Roof

Possible strategies and technologies:

1) Do a site element survey and develop a master plan.

2) Locate the building on the site carefully and minimize its footprint to avoid disrupting the site.

3) Share facilities with neighbors, build multi-story buildings and place parking under the buildings to maximize open space.

Extra Credit (Exemplary Performance):

You can get one innovation point by doubling the requirements, i.e., 50% instead of 25% for Credit Path #1 above, and 40% instead of 20% for Credit Path #3 above.

Project Phase: Schematic Design

LEED Submittal Phase: Design


Related Code or Standard: None

Responsible Party: Civil Engineer and Contractor...

…One exception that I make and it may be different from the real LEED Green Associate Exam: I still break the main LEED credit into separate credits, like SSc1, MRc3, etc. This is because I believe most people will take the LEED AP+ or LEED AP with specialty exam at some point after they take the LEED Green Associate Exam.

By organizing this book by each specific LEED credit, I make it easier for you to support a LEED project team because people will talk about SSc8, MRc6, etc. when they do real LEED projects.


Another benefit is that you just need to spend 50% more effort to prepare for Part II of the LEED AP+ exam since you already know most of specific LEED credits: the basic and fundamental credit system is very similar for ALL LEED systems…

Sample questions from LEED Green Associate Exam Guide

1. With regard to the Optimize Energy Performance credit, which of the following statements is correct?

a. Compare your building performance to the baseline building performance.

b. Compare baseline building performance to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 (with errata but without addenda).

c. Compare baseline building performance to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004.

d. Compare baseline building performance to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2003.

2. Which of the following factors does not improve human comfort?

a. Air temperature.

b. Ventilation.

c. Radiation exchange.

d. All of the above.

3.The standard used for Measurement and Verification is:

a. ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 (with errata but without addenda).

b. The Department of Energy Verification Protocol.

c. A signed statement from the designer.

d. International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol...

You can find more comprehensive study materials, sample questions, mock exam, and information on green building leed certification, and sustainability in LEED GA Study Guide.

Table of Content for LEED GA Study Guide

Preface

Chapter One: LEED Exam Preparation Strategies, Methods, Tips, Suggestions, Mnemonics and Exam Tactics to Improve Your Exam Performance


1. The nature of LEED exams and exam strategies

2. LEED exam preparation requires short-term memory

3. LEED exam preparation strategies and scheduling

4. Timing of review: the 3016 rule; memorization methods, tips, suggestions, and mnemonics

5. The importance of good and effective study methods

6. The importance of repetition: read this book at least three times

7. When should you start to do sample questions and mock exams?

8. How much time do you need for LEED exam preparation?

9. The importance of a routine

10. The importance of short, frequent breaks and physical exercise

Mnemonics for memorizing these 10 key points: Nancy Smith Shows Tom Michaels a REd TREe (Note the bold letters in this sentence and the bold letters in the 10 key points above)

11. A strong vision and a clear goal


Chapter Two: Overview

1. What is LEED? What is the difference between LEED, LEEP AP, LEED Green Associate, LEEP AP+ and LEED Fellow?

2. Why did the GBCI create the new three-tier LEED credential system?

3. Do I need to have LEED project experience to take the LEED exams?

4. How do I become a LEED AP+? Do I have to take the LEED Green Associate Exam first to become a LEED AP+?

5. How many questions do you need to answer correctly to pass the LEED exams?

6. What are the key areas that USGBC uses to measure the performance of a building’s sustainability?

7. How many LEED exams does USGBC have?

8. Are the LEED Exams valid and reliable?

9. How many member organizations does the USGBC have?

10. How many regional chapters does the USGBC have?

11. What is the main purpose of USGBC?

12. What are the guiding principles of the USGBC?

13. How much energy and resources do buildings consume in the US?

14. What is the most important step to get your building certified?

15. What are the benefits of green buildings and LEED Certification?

16. Who developed the LEED green building rating systems?

17. What current reference guides and specific green building rating systems does the USGBC have?

18. How does LEED fit into the green building market?

19. What are the benefits of LEED certification for your building?

20. What is the procedure of LEED certification for your building?

21. How much is the building registration fee and how much is the building LEED certification fee?

22. How are LEED credits allocated and weighted?

23. Are there LEED certified products?

Chapter Three: Introduction to the LEED Green Associate Exam

1. What is the scope of the LEED Green Associate Exam?

2. What is the latest version of LEED and when was it published?

3. How many possible points does LEED v3.0 have?

4. How many different levels of building certification does USGBC have?

5. What is the process for LEED certification? What are the basic steps for LEED certification?

6. What does the registration form include?

7. What is precertification?

8. What is CIR?

9. When do you submit a CIR?

10. What are the steps for CIR?

11. Will CIR guarantee a credit?

12. What tasks are handled by GBCI and what tasks are handled by USGBC?

13. What are MPRs?

14. What types of projects should use LEED-NC?

15. What types of projects should use LEED-CS?

16. What types of projects should use LEED for Schools?

Chapter Four: LEED Green Associate

Exam Technical Review


1. What do green buildings address?

2. Key stake holders and an integrative approach

3. The mission of USGBC

4. The structure of LEED Rating System

5. LEED certification tools

6. Specific Technical Information

A. Sustainable Sites (SS)

B. Water Efficiency (WE)

C. Energy and Atmosphere (EA)

D. Materials and Resources (MR)

E. Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

F. Innovation and Design Process (ID)

G. Regional Priority (RP)

Note: Each credit category is described in a standard format, including Overall Purpose, Mnemonics, Core Concepts, Recognition, Regulation and Incentives, Overall strategies and technologies, and Specific Technical Information.

Specific Technical Information for each credit includes Purpose, Credit Path, Submittals, Synergies, Possible Strategies and Technologies, Extra Credit (Exemplary Performance), Project Phase, LEED Submittal Phase, Related Code or Standard, and Responsible Party.

A few of the credits are for schools only or for CS only, and are unlikely to be tested on the LEED Green Associate Exam. We just list these credits’ names and related points, omitting their detailed discussions.

Chapter Five: LEED Green Associate Exam Samples Questions, Mock Exam, Answers, and Exam Registration

I. LEED Green Associate Exam sample questions

II. Answers for the LEED Green Associate Exam sample questions

III. LEED Green Associate Mock Exam

IV. Answers for the LEED Green Associate Mock Exam

V. How were the LEED Green Associate Mock Exam created?

VI. Where can I find the latest official sample questions for LEED Green Associate Exam?

VII. LEED Green Associate Exam registration

Chapter Six: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Other Useful Resources

1. I found the reference guide way too tedious. Can I only read your book and just refer to the USGBC reference guide (if one is available for the exam I am taking) when needed?

2. Is one week really enough for me to prepare for the exam while I am working?

3. Would you say that if I buy your LEED exam guide series books, I could pass the exam using no other study materials? The books sold on the USGBC website run in the hundreds of dollars, so I would be quite happy if I could buy your book and just use that.

4. I am preparing for the LEED exam. Do I need to read the 2” thick reference guide?

5. For LEED V3.0, will the total number of points be more than 110 in total if a project gets all of the extra credits and all of the standard credits?

6. I wanted to know whether, for the exam, you need to know if each prerequisite/ credit is pre-design, schematic design, etc.

7. Are you writing new versions of books for the new LEED exams? What new books are you writing?

8. Important documents that you need to download for free, become familiar with and memorize

9. Important documents that you need to download for free, and become familiar with

Appendixes:

1. Default occupancy factors

2. Important resources and further study materials you can download for free

3. Annotated bibliography

4. Valuable websites and links

Back page promotion:

1. Architectural Practice Simplified

2. Planting Design Illustrated

3. LEED Exam Guides Series

(ArchiteG.com)

Index

Click on the book image or the link below to read detailed book description, customer discussions, and customer reviews of this book on Amazon. You can also purchase a hard copy of this book on Amazon or bn.com.




About Gang Chen, LEED AP BD+C, AIA

Gang Chen holds a Master Degree from School of Architecture, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, and a Bachelors Degree from the Department of Architecture, South China University of Technology. He has over 20 years of professional experience. Many of the projects he was in charge of, or participated in, have been published extensively in Architecture, Architectural Record, The Los Angeles Times and The Orange County Register, etc. He has worked on a variety of unusual projects, including well-known large-scale healthcare and hospitality projects with over one billion dollars in construction costs, award-winning school design, highly-acclaimed urban design and streetscape projects, multi-family housing and high-end custom homes, and regional and neighborhood shopping centers.

Gang Chen is a LEED AP BD+C and a licensed architect in California. He is also the internationally acclaimed author of other fascinating books, including: Architectural Practice Simplified, Planting Design Illustrated and LEED AP Exam Guides Series, which include one guide book for each of the LEED exams, ArchiteG.com."

If you have any comments or questions, you can send an e-mail to Gang Chen at this link:
Click here to e-mail Gang Chen

The following are some useful links:

The U.S. Green Building Council(USGBC):
Click here to go to USGBC

The American Institute of Architects (AIA):
Click here to go to AIA:

Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD):
Click here to go to APLD

American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA):
Click here to go to ASLA

Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF):
Click here to go to LAF

American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP):
Click here to go to AICP

International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA):
Click here to go to IFLA



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