• I think you are right about what you believe about how FAR is calculated, in this case, it is given information. However, in this particular question, NCARB is asking for the maximum square footage allowed, which requires the subtraction of the setbacks. That is how you find the building footprint, then multiply it by FAR (4), and the result is the total maximum building area. I hope this helps!

• Thank you Arnold for your response but we calculate both the FAR based on lot size (Floor/Area ratio) and the maximum floor print based on setbacks, sometimes multiply by number of floors if allowed based on the fact that we should not exceed the total area we have calculated from the FAR. So at the end the answer should be the lower total square footage but I have never encountered a situation when we calculate FAR based on footprint.

Hope NCARB can give a better explanation here.

Thank you

• Yvette,

Yes, I think you are right. NCARB should not use FAR in the explanation of the answer, which is not a correct reference.

Floor area ratio (FAR) is the ratio of a building's total floor area (gross floor area) to the size of the piece of land upon which it is built.

Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

• FAR is expressed as a decimal number, and is derived by dividing the total area of the building by the total area of the parcel (building area ÷ lot area).

Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

• Yes I believe this needs a correction. Thank You

• Thank you Yvette and Gang,

We have reviewed this item and will make corrections to it for future releases of the practice exam.

• Thank you NCARB

• Thank you, NCARB, for your willingness and commitment to correct errors.

Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

• Obviously misunderstood the concept of "FAR".  I've seen this topic several times on the forum that people are so confused by the wrong answer....

According the the wrong answer,  "FAR" = Max. Allowable Building Story... Because it used "Max. Allowable Building Footprint (setbacks deduction)"  x  "FAR" = Max. Allowable Building Area...this is misleading.

FAR has nothing to do with the lot setback or building height.

So the max building sqft is Lot Area x FAR=(190'x60')x4= 45,600sqft.  Done!

"Possible" Max. Buildable StoryMax. Building SQFT / Buildable Area45,600sf / (155'x20')=14.7=14 floor. You can possibly build 14 story building on this lot, other than only 4 story that the answer wrongfully stated.

Then looking for the lot height restriction. It listed 1-5 story setback situation, but didn't mention 5 is the max, so it's not even clear what's the max. buildable story, we can only assume 5 story.

In conclusion, there are 2 problems: