The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has launched the LEED Fellow, a new program to recognize exceptional contributions to the green building community and significant professional achievement within the rapidly growing community of LEED professionals.

The selection will be based on candidates’ contributions to advancing the field of green building. In order to be eligible for the LEED Fellow designation, an individual must be nominated, either by oneself or by a peer.

The nomination period is open until Jan. 7, 2011. Nominees must have 10 years of green building experience and must have held the LEED Accredited Professional designation for at least eight cumulative years.

The LEED Fellow program is the result of more than two years of extensive research that helped GBCI define what it means to be at the forefront of the green building industry. The findings were synthesized into five mastery elements in which LEED Fellows are expected to demonstrate expert-level knowledge and experience: technical proficiency, education and mentoring, leadership, commitment and service, and advocacy.

The 2011 class of LEED Fellows will be announced at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo to be held in Toronto in October 2011. More information is available at www.gbci.org/fellow.

“The launch of the LEED Fellow is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate those individuals who have made laudable efforts to propel us toward the accomplishment of our mission of green buildings for all within a generation,” says Beth Holst, vice president of credentialing for GBCI.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) provides third-party confirmation that specific criteria related to LEED building certification and LEED professional credentialing have been met.

Early in 2009, GBCI assumed responsibility for administering the LEED building certification program for the more than 36,000 commercial projects seeking third-party verification of compliance with the industry's leading green building rating system. For more information, visit www.gbci.org.