The following are 5 examples of continuing education activities that work double-duty to help you accomplish both:
1) Publish Articles about LEED or Green Building
2) Work on a LEED Registered Project
3) Volunteer with Your Local USGBC Chapter
4) Take a Class that Teaches a Valuable Skill
For example, if you perform energy efficient retrofits in commercial buildings, this 179D Tax Incentives course could help you decipher what type of projects are eligible for tax incentives and how you can become a part of them (or advise them on the tax code). If you are an interior designer, architect or engineer that designs buildings, you may want to take a class in tubular skylighting so you can catch up to speed on the technology.
These are just a couple of examples. To find courses like these that match your interests and profession, search the USGBC courses database for those keywords.
5) Go to Greenbuild
Last year’s conference, held in San Francisco, had over 30,000 attendees and over 900 exhibitors, so it’s a hot spot for networking in the industry. This year, the conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from November 20th to 22nd.
The keynote speaker will be former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Bon Jovi will be performing, so it’s sure to draw a large crowd once again. Networking opportunities will be extremely plentiful with this big an audience - not only can you meet other professionals at the expo, but you can also meet them in education sessions or at the countless happy hours and late night events hosted by some green building organizations and companies.
Plus, there are tons of GBCI-approved continuing education opportunities at Greenbuild (over 100 hours worth!) according to USGBC. The expo, opening plenary, closing plenary, and education sessions all count as continuing education. So far, 131 on-site courses have been approved for a total of 150 hours of continuing education.
Early registration (which ends September 9th) for the full 3-day conference and expo are $600 for USGBC members and $800 for non-members. Late registration (after September 9th) is $700 for members and $1,000 for non-members. Pricing for full-time students, young professionals and “guests” (i.e. spouses) are cheaper. You can also sign up for a one-day pass, which is $325 for USGBC member early registration, $375 for member late registration, $350 for non-member early registration and $400 for non-member late registration. There are a few other options to register for just one event, so see full pricing details here.
If you register for all three days of the conference, you can participate in USGBC’s “one click” CMP program, which allows you to earn 15 hours of continuing education program. Professionals can attend 9 core educational sessions (9 hours), the opening and closing plenaries (3 hours) and the expo hall (3 hours). Then, USGBC will automatically report the hours directly to GBCI for you. In other words, LEED Green Associates can fulfill all of their continuing education hours in just three days, and LEED APs with one specialty can fulfill 50%.
One vs. Two Day Passes for Greenbuild
While one day passes are cheaper, it is not likely possible to get all 15 hours in one day. The way that the core programs (courses) are timed, you might be able to make 4 or 5 of them in one day, tops. The expo hall counts as 3 hours (if you fill out a questionnaire and check in with your badge) and each plenary counts as 1.5 hours (but they are on different days). If you only need a fraction of your hours, then you might be able to make significant headway in one day, but earning them all in one day is probably impossible (unless you can be in two places at once!).
While it may detract from your ability to earn all 15 hours, you can also choose to host an expo booth at Greenbuild. The downside here is that you might not be able to attend as many education sessions, etc. if you are manning the booth. Obviously, with about 30,000 attendees, your company’s products or services will gain lots of targeted publicity in a short amount of time. Each 10‘x10’ booth costs $4,100, plus $100 extra per exposed corner.
Learn more about becoming an exhibitor here.
So, by going to Greenbuild for three days or less, you can not only fulfill all of your continuing education hours, but also meet new people (and potential new business partners) in the industry, learn about the latest trends in LEED and green building, and see the up and coming technologies at the expo.
Talk about bang for your buck!