LEED AP O+M Overview

About LEED O+M Certification & Credentials

LEED O+M (Operations and Maintenance) provides a path to improve the sustainability of existing buildings that are fully operational and have been occupied for at least a year. The environmental impact of demolishing an existing building and constructing a new one is severe. As a result, it is often a better choice to improve an existing structure or space when possible.

LEED Operations and Maintenance can refer to both the LEED rating system for certification of building projects as well as the LEED AP O+M specialty credential.  Buildings are certified, and members of project teams can earn the professional credential. Certification of buildings and professional credentials are overseen by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). GBCI is the “credentialing subsidiary” of the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council).

How Do I Earn the LEED AP O+M Credential?

Perhaps you know of an upcoming LEED certification project and want to cement your spot on the team.  Maybe you want to kickstart your career in one of the fastest-growing industries.  Educated, passionate professionals are needed globally for green building project teams.  A LEED AP O+M credential by your name signifies your ability to directly contribute to a LEED project for an existing building.

Earn your LEED AP (Accredited Professional) O+M credential by passing a highly technical 100-question multiple-choice exam designed to prepare you to work on LEED projects for existing buildings. The O+M credential is accessible to a variety of professions outside of architects and contractors. Because the existing building is already operational, there are many consultants and stakeholders involved in LEED certification projects and ongoing operations and maintenance of the building. Common professions benefiting from the LEED AP O+M credentials include:

  • Property Managers
  • Building Engineers
  • Facility Managers
  • Sustainability Consultants
  • Building Product/Service Vendors (janitorial, groundskeeping, HVAC, pest control, etc.)
  • New Specialty Roles (such as “Chief Sustainability Officer” and similar)

Ready to get started? The LEED Green Associate credential is a prerequisite for taking the O+M specialty exam.  Whether your first step will be the Green Associate or you’re prepared to begin studying for the LEED AP O+M exam, GBES has the tools you need to pass the exam the first time and maintain your credential. Find the exam prep material right for your learning style and budget below, all with a 100% money-back guarantee.

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About LEED for Existing Buildings

LEED O+M has rating systems for both existing whole buildings and existing interior spaces within a variety of segments including:


  • Schools
  • Retail
  • Data Centers
  • Hospitality
  • Warehouses and Distribution Centers
  • Other existing buildings



Like other LEED projects, collaboration in the early planning phases for operations and maintenance from traditionally disparate departments is necessary. The support and buy-in of a range of shareholders are important, from facility managers, owners, occupants, contractors, engineers and more are crucial to developing innovative and realistic solutions for improving existing spaces.

Realistic, measurable goals should be defined and prioritized to have the biggest impact on environmental and organizational goals. Environmental goals should be set following analysis and benchmarking of the building’s energy consumption trends and a site audit identifying the current state of the building including existing practices. Organizational goals may include human factors such as health initiatives and workplace satisfaction. They may also target preexisting sustainability goals or metrics included in annual reports.

Once goals are defined, infrastructure updated, and initial policies specified, LEED for operations and maintenance focuses on the feedback loop between those policies and practices and the measurable aspects of how the building is performing. Ensuring sustainable operations behaviors are upheld over time is the responsibility of numerous individuals from occupants to caretakers.

Get the official guide, certification checklist and more for the LEED V4 O+M rating system here.

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