Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide and 101 Q&A Exam Prep updated to Second Edition

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Studio4 has released the updated LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide Second Edition and 101 Q&A Second Edition. Studio4’s LEED v4 Green Associate study materials are used by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), universities, corporations, study groups, and sustainability professionals throughout the U.S. and around the world.

While there are an abundance of third-party study resources available, the author’s 40 years’ experience in the design/development/construction industry, in addition to practicing sustainable design and construction since 1983, provides a unique perspective from having sat on both sides of the table.

The 340 page LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide Second Edition is one of the most comprehensive study guides available, as it relies on learning the “what and why”, rather than memorizing only what is needed to pass the exam. LEED exams can be stressful, even to those who are well prepared. Under stress, our memory is usually the first fatality. Chapter 13, of 15 chapters, is devoted to the Exam Overview, listing important topics on what you need to know, as well as what you should know. Also included are comprehensive lists of Codes and Definitions.

Studio4 and the CaGBC worked together for several months to ensure the v4 study materials provided the information and guidance necessary to pass the LEED v4 Green Associate Exam. The only differences between the Studio4 and CaGBC study materials are corporate logos, disclaimers, and non-LEED specific information.

Note: The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) provides study resources to Canadians. The CaGBC has reviewed Studio4’s study materials and found them to be an excellent source of support for the LEED Green Associate exam, even helping CaGBC staff pass the exam. As a result, the CaGBC entered into an MOU with Studio4 in January 2011 that provides the Council with the exclusive opportunity to make these resources available across Canada through the CaGBC website and the CaGBC study courses.

Studio4’s LEED Green Associate study materials are located in the e-store or by clicking this link: https://studio4llc.com/e-store/

Current News & Events

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March, 2019

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Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide and Green Associate Exam Prep: 101 Questions & Answers | Studio4 LLC e-store

The Essential LEED Green Associate Cheat Sheet | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

LEED v4 Rating System Guidance Selection | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Why Do We Care if Your Home is Green | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Homeowner Views on Energy Codes | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

U.S. LEED v4 BD+C Introductory and Overview Sections | U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) free web version

The fourth in a series of Studio4 Green Lifestyles Collection booklets. A Homeowners Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your Home


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LEED v4 is Now Official

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It was out with the old and in with the new on Monday June 30, 2014. Out: LEED 2009; In: LEED v4. LEED v4 was three years in the making, so it seems as if it has been around for a very long time. Especially given the fact v4 went through an unprecedented six public comment reviews.

The first order of business is, well, business. Available today in the e-store are updated Green Associate exam study materials: the Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate Study Guide First Edition and the Studio4 LEED v4 Green Associate 101 Questions and 101 Answers First Edition.

Now back to LEED v4. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) promotes LEED v4 as being about transparency. While that is an accurate assessment, v4 sheds a lot of its previous baggage and is much more streamlined and leaner. Gone are the endless credits with their companion sub-credits.

LEED v4 has eight (8) credit categories:

Location and Transportation (LT)

Sustainable Sites (SS)

Water Efficiency (WE)

Energy and Atmosphere (EA)

Materials and Resources (MR)

Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ)

Innovation (IN)

Regional Priority (RP)

There is also another credit category, although LEED v4 doesn’t recognize it as a credit category:

Integrative Process (IP)

Those familiar with LEED 2009 will recognize a few differences:

The Innovation (IN) credit was Innovation in Design (ID); the Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) credit was Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ); and the Location and Transportation (LT) credit category is a new addition.

In their continuing efforts to align LEED rating systems, v4 draws upon LEED BD+C: ND and LEED BD+C: Homes by adding the Location and Transportation (LT) credit category. In essence, what this means is v4 has transferred sections of the Sustainable Sites (SS) credit category. The new Location and Transportation (LT) credit category addresses the location of the site, while the new Sustainable Sites (SS) credit category addresses the construction activities on the site. Most of LEED v4’s credit categories eliminates sub-credits and relocates everything previously addressed by these sub-credits into a single credit. This is much easier to follow as it is more logical to understand.

LEED 2009 included three (3) rating systems:

New Construction and Major Renovations (NC)

Core and Shell (CS)


LEED v4 includes eight (8) BD+C rating systems:

LEED BD+C: New Construction

LEED BD+C: Core and Shell

LEED BD+C: Schools

LEED BD+C: Retail

LEED BD+C: Healthcare

LEED BD+C: Data Centers

LEED BD+C: Hospitality

LEED BD+C: Warehouses and Distribution Centers

Ten (10) if you include:

LEED BD+C: Homes

LEED BD+C: Multifamily Midrise

In summary, there’s a lot of LEED 2009 that crossed over to LEED v4, but there has also been significant changes to most every credit category.

Not to forget an important option now available for purchasing any of the LEED Reference Guides, there is now available a web version that currently sells as a $99/annual subscription fee. The web version is pretty nice (if you are comfortable maneuvering via computer vs the hardbound or pdf versions). Time will tell if the web version will be updated in real time.

These are just a few broad comparisons between LEED 2009 and LEED v4.

LEED 2012: Update #2

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LEED 2012 – Second Public Comment – Guide and Open Forum

LEED 2012 proposes sweeping revisions to existing rating systems. If you don’t jump in and offer your comments, you will have no right to complain afterward. Our participation is important and LEEDuser has a great forum for doing so!

via LEEDuser,  

USGBC has opened the second public comment period on LEED 2012, the next version of the LEED rating systems. This public comment period is scheduled to run from August 1st to Sept. 14th.

At USGBC’s request, LEEDuser has set up a series of forums on the LEED 2012 draft. These forums are both a chance to register a public comment or comments on the draft, and a place to publicly discuss the draft. Questions and dialogue are welcome and encouraged! (If you prefer to send your comment to USGBC directly, see the link below.)   Continue Reading →

LEED Green Associate Test Prep Resources

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“Whether or not you’ve taken or are planning to take a LEED Green Associate test prep course, the following steps are essential for preparing to ace the exam.”

Over the past several years many have written advice on preparing for LEED exams, including here on this website. However, few sources provide a more professional service, with unequaled content, to aspiring or practicing LEED professionals than LEEDuser. Continue Reading →

LEED 2012: Update #1

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According to LEEDuser , USGBC has pushed back the second comment period on LEED 2012 to later in July.

Per the USGBC website:


1st Public Comment has closed: Period was open Nov. 8 through Jan. 19, 2011

2nd Public Comment: Open July 2011

Additional public comment periods will be held as needed.

Rating system ballot: Projected for Aug. 1 – 31, 2012

Rating system release: Projected for Nov. 7, 2012 Continue Reading →

LEED Credential Maintenance Program (CMP)

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In 2009 the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) launched LEED  and, compared to its predecessor LEED v2, the new face put on LEED represents a major overhaul from the top down.  LEED v3 includes LEED 2009, an upgrade to LEED Online and an expanded certification model.

An overview comparison between LEED v2 and LEED v3:

The LEED Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) can be downloaded here  »

Green Building Codes, LEED and the Consumer – Part One

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Okay, it’s a new year and with this comes the California 2010 Green Building Standards Code (aka CALGreen), LEED 2012 being released for public comment, and who knows what else. Oh, yeah. USGBC being sued for, well, whatever. 

Aside from the ICC International Green Construction Code, if CALGreen is an example of what we can expect as a trend, in the extreme, with mandatory green building codes, what will be the impact of these new and more stringent green building codes as they find their way across the country? The California 2008 Green Building Standards Code went into effect on August 1, 2009 and was voluntary, unless otherwise adopted by local jurisdictions as mandatory. With the new California 2010 Green Building Standards Code, state compliance is mandatory, having taken effect in January, 2011. 

We saw substantial changes with the migration of LEED v2.2 over to LEED 2009, and the proposed revisions for LEED 2012 appears as if more robust revisions are in the works. Tristan Roberts from BuildingGreen and LEEDuser has published Your Guide to the New Draft of LEED that provides a good analysis of the proposed revisions. Likewise, Joel McKellar at Real Life LEED goes in depth with information he gathered on the LEED 2012 Update from USGBC’s presentation at this year’s Greenbuild convention. From a cursory review of LEED 2012, USGBC seems to be taking a necessary step in addressing many of the inadequacies and inconsistencies in the current rating systems.

It didn’t go unnoticed when USGBC rolled out LEED 2009 and informed us that this upgrade represented a major shift in direction for USGBC. USGBC would prefer to see state and local codes adopt LEED Green Building Rating Systems as a baseline to be modeled into hybrid systems, as determined by the appropriate jurisdiction, while they concentrate on ways to improve the rating systems, and thereby raising the bar. Three documents, found on the California Green Building Blog, illustrate the comparison between CALGreen and LEED. Cover Letter, CALGreen non- residential LEED comparison and CALGreen residential LEED comparison. With more accurate historical data being gathered, new technology being introduced to market, and broader consumer interest, it’s good that USGBC has recognized the fact they need to be more focused on keeping abreast of technological advances. They appear to be embracing a three year Continue Reading →