The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System has become the industry standard for high performance, green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed version 1.0 of the LEED Green Building Rating System in 1998. On April 27, 2009 USGBC launched LEED version 3.0. LEED certified buildings are in high demand as green buildings are increasingly mandated by the government and demanded by tenants. However, successfully obtaining LEED certification can be a complex process. Therefore, it is important that individuals who are seeking LEED certification for their projects assemble a team of professionals who are knowledgeable and have experience managing the LEED process.
One way to ensure that team members have proven expertise with the LEED certification process is to engage professionals with LEED credentials. The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) was established in 2008 and has created an accreditation program that recognizes individuals’ knowledge of LEED requirements and green building practices. There are three levels of LEED professional accreditation: (i) LEED Green Associate, (ii) LEED Accredited Professional and (iii) LEED Accredited Professional Fellow. LEED Green Associate is the first level of accreditation. LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) signifies an advanced depth of knowledge of green building practices. LEED APs are accredited in one or more of the following specialties: Building Design and Construction, Operations and Maintenance, Interior Design and Construction, Home and Neighborhood Development. Finally, the LEED Accredited Professional Fellow accreditation distinguishes an elite class of leading professionals in green building. In addition to facilitating the LEED certification process, involving a LEED AP in a project earns the project one point toward LEED certification.
Seven Pepper Hamilton lawyers have earned LEED professional credentials. Vicki R. Harding, a partner in the firm’s Detroit office, was the first Michigan-based attorney to achieve the designation of LEED AP. In addition, the following Pepper lawyers are LEED APs: Wendy Klein Keane, Hannah Dowd McPhelin, AnnMarie Sanford, Blair L. Schiff, and Jason C. Spang. Stefanie L. Brennan is certified as a LEED Green Associate.
More information about the U.S. Green Building Council and LEED rating systems is available at http://www.usgbc.org/leed.