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Home All Courses USGBC LEED Green Associate

USGBC LEED Green Associate

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Course Overview

Understanding the need to educate and train in sustainable development principles and strategies, the USGBC has designed several professional credentials that demonstrate different levels of knowledge and skills for the application of the LEED Certification System.

The LEED guides propose a series of design and performance strategies to be implemented in a structure with the purpose of addressing the environmental impact issues as well as the operation and maintenance costs related to excessive consumption of energy, potable water and materials. It also aims to improve the interior environment of buildings to promote the production, use and welfare of the occupants and the surrounding community.

To maximize the results of the application of the strategies proposed by LEED, the scheme is based on propitiating the synergy between the diverse systems existing in a structure. This theory seeks to create closed cycles where the product of one process turns out to be the input of another. The proposal seeks to combine well-known strategies with modern technology to address the life cycle of a building. In addition, LEED provides metric tools that allow evaluating the most productive way to apply these strategies seeking their implementation from an integrated and iterative planning.

The LEED Green Associate credential demonstrates knowledge and non-technical skills to understand and support strategies, ideas and practices that form the basis of sustainable construction, as well as the critical points of the operation and maintenance of structures, specifically related to the LEED program.

1 alternative location(s) available



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5 Key Takeaways


Integrated execution of tasks and certification process in a LEED project.

Sustainable strategies for site selection and related transportation impacts.



Operational efficiency, improved performance and costs effectiveness related to the use of water and energy in a building.

Sustainable building materials and resources.



Quality of the interior environment for superior occupants’ productivity and performance.



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Course Outline


Integrated Process USGBC, GBCI and Leed

  • General concepts about sustainable construction

  • Problems of the current paradigm of construction and justification of sustainable construction

  • Systems that make up a building

  • Product life cycle and buildings

  • Integrated process

Mission of the “US Green Building Council” (USGBC)

  • Market Transformation

  • Development of LEED guides

  • Promotion and lobbying for sustainable construction

Mission of the “Green Business Certification Inc.” (GBCI) and its processes

  • Processes related to the certification of projects and professional credentials

  • Certification and re-certification programs for buildings

  • Relationship between the GBCI and the USGBC

LEED V4 Rating Systems

  • Markets

  • Categories of LEED Systems

  • Certification levels

  • Impact Categories of LEED Systems and distribution of points / credits

  • Minimum requirements of the LEED program

Location and Transportation

  • Environmental problems related to transportation

  • Carbon Dioxide Emissions

  • Urban planning theory “Smart Growth”

  • Land use categories in LEED

Sustainability strategies related to the location of a project and the changes that this causes in transportation

  • Border of a LEED project

  • Footprint of the project

  • Footprint of the building

  • Metrics of occupation

  • Sensitive land

  • Priority development sites

  • Density surrounding a project

  • Miscellaneous uses

  • Soil-area ratio

  • Metric on distance of vehicular trips

Sustainability strategies related to the location of a project and the changes that this causes in transportation

  • Protection of sensitive places

  • Selection of priority development sites

  • Metrics of selection of places taking into account the density surrounding the project and accessibility to diverse uses

  • Adequate access to means of mass transportation

  • Facilities for cyclists

  • Reduction in the footprint of parking lots

  • “Green” vehicles

Environmental problems related to the location of a project

  • Relations between the built environment and ecological services

  • Restoration and ecological preservation in a construction project

Relevant concepts

  • Studies of the location

  • Low impact development

  • Green infrastructure

  • Solar reflectance index

  • Light pollution

  • Heat island effect

  • Integrated pest management

Sustainability strategies related to the development of the site of a project

  • Site initial evaluation

  • Prevention of pollution caused by construction activities

  • Protection or restoration of the development site

  • Provision of open spaces

  • Management of precipitation and runoff

  • Reduction of heat island effect

  • Reduction of light pollution


Background information on the global water resource crisis

  • Shortages of the resource

  • Demand on the resource

Relevant concepts

  • Efficiency in the use of water

  • Water conservation

  • Alternative water sources

  • Reference point for water consumption metrics

  • Metrics for use of faucets and sanitary equipment

  • Gray and black water

  • Low flow faucet

  • Process water

  • Recovered water

  • Xerophytic vegetation

  • Demand profile of the water resource

Sustainability strategies related to the use of water resources outside the building

  • Elimination or reduced use of irrigation systems

  • Selection of xerophytic species

  • Efficiency of irrigation systems

  • Acceptable alternative sources of non-potable water

Sustainability strategies related to the use of water resources inside the building

  • Consumption reduction

  • Efficient taps

  • Acceptable alternative sources of non-potable water

  • Use of water in cooling towers

  • Measurement of water use

Environmental problems related to the production and consumption of non-renewable energies

  • Refrigerants

  • Exhaustion of resources

Profile of the energy performance of a building

  • Design of the structure

  • Interaction between the systems of a building

Synergies in the use of energy

  • Energy and water consumption

  • Energy and ventilation

  • Energy and interior lighting

  • Energy and interior design

Relevant concepts

  • Reference point for energy performance metrics of a building

  • Automated building system

  • Energy model

  • Green energy

  • Zero energy

  • Waste for energy

  • Renewable energy outside the location

  • Process energy

  • Source energy

Sustainability strategies related to the use of energy

  • Demand reduction

  • Preliminary establishment of consumption goals

  • Appropriate size of buildings

  • Use of the existing urban environment to protect new buildings from extreme environmental conditions

  • Use of energy modeling

  • Response programs according to energy demand level

  • Energy audits, studies and monitoring

  • Energy efficiency and performance

  • Alternative energy sources on-site and off-site

  • Refrigerant selection

  • Continuous measurement of energy use and performance

  • Energy commissioning



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