PDD resources and advice (transition)

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Jonathan,

    I am studying for PDD right now as well, having just passed PPD.

    I'll start off with the tried and true obvious study materials that you need for both PPD and PDD:

    Building Construction Illustrated Building Construction Illustrated John Wiley & Sons, latest edition 

    Many on the forum mention reading this cover to cover, which is what I did as well.

    Architectural Graphic Standards The American Institute of Architects John Wiley & Sons, latest edition

    Most every office has this book -- great overview material for systems in the front of the book, as well as a "debriefing" at the start of each chapter.  

    Mechanical & Electrical Equipment for Buildings Walter T. Grondzik, Alison G. Kwok, Benjamin Stein, and John S. Reynolds, Editors John Wiley & Sons, latest edition

    MEP-related information -- it's all in there.  I did not use it for PPD, but did use other MEP sources -- I like the Architect's Studio Companion, but there are many other.  For PPD, no need to bog down in the minutiae -- concepts, systems, when to use what system where and why.

    Moving into PDD, I ordered:

    Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods H. Leslie Simmons, John Wiley & Sons, 2007

    Several here have said they never used this one -- for me, having just gotten through studying for PPD, I plan to use this big book as a review and overview for PDD.  

    Also for PDD, I plan to review some project manual, specifications, and construction documentation info -- probably through an old 4.0 Ballast book that I was given.

    Others will have different input.  Good Luck! 

     

     

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    Jonathan Chertok (Edited )

    interesting! THANKS.
    so no "third party" study guides like ballast?
    just reading cover to cover?
    approximately how many hours per exam?
    jon

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    See the last sentence or two of my previous post RE: Ballast.

    But 5.0 is not really a third-party proposition.  It's intended to be much more inline with daily practice, and so the study materials listed in the 5.0 handbook reflect that goal -- most of them are references often used in offices.  So 5.0 is much less of a memory crunch than a test of understanding. 

    A lot of candidates, myself included, whether experienced or not, have used 5.0 as a pretty good learning experience -- some of it might be review, or a re-tool, but all will learn some new things as well.  Not really intended as a cram-fest. 

    As for time, I'm not really sure on PPD -- I did a LOT of reading over the course of a couple months.  Probably will spend three weeks or so on PDD, having already covered much of its content in my PPD studies.

    Of course, some have knocked out all the exams in an incredibly short time with little to no experience.  It's a matter of assessing your own individual case. 

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    Benjamin Norkin

    A used Ballast 4.0 book wouldn't be a bad thing to get. I used one to get the main concepts, but used the primary resources for the bulk of my studying.

    Also make sure to download the FEMA 454 guide, especially Chapter 5.

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Just to make sure -- because some candidates miss it somehow:

    https://www.ncarb.org/sites/default/files/ARE5-Handbook.pdf 

    Use this ^

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    Michele Strassheim

    Hi Jonathan.  I recently took PDD and sadly failed, but am retesting next month.  I did however just recently pass PPD.  I agree with everything Kurt posted to your question regarding study materials.  I also used Ballast 4.0.  I don't think you need to get too hung up on flashcards.  After having been through the 5-Exam Plan, I have learned that with 4.0 you needed the flashcards more, but I didn't touch them with 5.0 because the exam questions are more about applying information.  Also, barrier-free requirements!  Make sure you review that as well.

    When studying for structures, I have one HUGE piece of advice....take David Thaddeus' online seminar "At Your Pace."  It's $325. and worth every  penny!!  I did not read Ballast or any other book to study the structures portion.  At a friend's recommendation, I watched David's webinar and after taking PDD and PPD it really is all you need.  David is a structures professor at UNC and is just AMAZING. I tried reading structures in Ballast and thought I was going to die.  I was so overwhelmed and had no idea how I was going to learn this stuff.   Then I took David's seminar.  OMG...I actually understand it!  And, he gives excellent tips for what to focus on, what to memorize, what to understand generally, etc.  All of his tips are dead on!

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    Kurt Fanderclai

    Hi Michele -- 

    Interesting -- not sure I've seen anyone else use the Thaddeus for 5.0.   Has the material been updated to 5.0? 

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    Michele Strassheim

    Hi Kurt.  The seminar is a recording and therefore still references ARE 4.0.  But since the ARE is testing our ability to apply knowledge and information, I don't think it really matters.  I used all ARE 4.0 study materials in preparation for the 5.0 sections and it has been fine.  Granted, I did fail PDD, but I think that there were a series of factors as to why that happened, one of which included just not quite being ready.  For me, I found Thaddeus to be all I needed in preparation for the structures.  It was like structures for dummies...exactly what I needed.

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