A potential student called the other day and asked, “Is LEED still worth it?” Here’s a look at his situation and the reasons why LEED is still relevant.
On the pro LEED side, a job recruiter he is working with told him to get a LEED credential, as it will make him more valuable.
On the negative side, he is a construction project estimator, and the owner of his company and the LEED AP said not to get it.
I asked him a few questions about his company and his career goals. He said that they were a non-union general construction company in the New York area. Their work is mostly with private developers who build and then sell their buildings.
With that information as background, here are my thoughts:
First, I asked him if he cared about the environment and the quality of their projects. Does he have professional pride? Yes about the environment and yes about professional pride. LEED training is not just about passing the Green Associate or Accredited Professional exams. It’s about new ways of thinking. It’s about becoming a voice for sustainability. It’s about doing your part to make our world a better place. My hope for any of my students in the LEED classes is that they leave inspired to go and implement what they learn on their project teams!
Second, LEED is not just for contractors. LEED is for literally everyone in the building construction process. From manufacturers to estimators to architects, engineers, and contractors. Everyone can benefit from learning about the LEED principles. And ALL OF US benefit when we build buildings that are healthier and more sustainable.
Third, LEED is absolutely still relevant with anyone that builds and then operates a building. Government, Higher Ed, and Corporations all build LEED buildings because they build and then occupy the same building. They have a vested interest in looking at the entire lifecycle of their building. They don’t care about saving money on construction costs if it means spending way more money on utility bills or lost employee productive or higher maintenance costs. Unfortunately, that is not the case for a typical private sector developer who sells the building after construction. In that case the developer optimizes for minimum construction costs even if that means the future owner is less productive or has higher operating costs. That’s just the way our free market works.
Fourth, the LEED credentials speak to a person’s commitment to personal growth and career development. This is true of any credential or advanced training. “Is LEED still worth it?” Why, yes, LEED happens to be a widely recognized standard, so it works great on a resume or on LinkedIn. It shows that someone cared enough about their career to take the time and spend the money for advanced training. That alone speaks volumes. Personally, having reviewed thousands of resumes and having hired hundreds of people, I like growth candidates.
Fifth, LEED is still growing and if anyone is concerned about the future of our planet, now more than ever, we need to advocate for more sustainability. Not less!
So if you’re still asking, “Is LEED still worth it?” hopefully we’ve calmed your concerns and shown you why it’s important. And if you’re ready to get started, join us for LEED Green Associate Exam Prep – which can be taken live in 2 days (in select locations), via a 4-part live webinar series, OR as a self-paced online webinar.
If you work in the building industry, there’s no excuse for not being aware of LEED and knowledgeable about its guiding principles. Start today!