Close

How to pass the LEED Green Associate exam in 30 days by studying in your daily commute.

Posted on by Nayive Kalkach

I know the feeling: you've registered to take the LEED Green Associate test and the anxiety begins. Where should you start? Should you study the recommended books only?  Should you memorize the entire USGBC website?

When I was researching to figure out how much time to invest studying I found some people passed by studying fifteen days for 5 hours each day. I don't have the luxury of five free hours a day because of work but I do have two hours of commute so I took advantage of that plus my lunch time at work. The following 30-day routine got me 185 points (you need 170 to pass):

Study materials you'll need:

Part One. Study by category every weekday (nine days):

On your way to work

There are nine categories to practice in the "LEED GA" app; answer all questions related to one category. If you get an incorrect answer, make sure you read the details for incorrect answers.

Lunch Time (25 - 30 min)

  • Go to section 4 of the "LEED Core concepts guide". and read carefully the category that matches with the "LEED GA" app category that you practiced in the morning. It's important that you understand the chapter clearly.

On your way home

  • Repeat the exact same test that you took in the morning in the "LEED GA" app. Most likely, your grade will increase considerably and you will have a good understanding of that day's category.

Part Two. Take GBES practice tests until achieving 85% accuracy (6 - 12 days):

On your way to work / On your way home

Set the "LEED GA" app for practice tests of  30+ questions with all categories included. Remember to read and understand the details of incorrect answers; you should start noticing that all questions have one word that gives the answer away; this is also true for the actual test.

Lunch Time (25 - 30 min.)

In the GBES website, take the tests in order (A, B, C..). Each test consists of 100 questions and will let you know at the end how well you are doing in each category. You can stop practicing this tests when you get 85% accuracy. Don't forget to set the tests to show you the explanation of incorrect answers.

Part Three. "Closer to actual test" experience (7 days):

On your way to work / On your way home

  • Get a more real experience by setting the "GBES practice tests" and "LEED GA" app to give you the results until the end of the test. Retake the tests for your weakest percentages.

Lunch Time

  • Do one practice test; it should take you considerably less time by now to finish it.
  • Read the "Impact category and point allocation development process" PDF with special attention to Appendix A.

Part Four. The weekend before your test (2 days):

  • Download the score card  for BD+C: New Construction and Major Renovations. Memorize the eight categories, the total points you can get with each and its prerequisites. In my opinion, there is no need to memorize the rest of the scorecard.

 Part five. Exam day

Relax and enjoy the ride! If you pass, you can start preparing for LEED AP (or not). If you don't pass, you have two more chances and you will know exactly what to expect.

Good luck! 

A few tips before I go:

  • Understand green power, RECs and carbon offsets ( I didn't and lost several points)
  • Know the difference between minimum program requirements and credit prerequisites.
  • If the test comes and you didn't have time to learn the impact categories, all you have to remember is that it's all about reversing contribution to the climate change.
  • Know the different roles taken by USGBC and GBCI.

I know this will take some of your precious break time for a few weeks but the amount of satisfaction you will feel after passing the test makes it worth it. 


Disclaimer: The information above represents only my personal experience and does not guarantee any specific result.

Tour to Palecek

Posted on by Nayive Kalkach

Last week I had the opportunity to take a fun trip to Palecek's furniture factory with the HBA team. It is very interesting to see how things are being made since it opens our eyes to possibilities  of things that could be made.

Something that I really enjoyed  is the happiness that the workers showed when doing their tasks, one of them was kind enough to explain to me what she did and made sure to tell me that she appreciated very much her work there. More than 40 years ago, Palecek started as a basket-weaving business that slowly evolved into a successful furniture and lighting company for commercial and residential use. Here are some of the cool moments that we had in the visit. Enjoy!

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

Special thanks to Suzanna Koolidge and Phylis Steiber for making this awesome trip possible.

A world of possibilities.

Posted on by Nayive Kalkach

I have the luck to have access to hundreds and hundreds of fabric samples at the place where I'm interning so for this week I decided to choose some of the ones that I find interesting and create different combinations to analyze them and see what different senses of a space I could get. 

I only chose eight for this small experiment and I found out that this eight gave so many different possibilities that I don't even know how designers can make up their mind in the first place when they have substantial amount of finishes to choose from.

Materials selected to create different combinations.

Materials selected to create different combinations.

Orange fabric overtakes the rest of them making a tired eye after some time.

Orange fabric overtakes the rest of them making a tired eye after some time.

Combination of pattern size between the wallpapers, small touch of orange and reddish wood creates a better balance but I still feel it doesn't merge well.

Combination of pattern size between the wallpapers, small touch of orange and reddish wood creates a better balance but I still feel it doesn't merge well.

Brightness of the light grey fabric matches perfectly with the golden wallpaper and the grey/silver wallpaper. The touch of blue makes it a juvenile combination.

Brightness of the light grey fabric matches perfectly with the golden wallpaper and the grey/silver wallpaper. The touch of blue makes it a juvenile combination.

Although I am using similar shades of color, this combination does not feel balanced or attractive at all. I am putting it here to show that even when each of the materials is beautiful, they can look awful when not matched correctly.

Although I am using similar shades of color, this combination does not feel balanced or attractive at all. I am putting it here to show that even when each of the materials is beautiful, they can look awful when not matched correctly.

My favorite of them all. This selection looks balanced and this is achieved with the same fabric (left)in two different colors, the golden lines in the black and gold fabric matches with the golden wallpaper and the small orange detail creates the perfect interest for the combination to look fresh.

My favorite of them all. This selection looks balanced and this is achieved with the same fabric (left)in two different colors, the golden lines in the black and gold fabric matches with the golden wallpaper and the small orange detail creates the perfect interest for the combination to look fresh.

This was a fun experiment, I am thinking about doing it more often. It helps to train the eye and to understand how materials relate to each other depending on the size, texture and shade.

Have a good week!