LEED Certification

Who Should Become a Green Rater

Who Should Become a Green Rater

You should pursue the LEED Green Rater designation if you are interested in taking your LEED knowledge to the next level and making an important impact on residential projects.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards are famously used on commercial building structures. However, the LEED green building standards can also be used on residential structures, such as single-family and multi-family homes – even whole neighborhoods!

What is a LEED Green Rater?

LEED Green Raters provide verification services on each and every LEED residential project.

They are responsible for:

  • Verifying that the project was designed and built to the rigorous requirements of the LEED rating system through documentation review and on-site verification
  • Assembling the project submittal package for submission to GBCI for certification review

Project teams interested in certifying a residential project must contact a LEED Green Rater.

green home rater job image

How to Become a LEED Green Rater

A candidate should be well-versed in energy-efficient construction practices and LEED.

To become a LEED Green Rater, an individual must:

  • Participate in a free 5-hour online course about LEED v4 residential rating systems
  • Participate in a 1.5-day LEED Green Rater Workshop and complete an online assessment
  • Hold a current LEED AP BD+C or LEED AP Homes credential
  • Demonstrate at least 3 years of work experience as a residential contractor, with 2 professional references
  • Earn at least 1 CEU for each of the following topics: building envelope, heat transfer, moisture transfer, and air transfer
  • Complete the LEED Green Rater application

As you can see from the eligibility requirements, a LEED Green Rater has a vast background in residential construction and energy efficiency.

The first two requirements are fairly easy and straightforward to achieve. But how do you get to the point of being a LEED AP BD+C or LEED AP Homes credential holder? Keep reading!

How to Become a LEED AP Credential Holder

Given that a LEED Green Rater is required to be involved with the project from the design phase through to the construction phase, it’s important to follow through with the traditional LEED credentialing process in addition to the LEED Green Rater process.

Individuals wanting to advertise their LEED expertise and work on LEED building projects in a design, construction, or operations capacity will participate in the traditional LEED credentialing process, which is as follows:

Step 1:  Take & pass the LEED Green Associate exam

Step 2:  Remain at this level or upgrade to a LEED AP with a Specialty

There are five LEED AP Specialties available, each with a unique exam:

  • Building Design + Construction
  • Operations + Maintenance
  • Interior Design + Construction
  • Neighborhood Development
  • Homes

As you can see, a candidate must first pass the LEED Green Associate exam and then take & pass the LEED AP specialty exam.

In this case, if your goal is to become a LEED Green Rater, you would set your sights on the LEED AP BD+C exam or the LEED AP Homes exam to earn those relevant specialties.

The LEED AP BD+C credential is designed for new construction or major renovations of single-family homes and multifamily residential buildings of one to three stories. The LEED BD+C rating system can also be applied to multi-family residential buildings of four or more occupiable stories above grade.

The LEED AP Homes credential is designed for single-family homes, low-rise multi-family (one to three stories) or mid-rise multi-family (four to six stories).

Are You Ready to Become a LEED Green Rater?

If you’re relatively new to the residential energy efficiency industry, you might want to take our BPI Building Science Principles course, which covers the building science concepts mentioned above (building envelope, heat transfer, moisture transfer, and air transfer).

If you’ve already satisfied the building science requirement and work experience requirements, you’ll definitely need to earn a LEED credential. Remember to start at the LEED Green Associate level and then upgrade to either LEED AP BD+C or LEED AP Homes.

Still have questions about LEED Green Rater? Give us a call at (800) 460-2575!

Register now for LEED Green Associate Exam Prep

About Lesley Cowie

Lesley has been passionately advocating for and working with green building and renewable energy since 2009. She has experience with LEED certification, home energy auditing, blower door testing, solar energy, and more. She holds many certifications, including LEED Green Associate and NABCEP Certification. Her work has won numerous awards over the past decade.