LEED Green Associate Study Guide (Part 2 of Series)

Every LEED project needs to fulfill all prerequisites and Minimum Program Requirements. These do not get the project any points towards certification. To get points, the project must include many different strategies in the different categories to add up to the threshold number of points. Read through this website for details on the process: GBCI.

Here are the different certification levels:

  • LEED certified – 40-49 points
  • LEED Silver – 50-59 points
  • LEED Gold – 60-79 points
  • LEED Platinum – 80+ points

Strategies that are used to fulfill credits are very diverse. The LEED project should be using more strategies than needed so that if some are not awarded points, then others that do get points will still count towards making it to the certification threshold.


USGBC is very careful to NOT condone specific products for LEED buildings, but instead they promote overall strategies such as low-flow showerheads and faucets. Therefore, there is nearly never a case where a product or material can be for-sure used on a LEED project to gain points. The only exception is that, as things are now, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified wood is approved for LEED (there is some controversy over this and there is talk of USGBC making their own label for wood products).


For example, the new Nintendo building will be building a green roof and including composting bins towards gaining points for LEED Silver certification. Strategies may contribute towards credits in more than one category (i.e. Energy & Atmosphere in addition to Materials & Resources).

Other strategies might include:

  • Bicycle and shower facilities
  • Light shelves in windows and shell
  • Natural ventilation
  • Constructed wetlands

For previous posts on this topic, Part 1 and more advanced notes.
For a more in-depth look at LEED in action, check out the blog Real Life LEED.

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  1. Online course: Making Green Buildings | science before breakfast says

    [...] I have written a few times about LEED and green buildings here, here, and here. [...]

  2. LEED Green Associate Study Guide Outline and Notes: Day before the exam | science before breakfast says

    [...] For a very basic introduction to LEED, check out these two entries: Study Guide Part 1 Study Guide Part 2 [...]