PPD pass - resources I found helpful

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    thomas zelenko

    Congrats on the Pass and thanks for sharing! 

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    Cedric Reuter

    Congratulations! Thanks for the info! Especially the youtube links!

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    Daniel Spilman

    Nice work Charles! Congrats! I too just took PPD and PASSED!! WHOOOO HOOO. Cheers mate! 

    I was going to do a write up about what worked for me, but really it would just repeat everything you said above. I 100% agree that you really just can't beat going straight to the actual resources listed by NCARB. They are so much better than any of the study guides out there and I also completely agree about having them as resources for the rest of your career. My bookshelf at my desk is becoming a very valuable resource for my day to day work and I find myself consulting these books all the time. Definitely worth the investment for the canonical books like AHPP, Graphic Standards, Etc. 

    I basically did the same thing as you - I read Building Construction Illustrated cover-to-cover, and then searched out some other resources specific to topics I felt I wasn't as solid on (i.e. where does the vapor barrier go in the wall depending on climate!?) I also read a good portion of Building Codes Illustrated, focusing on the chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 since this is really where all the code related questions are going to come from and having to bounce back and forth between the tables in these chapters to answer questions. Its also important to familiarize yourself with the actual IBC for these chapters so you know what you're looking for and exactly where it is. Make sure you read and know how to handle section 508 about mixed occupancies...wink wink.

    I also started jumping into Graphic Standards, picking out specific topics to focus on that I thought would be valuable - daylighting, lighting, acoustics, site work, site drainage, vapor barriers, etc. This book will definitely be a primary resource for PDD I believe.

    My office provided me with Architect Exam Prep materials (audio commentary and study guide). As I've said other places here, the AEP is a good overview (like what you said about Black Spectacles), and helps me identify what things I need to focus on, but in no way would serve as my primary resource and I definitely would not have passed if I only relied on that. 

    Happy Memorial day, pretty stoked to be going into this weekend riding on the passing score! Now onto PDD which will be my last one! Lets do this! Thanks again for the good write up Charles!

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    Brandon Kemp

    HI Daniel,

    I was wondering what chapters from AHPP helped you on PPD?

     

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    Charles Vinz

    Congrats Daniel!

    I forgot to mention IBC too. I have my old copy from 2003(!) that I used, but Building Codes Illustrated does a pretty good job of explaining what's different between the latest edition and older editions.

    Also, while I didn't mention much about the test itself, I would say that it was somewhat less stressful than PA, which, even though it had less questions than PPD, was WAY more difficult to complete in the allotted time. Part of the difference might have been being able to use the number keypad for PPD and not PA. I actually managed to complete this whole exam with some level of confidence, though there was no time for review. I think I had about 90 minutes or so for the 2 case studies left. The first was very time consuming and in depth, leaving me worried about the second, which I maybe left 30 minutes for. Alas, the second one was much simpler, and also extremely familiar to my professional experience (arts-based adaptive reuse).

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    Daniel Spilman

    @Brandon - I didn't really study the AHPP at all for PPD. I was just referencing it as one of the books that is worth investing in because its useful for multiple exams (PcM, PjM, CE) and for your career.

    @Carles, I was luckily able to grab a copy of the 2012 IBC from my office, which was very useful and Codes Illustrated was fantastic as well. While I'm thinking about it, it should be noted (for those studying) you should be using the 2012 IBC, NOT the 2015. I wrote another post a little while back asking NCARB about this, and they confirmed that 2012 is the standard for now for ARE 5.0. This is very important because one of the most important tables that you will reference, Table 503, has been changed in 2015 IBC and split up into Tables 504.3, 504.4 and 506.2.

    I also had the same time experience as you did, Charles. For PA, I ran out of time halfway through answering the second-to-last question (I was surprised because I had had time for review on the previous three exams I had taken). For PPD, I was able to complete the entire thing with about 5 minutes left for review. Just enough time for me to jump back to a few questions I had flagged to revisit. I too thought the first case study was significantly more challenging than the second. Glad we both made it through! 

    When will you be taking PDD? 

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    Hannah Vossler

    Does anyone have a copy of 2012 Building Codes Illustrated that they no longer want and are willing to sell? 

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    Daniel Spilman

    In my opinion, anyone who wants to continue practicing architecture shouldn't sell this book. I reference it multiple times a day while I'm drawing. Its just too helpful to have at your fingertips, throughout SD, DD and even into CDs. Also, its not very expensive - like $40, which is pretty cheap compared to some of the other resources. 

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    Cedric Reuter

    Hannah, if you just want a good cheap copy for the exam, one of my favorite newly-discovered websites is nuuroo.com and they're selling an ebook of the newest (fifth) edition for $18.55. I bought AHPP in ebook form from them for something like $50 and it was the best decision I've made in a while...

     

    And Daniel, thanks for the tip on Table 503! That's clutch. And congrats!

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    Hannah Vossler

    Cedric - thanks for the info, but that is the 2015 IBC version and I will need the 2012 for the exam.  I ended up finding a cheap physical copy on ebay. 

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    Steve Mai

    Hi Daniel,

    I was wondering what version of Building Code Illustrated did you used ? ARE 5.0 guideline listed 2012. There is also a newer version, 2015 out there.

    Thanks,  

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    Daniel Spilman

    Hi Steve,
    I used v. 2012 of Codes Illustrated since ARE 5.0 is based on the 2012 IBC. The book is so helpful that I also have v. 2015 that helps me in my day-to-day projects at work. If the differences were insignificant I would say it wouldn't matter, But I would use 2012 for your study since one of the major changes was in the format of the building heights and areas table which is almost guaranteed to come up in your exams. Hope that's helpful!

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    Steve Mai

    It is very helpful ! Thanks Daniel!

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    Jamie Stephens

    Thank you for sharing! Do you feel the PA section overlapped with this one? I used the same sources you recommended and just took (and didn't pass) this section yesterday.

    Don't get me wrong, I DOMINATED the systems questions and felt much more prepared for that, but I'm wondering if I had reviewed some of the topics covered more in the PA section, if that would have made a little bit of a difference. To be fair, I also recommend taking the test just to practice taking the test--I ran out of time in the second case study, so I'm sure that contributed greatly to the fail.

    I'm new to this setup and have only just transitioned from ARE4.0-5.0, having passed 5 of the other sections (excluding BDCS and BS). I know the test versions are different for a given time and region,etc. so maybe this was just a bad luck of the draw, but I'm interested in any other things I can try to make the experience go more smoothly next time. 

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    Kurt Fanderclai (Edited )

    Charles V. and Daniel S. - - I really appreciate that you both took the time to write up your thoughts and advice. I have PPD next, and am just starting to assemble the study materials and a strategy. I've taken and passed 4 exams in 5.0, so while it's not my first rodeo, I'm always appreciative of some broad direction from successful testers. Just took PA Friday, and am already stoked to start studying for PPD.
    I'm always one exam behind you, Daniel!

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