LEED AP BD+C: Resources and Materials (Free)

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(Updates below)

This is part of a series of articles on the experience of giving the LEED AP BD+C examination. Last week we completed our 2-part article on 11 Essential ‘Need-To-Knows’ before LEED AP BD+C Prep (Part 1, Part 2). Now, we start to look at Resources and Materials (both Freely available and Paid) that would be useful for this preparation.

This week we start with Freely available online resources. Based on your level of experience and knowledge, you may be able to pass the exam by using just the free resources. Some of our team however, felt the need for additional support. So, they made use of some ‘Paid’ resources which we talk of next week in case you feel the need for those.

Note: We have employed exhaustive online research, to explore all possible sources on the topic, as we felt that relying on any one source may not be enough.

Our articles are not endorsing any online courses/ question banks. However, we would like to give due credit to pages that our team found useful while attempting the exam. Ultimately, it is totally up to your choice and discretion whether to subscribe to them.

  1. Online Book
  2. Other Resources
  3. Practice Questions
    • USGBC
    • GBRI
    • Everblue

1) Online Book

current online book screenshot
Screenshot for Online Book – Current Version [Image via USGBC]
  • Latest Link – This is a 160+ pages free Document that has everything you need to know for the exam. The latest update to the book was published by USGBC on 2nd July 2018. The link for this PDF is here.
  • Updates – We will keep updating this link. If at some point you are unable to access it, that could mean that USGBC has published another update and removed the earlier version. Just google LEED v4 BDC pdf and you should be able to find an org link saying current version.
  • Getting through the book – If you can get through this slightly intimidating document on your own, then you may not need to refer to other sources at all. If however, the thought of reading and getting through the first page onward is a little daunting, you could try a couple of different methods and resources (explained below and in ‘Method of Study’ in coming weeks).

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2) Other Resources

(a) USGBC
  • Introduction Video – USGBC provides a simple animated free introduction video that helps to get your bearings about the exam.
what is a leed ap
Screenshot for USGBC Introduction Video [Image by USGBC via YouTube]
  • Four-week study plan – This is something new we came across recently. The link provides a Syllabus  and a 28-day study plan (which includes PDFs and Videos) which should help you organize your preparation. The videos are a wonderful addition to their free resources.
  • LEED AP BD+C v4 checklist in Excel format – This excel sheet shows what an actual project checklist looks like, so it will give you an experience of the structure followed – prerequisites, credits, points possible.
excel screen shot
Screenshot v4 Checklist [ Image by USGBC]
  • Credit/ Prerequisite Database – All prerequisites and Credits are explained in considerable detail here. These pages should be included in the study schedule. They help you check for latest updates. Resources like Submittal Tips and Forms help to understand the practical side and applicability of the exam in LEED projects.
  • Reference Guide 67-page excerpt – This is a short section of the complete reference guide that is available free online. It is quite detailed and a little intimidating. You might not need this much detail for the exam, so maybe don’t look at it if you are short on time!
(b) GBRI
  • Glossary of Terms – These are key terms useful for LEED exams presented as a video and PDFs. They are available at 2 locations – here and here.
  • Introduction videos – This is a free introduction video on LEED Process, Integrative Strategies
GBRI
Screenshot for GBRI video – LEED Process, Integrative Strategies [Image by GBRI via YouTube]
(c) Green Building Academy

Also known as Conserve Academy, this is an excellent resource that we talk about in detail later. This is a paid resource, but Introduction videos and few chapters like ‘Location and Transportation’ for LEED AP BD+C are available for free.

  • Video for Location and Transportation Credit – Sensitive Land Protection
  • Video for Location and Transportation Credit – High Priority Site
(d) Poplar

This is a 27-page slideshow about useful LEED concepts.

(e) Quizlet

This application allows students to learn using tools and games. We had heard about this website and thought to give it a try. Searching for LEED AP BD+C gives a massive list of flashcards with useful terms to study for the exam. This material is created by users from around the world. It can offer a unique perspective and can be good for revision reading towards the later stages of preparation.

(f) GBES

Update: We recently found another free resource. A glossary of 257 v4 terms presented in Excel format. The file also includes translations in other languages like Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Italian.

(g) GreenCE

Update: While writing our article on Paid Resources, we came across this section on FREE courses offered by GreenCE. The courses are meant for collecting Continuing Education hours once you have passed the examination. However, these can be referred to earlier, during exam preparation as well. Since they refer to actual projects applying LEED Credits, they are very useful in understanding the certification process. There are General and Specific courses (BD+C, Homes, ID+C, O+M, ND).

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3) Practice Questions

(a) USGBC
  • 100 question mock exam – This is a free exam offered by USGBC. It is in computerized format and you can attempt it as many times as you need.
100 mock usgbc
Screenshot for 100 question Mock Exam [Image via USGBC]
  • 6 free questions – This is an article we found recently by one of the USGBC authors. It includes 6 questions in a computerized format. Extra free questions are always welcome. Right?!
6 questions
Screenshot for 6 question exam [Image via USGBC]
(b) GBRI

This is a 30 question Mock Examination. You would need to login to their site.

(c) Everblue

They offer 10 free practice questions and answers here.

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That’s all for this week. Hope this was helpful. Next time we outline a list of Paid resources that we thought were useful. You could refer to those if you feel the need for them.

If you have suggestions for other topics or queries related to this content, kindly let us know in the comments below. From this week, we are using DISQUS for comments!

Alternatively, you could leave us a message here.

Thank you for reading!