Take Your LEED v3 Exam by June 2014!

posted May 29, 2014, 9:11 PM by Skylight Education   [ updated May 29, 2014, 9:33 PM ]

May 30th, 2014 by Brian E. Wennersten

NEW YORK - If you have been thinking about taking the LEED v3 Exams and have also thought about studying
for those exams, there is no better time than now to get cracking on it.  Why?  Because the current version and content that has been previously tought will be outdated starting June 15th, 2014.  This is the last date that the LEED v3 exams for Green Associate, BD+C, ID+C and O+M will be open.  After that, there will be a 15 day hiatus until June 30th, when the exams previously mentioned will feature v4 content.  You are, however, in luck if you are studying for the AP exams in Homes and Neighborhood develop, there is ti
me, keep an eye out for changes in 2015.

That being said, SKYed is no longer offering exam preparation for LEED Green Associate containing v3 information.  We will be diligently working to update our material with v4 content and will role out the new exam preparation classes at the AIANY Center for Architecture starting in late July 2014.  That way, we can make sure that as we are developing our study
material based on announced exam specifications that we get it right.  And we feel that it will only be right after actually taking a look at the real test, which again, won't be available until June 30th.  Until then, be semi wary of those offering exam prep and study guides for LEED v4 exams.  Ask yourself this before you dive into a class or new study material, "If the USGCB online store doesn't even have their LEED Green Associate Study Guide for v4 released yet, then what makes another company not even affiliated with them think that they have all the answers?"  With that in mind, to ensure that our content is accurate, efficient and will steer you down the right path, check back in with us starting in July 2014 to register for our new edition of courses.

As a side note, the USGBC does have a LEED Core Concepts Guide for v4, but this is very introductory and does not serve as an adequate study material alone.

Best of luck on your exam endeavors. 

LEED 2012 versus LEED 2009: Public Comment Period Closes in Advance of November Greenbuild Launch

posted Apr 11, 2012, 8:50 PM by Skylight Education   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 8:51 PM ]

April 11th, 2012
by Brian Wennersten
New York, NY - With LEED 2012 expected to be released this coming November at the annual Greenbuild Conference and Expo in San Francisco, gbNYC and SKYed intend to offer periodic updates, insights and announcements, and, of course, review what will be included in the much anticipated continued evolution of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building rating system. Accordingly, this first article in that series takes a look at where the LEED 2012 development process stands and briefly reviews some of the major changes in the rating system from LEED 2009.

The third public comment period for the development of LEED 2012 just ended on March 27, 2012. USGBC received over 6500 comments, for a total of over 19,000 comments over the three public comment periods. USGBC is evaluating each and every comment for its merit and inclusion in the new version of LEED. With online public forums like and a USGBC web page dedicated to LEED 2012, professionals have had the opportunity over the last 18 months to understand the changes in the draft versions and provide their feedback. All that’s left is for the industry to approve the proposed revisions.

Here’s how that will take place: April 2 marked the opening of the USGBC’s Opt-In period for the LEED 2012 ballot. If you want to participate in the voting process, now is the time to have your USGBC member company in good standing opt in before the window closes on May 1. Member companies will vote on LEED 2012 in June; 2/3 of the votes cast must support the revisions in order for LEED 2012 to be approved.

So what are the proposed changes? The major structural difference between LEED 2009 and LEED 2012 is that the latter will encompass new market sectors: data centers, warehouses and distribution centers, hospitality facilities (i.e. hotels), existing schools and existing retail, and LEED for Homes Mid-Rise. LEED 2012 will also include updates to the technical content of the rating system aimed at increasing its rigor: revisions to credit weights, new credit categories focusing on integrated design, life cycle analysis of materials, and an increased emphasis on measurement and performance. And some new prerequisites will add to LEED 2012’s flavor. USGBC has also promised to improve the LEED user experience by making the LEED Online platform more intuitive and introducing tools to make the LEED documentation process more efficient.

LEED 2012 – if approved – will include far too many changes for us to review them all in one article, so please keep an eye out for periodic updates here at SKYed as we continue this series in the weeks and months ahead.

LEED Continuing Education Requirements

posted Apr 26, 2011, 12:05 PM by Skylight Education   [ updated Apr 26, 2011, 12:18 PM ]

April 26th, 2011
by Brian Wennersten, LEED AP+
NEW YORK, NY - Now that you have passed the Green Associate and/or AP+ with Specialty exams, or you have just opted in to the AP+ credential, you have by default agreed to a Credential Maintenance Program (CMP).  That means it’s time to continue your education relevant to green building through the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).  This program is very similar to many other Continuing Education (CE) programs out there for other certifications and accreditations.  In fact, since GBCI CE is self-reporting, you may and will find that many of the CE hours that you already participate in will qualify for your LEED CMP.  That being said, it can be fairly easy to earn the appropriate amount of hours for your designation within each two year reporting period.  There are many CMP activities that you can pursue to earn hours including: live presentations, continuing education, self-study, college courses, volunteer work, authorship, and LEED project participation.

Let’s start with the basics of LEED CMP.  If you are a LEED Green Associate, you will have to complete 15 hours of CMP with 3 hours focusing on LEED Specific hours.  On the other hand, LEED AP’s with specialty must complete 30 hours of CMP with 6 of those hours being LEED Specific.  What defines LEED Specific?  GBCI defines LEED Specific “as an activity that has an explicit connection to processes, procedures or concepts (i.e. intents, requirements and strategies) found in any of the current LEED rating systems.” 

Where it starts to get confusing is for legacy LEED APs, those that took the exam without specialty prior to the LEED tiered credential updates were implemented in 2009.  Current LEED APs still have an opportunity to opt-in to the LEED AP with specialty program.  The staggered window to opt-in is fast closing starting in August 2011, however, there are still many out there who are still deliberating whether or not to do so.  For those that have or are going to opt-in, there are two paths to choose from.  The first is through prescriptive maintenance and the second is through testing. 

For LEED APs that opt-in to a specialty, which closely relates to the original exam that they passed, the prescriptive path for complying with CMP will have no enrollment fee for your first renewal period.  The prescriptive path is similar to those that newly become a LEED AP+ by passing the exam in that you will have to complete 30 hours of CMP, with 6 hours being LEED Specific.  The difference is that those 30 hours have to be broken down into a certain amount of hours in each the following categories depending on your specialty: 

·         Project site factors

·         Water management

·         Project systems & energy impacts

·         Acquisition, installation, and management of project materials

·         Improvements to the indoor environment

·         Stakeholder involvement in innovation

·         Project surrounding & public outreach 

For more information on the prescriptive path, please visit Appendix E of the CMP Guide. 


Yes, this can be complicated, but GBCI is doing their best to make the process easier.  There is a handy excel spreadsheet (see attached document) that you can use to keep track of your prescriptive hours.  There are guides and online wizards to help you navigate the process.   If all else fails; contact GBCI for more information, their customer service is excellent.


Of course, if this all seems like too much of a process to go through, legacy LEED APs, over 100,000 of them don’t have to opt-in at all and will always have their LEED AP credential, only without a specialty.  Keep in mind though; it is the specialty that will notify people that you are keeping up with the quickly evolving green building environment.


CMP Navigations Resources are linked below.  Make sure that guides linked here are still valid if you are using them well after this article was written.  As of April 26th, 2011 all links and attachments are currently valid.

Happy Earth Day! - SKYed to Sponsor "Puerto Rico Now: Practice, Government & Media” Event

posted Apr 22, 2011, 6:53 PM by Skylight Education

April 22nd, 2011
by Yvonne Saavedra Limb

NEW YORK, NY - SKYed Eco Consulting & Education, continuing their close relationship over the last two years with the AIA and the Center of Architecture is proud to be a sponsor of the "Puerto Rico Now: Practice, Government & Media” event.  This event, which will take place on Wednesday, April 27, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM , is part of the Women in Architecture and the Global Dialogues Committees of the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter. Our own, Yvonne Saavedra Limb, has been part of the Puerto Rico Now program organizing committee, and will also be acting as a translator at this event.

We understand this is the first time that current architecture in practice, government, and media, in Puerto Rico, is presented in New York by women architects themselves in a continuation of the series launched in 2010 by Warren James and the Global Dialogues Committee; we are extremely excited about this.

Focusing on contemporary professional practice, public policy and media, three prominent Puerto Rican women architects offer their architectural and urban vision for this Caribbean island, which stands in close proximity to New York City culturally and physically. The presentation followed by a panel discussion will highlight ways in which these architects are engaging and educating communities on building safety, historic preservation and sustainability, as well as influencing government policy in Puerto Rico.  Participants will learn how the speakers actively engage and educate communities through media outreach and other resources and inform government agencies at the Municipal and State level regarding the implementation of public projects directly affecting the architectural and urban built environment in the island.

We at SKYed feel very excited to be part of this global effort, which always reminds us that only as we continue our cultural dialogues, we will also continue taking steps towards global sustainability and a better celebration of Earth Day!


Hoping to see you on Wednesday at the Center for Architecture,  536 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY


Diana Luna, AIA – Architect Luna is working with municipalities in Puerto Rico regarding the themes of historic preservation, sustainability, and urbanism. One of her urban projects includes the historic renovation and master plan of Aguirre, a neighborhood in Salinas, Puerto Rico, designated an AIA 150 project.

Astrid Diaz, AIA – Architect Díaz is working through both her own firm and within various local media outlets to educate the public about the importance of preserving the architectural heritage of PueRico. 

Laura Cordero, AIA - A pioneer among women architects in Puerto Rico, Ms. Cordero relocated to the island early on in her career, concentrating her practice on health care facilities while continuing to work on a wide range of projects such as: institutional and educational  buildings, restaurants, resort communities, housing, single family homes and urban rehabilitation.  Architect Cordero has actively participated in the founding and organization of the Puerto Rico’s Architect’s Association and the AIA Puerto Rico Chapter activities

Tis' the Season of Giving Rebates for the Green Job Workforce Development

posted Dec 16, 2010, 10:31 AM by Skylight Education   [ updated Dec 7, 2011, 1:34 PM ]

A Gift from NYSERDA: 
%50 Rebate for SKYed LEED Prep Extended to 2012
December 16th, 2010
New York City, New York - Tis’ the season of giving and in that spirit we are happy to announce that The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has extended its certification reimbursement program until 2012.  The funds are available for individuals and sponsoring organizations that help individuals obtain the LEED professional credentials on a first-served basis until funds run out. 


This program has proven to be an amazing workforce development initiative and is providing rebates for many New York residents looking to further their careers by becoming a LEED Green Associate or a LEED AP. 


Under NYSERDA’s Workforce Development Training Partnership for Energy Efficiency, New York residents may be eligible for a %50 rebate on your LEED exam preparation courses up to $200.  The program was set up encourage individuals to obtain nationally recognized certifications relevant to energy efficiency skills and competencies needed to support NYSERDA’s  Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS)and for the Green Jobs Green New York (GJGNY) Program.


Upon successfully passing the exam, NYSERDA is providing cost-shared reimbursement for exam preparation and exam fees.  Students that completed one of SKYed’s courses on or after November 30th, 2009 may be eligible for NYSERDA funding upon being awarded a LEED professional credential.   To be eligible, you must be able to show a copy of your utility bill (to verify your residence in a NY SBC-utility service territory) OR demonstration of active participation in a NYSERDA or utility program funded by SBC or EEPS.  


Please read NYSERDA’s Training Guidance documents for more information and to confirm that you qualify.   For more information or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Happy Thanksgiving: Let's Give Thanks for a Greener NYC

posted Nov 24, 2010, 12:17 PM by Skylight Education   [ updated Nov 24, 2010, 1:03 PM ]

November 24th, 2010
by Brian Wennersten
New York, New York - This holiday we have a lot to be thankful for in the green building world! It has been a long and winding (sometimes uphill) road, and we still have a lot of distance to cover, but how great is it to see all of these wonderful laws being put into effect in New York City over the last few months! We have watched and waited over the years...listening, participating and reading about the legislation aimed to improve the energy and water efficiency of our many existing buildings. To see these changes beginning to take place is a wonderful victory for our city.

 The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, included under plaNYC, was passed last December, but is now beginning to be implemented along with rolling out several new regulations. This plan affects our largest existing buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger. The aim is to push the city closer to “sustainability” through their four new codes that will take effect from now until 2025. According to the city's website, this will “result in an emissions reduction of almost five percent. It will also reduce citywide energy costs by $700 million annually by 2030 and create roughly 17,800 construction-related jobs over ten years.”     


While sorting out which laws require what and when they will be enforced, there seems to be new green building codes adopted just about every week to top that off.  Last year the Urban Green Council, the New York City chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, introduced Green Building code recommendations to the city council.  The Green Codes Task Force, a group of dedicated volunteers and Urban Green Council staff, proposed 111 recommendations.  I was present at City Hall when the recommendations were handed over and I remember feeling very optimistic about the movement towards decreasing the impact that our buildings have on the environment.  While I was not a part of putting the codes together, as a volunteer of the Urban Green Council, I had a huge sense of pride for their accomplishment of completing such an extensive report.  


Here we are, less than a year later, and sixteen of the recommendations have been adopted

These new codes will add environmental protection as the fundamental principle of construction codes.  This includes health and toxicity of building components, energy efficiency and water efficiency.  Most notable the code that will save billions of gallons of water each year by increasing efficiency standards on new and replacement plumbing fixtures beginning in 2012.  Also, lighting efficiency will be more stringent as codes will require occupant sensors and reduced artificial lighting in sunlit lobbies and hallways.


Residing in a city of this magnitude, even small measures across the board create positive change. As new codes and laws are adopted, the city demonstrates that not only has the market shifted towards green building, but the public sector is now following suit acknowledging that there are green building measures that can be done and should be done every time. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

SKYed Principal Discusses Green Building Core Concepts @ Pace Law School

posted Oct 1, 2010, 10:22 AM by Skylight Education   [ updated Oct 5, 2010, 1:57 PM ]

September 23rd, 2010
by Brian Wennersten

White Plains, NY - Higher education is now starting to catch on to educating their students about green building core concepts and environmental issues.  I have discussed in a previous post about a NYTimes Article about Community Colleges unveiling continuing education programs to train professionals for "green collar" jobs.  Rutgers University, my alma mater, has started a graduate program that allows students to earn a Masters of Business and Science (MBS) degree.  In fact, I graduated with an Bachelor of Science in Environmental & Business Economics in 2003.  Even then Rutgers recognized the importance of combining business with the environmental sciences in an effort to improve our benefits to people, our economy and our planet.  Despite this, it has taken years for the MBS and other programs to develop and be recognized for their importance.  Upon graduation, in '03, I was even advised to remove the Environmental part off of my resume while job searching for a business/finance job.  There was little that could be done back then, but I was determined to leave that part on their and include my environmental science interests in the pursuit of my career pathway. 


While there has been many programs out there starting to focus on environmental curriculum, there has been less discussion about the law aspects of green building, unless that is you are Stephen Del Percio, J.D, LEED AP and you write a blog called "Green Real Estate Law".  Stephen has been discussing green real esate law for several years now and has begun teaching a course, "Green Buildings and the Law",   at Pace Law School in White Plains, NY with colleague Gregory S. Hoffnagle, J.D., LEED AP.  The two invited me to be a guest lecturer for one of their recent classes.  The discussions ended up being educational for me, as we able to touch upon the many aspects where law might come into play.  It is interesting to see how green building is having an impact on so many different industries, including attorneys.


A couple months back I was also able to contribute to the Emerging Professionals of the NYC's Urban Green Council in a 3 hour LEED GA exam preparation event.  All proceeds for that event went directly to the EP group and help to fund their next large event, the Natural Talent Design Competition, in which the winner went on to win the national competition. 


I have to say, it is fun getting the word out and contributing to the increasing amount of awareness in regards to real estate construction and its impacts on our environment and economy.  While it is amazing to see how far we have come since I graduated from Rutgers, there is still a lot of work to be done.


NY Offers SKYed LEED GA & AP Students 50% Rebate

posted Sep 20, 2010, 11:55 AM by Skylight Education   [ updated Sep 20, 2010, 1:51 PM ]

Monday, September 20th, 2010
NEW YORK, NY - SKYed Eco Education is pleased to announce that many of it's alumni that reside in New York state who pay a Sytem Benefits Charge (SBC) on their utility bill are eligible for a 50% rebate on the cost of their exam preparation course, application and exam fees.  Students who pay this SBC fee in New York who have successfully obtained accreditation after November 30, 2009 are eligible for reimbursement of fees related to the LEED credential. 
If you notice that you pay an SBC charge or are participating New York's historic Energy Efficiency-Portfolio Standard (EEPS) you may be eligible for this generous rebate.  Now is great time to take advantage of the rebate administered by the New York State Energy Reserch and Development Authority (NYSERDA) before the funds run out or expire sometime next year. 
The funds are available through NYSERDA's workforce development program, created to train and certify workers to serve the needs of the Energy Efficiency Portfolio and to increase the training infrastructure for "green" jobs. 
For more details and information please contact us to find out if you may be eligible:
SKYed does not guarentee 50% reimbursement for course fees.  Students must perform their own due diligence and check with NYSERDA to make sure that they are eligible for the reimbursements.

Community College Training for Green Collar Jobs

posted Aug 26, 2010, 11:00 AM by Skylight Education   [ updated Aug 26, 2010, 11:22 AM ]

August, 26th, 2010
New York, NY - Green collar jobs continue to be a hot topic in our nations economic recovery.  An article in the New Yorks Times reiterated the fact that secondary education, especially community colleges have caught on that we are in great need of this type of job training.  Bergen Community College in Paramus, NJ is beginning their version of green collar training this semester called the "Green Patways to Employment Certification Program".  The community college is at the forefront of a green building revolution and has not only recognized the need for green collar job training, but they are leading the way in education and professional development.                               Photo:NY Times, Aug, 26th, 2010 Click LInk for Source

"The Green Pathways to Employment Certificate Program is targeted to offer workforce skills

training in a variety of fields with options to test for industry certifications. The program’s

main focus is the preparation of job ready skills to assist displaced or unemployed workers

in obtaining immediate employment opportunities. A one day community service option is

available through a local Non-Profit organization that provides home fix-up projects for

Veterans in need. This Day of Service offers students the opportunity to practice newly

acquired knowledge and skills for the benefit of those who have proudly served our nation." Bergen Community College

SKYed Eco Education has teamed up with BCC for the Fall semester to teach the "Energy Star Homes and Energy Audits" course as part of the Green Pathway certification courses and once again LEED Green Associate exam prep classes.  Additionally, Bergen Community College will be teaching contractors about lead safe practices which are required under the Environmental Protection Agency's new federal Renovation, Repair and Painting law.  Please contact SKYed for more information:  Also, click on the attachement to view the BCC Fall Course Catalog.  You can find more on the green courses offered starting on page 73.



Green Building and Affordable Housing: NYC Habitat for Humanity

posted Apr 19, 2010, 10:10 PM by Skylight Education

Friday, April 10th, 2010

BROOKLYN, NY - Brian Wennersten, Principal of SKYed Eco Education, recently volunteered for New York City Habitat for Humanity with a group from the Emerging Green Builders of NYC.  The group gathered at 118 Hart St. in Brooklyn, NY to work on the final stages of a four story affordable housing row home.  The building began construction in July of 2009 and is now close to becoming the new homes for first time homebuyers.  The EGB’ers were able to contribute in the construction process along side with full time AmeriCorps volunteers by installing and painting finish trim, hanging doors, and sealing the tile floors.  
Habitat for Humanity is now developing with green building practices in mind.  This was quite fitting for the EGB’ers as many of the participants are members of the New York City Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council’s, Urban Green Council and are strong supporters of the LEED(Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating systems. While LEED certification was not pursued on these homes, Habitat built to Energy Star standards.   Some of the aspects that were included to increase energy efficiency are high efficiency boilers, energy efficient low-emissivity windows and energy star appliances and lighting fixtures.  As prescribed in the LEED rating systems; much of the construction materials are non-toxic and sustainable, and water saving fixtures were installed.  At the end of the day, affordability of these homes is further increased with green building practices when the new homeowners are estimated to save 30% on utility bills. 
“It was a great experience to be able to contribute in building affordable housing in Brooklyn.  Many people believe that green building and affordable housing do not coincide.  However, Habitat for Humanity has begun to prove that environmentally friendly building practices can be both high quality and economic at the same time.” Brian Wennersten

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