PDD Most Helpful References

Comments

16 comments

  • Avatar
    AD

    Hi Daniel-

    Just took PDD on Monday and passed. Two exams left! I've been following along with your comments and you have definitely brought me peace of mind a few times on these exams; so thank you! I know that you prefer to use the matrix materials but based on the materials I had I stuck with Ballast 4.0 (mostly) and Building Construction Illustrated.

    I read through the following Ballast 4.0 sections in the following levels of intensity: BS (heavily), BDCS (moderate), SS (lightly-only focused on refreshing moment and shear calcs).

    Building Construction Illustrated really helped VISUALIZE what I was reading in Ballast. Since 5.0 PDD is so graphics heavy I definitely recommend this resource to understand connections, flashing and vapor barriers.

    For the structures portion of this exam I found that general knowledge of types of structural systems and basic shear and moment diagrams was sufficient. I do not believe it is necessary to dive into the nitty gritty of structures. I was on a 2 weekend time crunch for this exam and I had to make decisions as to where to spend my time...I felt pretty well prepared with what I mentioned above.

    Overall I found this exam to be extremely in-line with documentation in an office. If you have spent a few years producing drawings I think you will be very pleased with the content of this exam. For additional practice I also took Ballast 5.0 practice exam once and ran through the Black Spectacles practice exam for BS, BDCS and SS.

    I'm on to PPD next, I am hoping that a good chunk of these concepts overlap between exams.

    Good luck on your last exam!!

     

     

     

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Daniel Spilman

    Hi Anna,

    Thank you so much! This is super helpful feedback. I will definitely use your advice. I'm a little surprised how "light" the structural material is, just being conceptual and shear and moment diagrams. Did you have to do any calculations at all?

    I took PPD on 05/25 and have been studying for PDD since. So if you were able to crush it in a couple weeks, that makes me feel like its doable. I definitely think PPD and PDD pair well together, so I think you are off to a good start on studying for PPD. If you have any questions about PPD feel free to ask. There are a couple other good write-ups on here (look at Charles V. write-up) that give some good guidance. 

    When are you taking PPD? What is left for you after that? PDD is my last one! (and then the CSE :( ). Thank you again!

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    AD

    Hi Daniel-

    I was just as surprised as you about how light the structures actually was, in a good way. (A co-worker of mine passed PPD and had the same feedback...seemed light on structures.) I had only 2 directly "structures calculation" questions and I was able to reference the simple equations in the reference document provided in the exam. I wonder if we all just have anxiety about structures and expected the worst?

    I did have a few "quantity" calculations similar to the ones I saw on PjM, PcM and CE but that falls more into the pricing section. Outside of those calculations I was either GIVEN the equation (with definitions of what each portion of the equation meant) or it was easily accessible in the reference document.

    Since I was in a time crunch I made flashcards for the equations I thought were important to know for the exam and I felt it was fairly spot on to my assumptions:

    - U and R Values

    -Illumination on a surface

    -Reverberation and Absorption

    - Moment and Shear for Point and Uniform loads

    I have PPD first week of July and PA first week of August! I have read through the PPD write ups (Charles V.) etc. and I agree...I think its giving me a good starting point.

     

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christine Chlebda

    Hi Daniel,

    I just took PDD this morning and felt pretty confident and well-prepared (fingers crossed that I'm right about that!). I transitioned from ARE 4.0 to 5.0, and PDD is the last exam that I need to pass.

    It sounds like Anna and I took the same general approach to studying. I took PPD just over a month ago, and I had already read all of the Ballast 5.0 PPD chapters as well as some of the PDD chapters in studying for PPD (the PDD chapters I reviewed for PPD were Selection of Structural Systems, Integration of Building Systems, Integration of Specialty Systems, Wall Construction, Lateral Forces-Wind, and Lateral Forces-Earthquakes). After I passed PPD, I prepared specifically for PDD by finishing the remaining Ballast 5.0 PDD chapters, using the Ballast practice questions book, reading Ching's Building Construction Illustrated cover to cover, and finally taking the Ballast practice exam the weekend before my test.

    Like Anna, I found Building Construction Illustrated particularly useful, as it was essentially a densely illustrated version of much of the material I had read in Ballast. Since ARE 5.0 tends to be graphics-heavy, Building Construction Illustrated was a fantastic way to review various construction systems in drawing-form.

    I would not spend too much time studying the Steel Manual (or any other material heavily focused on one specific subject), as steel is just one system out of many that this exam tests. Like Anna, I was happy to find that understanding general concepts of structural systems seemed sufficient and that the test did not seem so structures-calculations heavy as simply studying Ballast might make one expect. I was feeling lazy about studying calculations as my test date approached, and I decided to focus my energy instead on visually studying construction assemblies, systems, and materials in Building Construction Illustrated. From what I encountered on this morning's exam, I think I made a smart choice.

    Hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christine Chlebda

    Update: Just found out that I passed!!! (24 hours ago I was driving to the test center--loving this fast turnaround on getting results back in ARE 5.0!)

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    CONGRATULATIONS, Christine!

    And Daniel -- good luck on your PDD exam!  Time to kill it.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Daniel Spilman

    Christine - thanks for the write up! Great feedback. And Congrats on your PASS! WHoo hoo! I'm hoping to follow in your footsteps. I've been really focusing on Building Construction Illustrated as well as Graphic Standards as my primary resources. I'll be doing a little more review tonight after work, but I for the most part, at this point I either know it or I don't! We shall see how this turns out tomorrow! Thanks again for the advice.

    Kurt, thanks for the encouragement as always. I'll let you know how it goes! 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andre De Mattos

    Hi - I have the 3rd edition of Building Construction Illustrated and have been wanting to invest on Architectural Graphic Standards for a while.  I think it's a must have book on any architect's library.  You all have mentioned Building Construction Illustrated a whole lot but I don't know how much it has changed since the 3rd edition....

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christine Chlebda

    Hi Andre,
    I do not know about the 3rd edition, but I studied from the 4th edition of BCI, which I had originally bought as a college textbook. The 4th edition did not seem too outdated, but I was reading it more for understanding construction assemblies and relied on my work experience and Ballast study guide for things like code and sustainability concepts. I had been considering buying the new 5th edition, but I read what was new in the description on Amazon (mostly a new digital 3d model) and decided it probably wasn't necessary for ARE studying. Perhaps if you found similar descriptions for what was new in both the 4th and 5th editions, they might help you decide if you should update from the 3rd?

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Erica Spayd

    If you're trying to choose between buying BCI 5th edition and AGS 12th edition, and you only have the budget for one of them, go with AGS. I used BCI 3rd edition along with AGS 12th to review for PPD, and I felt that AGS was the more useful resource (although BCI is compact and easier to read on the train). I don't think building technology covered in BCI has changed much from edition to edition, and AGS will have you covered on any new material. Additionally, BCI actually references a lot of details, tables, etc. provided in AGS.

    AGS = more complete resource, great to have in your library, and well worth the money.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andre De Mattos (Edited )

    Christine/Erica - thank you for your feedback!
    It's not so much budget, BCI is like $40 bucks, BUT I don't want two books with almost identical content.
    I think I will go with AGS, which has been on my wish list for a long time.
    Thank you all again and best of luck on your exams.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Kurt Fanderclai

    Erica -- I saw you passed PPD!

    Congratulations!

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christopher Yanaranop

    Hey guys,

    What would be the best resource to practice construction cost estimating?

    Its light in the exam but I'm having trouble finding the right book or resource. thanks

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christine Chlebda


    Hi Christopher,

    I honestly do not think that there is a single good resource for studying cost estimating. From what I remember, the cost estimating questions at their most basic required simple multiplication given a set of prices and material quantities provided in the problem. However, at their most challenging, the cost estimating questions required you to synthesize given cost information with the particular requirements of a design, similar in nature to the example cost estimating questions provided in the PDD section of the ARE Handbook. For those kinds of questions, I think the best way to prepare is by studying for the other content areas of the test because the cost/math part should generally be pretty intuitive.

    Hope this helps, and good luck!

     

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Erica Spayd

    Problemseeking: An Architectural Programming Primer gives a pretty good overview of cost estimating, see pages 104-123.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Christopher Yanaranop

    Thank you Christine and Erica

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Powered by Zendesk