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Overview: What Will Be On the LEED BD+C Exam?

The Building Design & Construction exam is a two-part exam. The first part is actually the same as the Green Associate exam, which is a 2-hour, 100 question test. The second part is the BD+C portion, which is specifically about the BD+C reference guide and is also a 2-hour, 100 question test. So overall, it’s a 200 question, 4 hours exam. You can choose to take the GA exam first, and then the BD+C exam at a later date.

The BD+C portion of the exam will test your knowledge of the information in the BD+C reference guide. You will need to memorize all prerequisites, credits and their related details in order to successfully complete the exam.

The BD+C reference guide is broken down into the following 6 categories:

  • Sustainable Sites (SS)
  • Water Efficiency (WE)
  • Energy and Atmosphere (WE)
  • Materials and Resources (MR)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)
  • Innovation in Design (ID)

There is also a section about regional priority and five Core & Shell appendices you should also learn about.

Each category is broken down into related prerequisites and credits. Prerequisites are mandatory requirements that a project team must fulfill. If the project fails to meet even just one of the 10 prerequisites, it will not qualify for LEED certification. No points are earned for fulfilling the requirements of the prerequisites.

Credits are where the points are earned. Each credit contains a different strategy and specific requirements that you need to memorize backwards and forwards. Each credit is neatly broken down further into the following parts:

  • Intent
  • Requirements
  • Benefits and Issues to Consider
  • Related Credits
  • Summary of Referenced Standards
  • Implementation
  • Timeline and Team
  • Calculations
  • Documentation Guidance
  • Examples
  • Exemplary Performance
  • Regional Variations
  • Operations and Maintenance Consideration
  • Resources; and
  • Definitions

It’s your job to understand each and every part of each prerequisite and credit. It’s a lot of information to cover, especially with around 70 prerequisites and credits in total – but planning ahead, creating a schedule and studying smart will give you the best chance to pass.

Feel free to use any of the resources found on, and don’t be afraid to ask questions in the comment sections below – everyone is here to learn and help each other out.

I wish you the best of luck.

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3 Comments On This Post

  1. If I am studying for the BD+C exam is there anything extra I need to study to pass the first half of the exam (green associate)? Or will I have learned that in my studying for the BD+C exam?

  2. Can we use our LEED NC 2.2 book to study for the BD&C exam?


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