What is LEED AP?Posted by Nicole on July 6th, 2022

I’ve been asked a few times what “LEED AP” means when handing out my business card. It’s a great question- many acronyms on our business cards don’t have an obvious association or meaning.

You’ve heard of Energy Star, “Passive House”, and probably even “Living Buildings”. Well, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is another rating system for different types of healthy, efficient, and cost-saving buildings. The “AP” afterwards stands for “Accredited Professional”. LEED accredited professionals have demonstrated a deep knowledge of green building practices which they use when building (or remodeling) to select good sites, efficiently use water and electricity (or reuse & generate its own), responsibly use/reuse materials, and even ensure that the indoor air is healthy. These things create better, cleaner environments for occupants, whether it’s a commercial or residential building. The great thing about LEED is that third party verification of many of these categories is required so that there is a built-in checks and balances to certification. Furthermore, systems management insures that the building continues to perform well, educating the occupants or maintenance staff so they can produce the best results.

The LEED certification process adds up points for each possible way that the building performs well, conserves resources, saves or creates energy, reduces impact or carbon footprint, etc. in giving a building a “certified”, silver, gold, or platinum rating- a sort of crown for the building.

My original LEED accreditation in 2009 was in LEED for New Construction (before LEED for HOMES existed!), which specifically focused on buildings that are newly built from the ground up. My profession in architecture at the time was not quite as savvy as we are today about green building, but the momentum and pressure was increasing (especially in Portland and along the west coast) for more efficient buildings, and it was important to me to do what I could to help the planet. So I studied and studied, took a LEED class and passed my exam. At the time, many builders weren’t aware of or weren’t using LEED certification or Energy Star, and the Passive House was a sci-fi dream.

LEED and other green rating systems have evolved a lot since then- now there are more ways to get points for LEED certification, different LEED categories (hello, LEED for HOMES), technologies have evolved, and have even become more efficient. The accreditation categories for professionals have also evolved.

Fast forward to now- LEED is one of the leading rating systems for green buildings and is globally recognized. There’s even LEED Canada! After starting my home inspection company after architecture, I changed my accreditation from LEED for New Construction to LEED AP (“Accredited Professional”, without specialty), which is a more general/non-specific credential. I still use the knowledge everyday when making simple recommendations like, “Insulate and weather strip attic access for better energy efficiency.” Time and energy well spent.

Summer 2022 COVID-19 UpdatePosted by Nicole on July 2nd, 2022

Summer is FINALLY here! Not much has changed in the world of COVID-19 except for different variants and more people are not masking. Infection rates remain high (higher than the official numbers show due to at-home testing) and I am still not willing to take risks when it means I won’t be able to work if I become infected. The following safety policies will help ensure everyone’s safety.

*Masks (must cover nose and mouth) and a minimum of 6 feet of distance from me will be required for everyone indoors with me, even if fully vaccinated.

*Buyers are welcome to be in the home, I just ask that you consider limiting the number of additional guests, especially in smaller homes. This includes contractors, who are also required to wear masks when indoors with me. I am willing to cancel the inspection if anyone refuses to mask.

*A slideshow/review of the home inspection will be done virtually. This works best given the limitations of distancing and masking (and my voice that simply does not carry).

*Contactless contract signing and payment will be done online (via DocuSign & Square). I normally send these 1-4 days before our inspection. Receipt of both are required in order to proceed with the inspection.

*I prefer to open doors and windows (weather permitting) while I’m inspecting the interior. Please consider this when scheduling testing with other companies.

*As always- for safety and in order to remain focused, I do not allow anyone to follow me during an inspection, but I’m happy to answer questions when I’m finished inspecting and/or during the slideshow.

Hope to see you soon!