Structural Resource



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    David Kaplan


    Three sources that I used that I really, really think are excellent:

    1) Architect's Studio Companion - this book is free online at (I used the 4th edition I believe, which should be fine).  It covers all the systems, what they are, what their components are, and when it is ideal to use one vs. the other.  I truly think in terms of understanding concepts and characteristics of systems, this book is amazing.  And I would offer that it does the same for MEP systems as well.  Can't be beat.  My #1 source for both PPD and PDD.

    2) Ballast review manual - either 4.0 or 5.0.  If you get and old 4.0 one, it would be for the Structural Systems test.  There is a MAJOR disclaimer: it is formula heavy.  I strongly implore you, if you get this book, to ignore ALL those formulas and calculations in the book.  Literally turn the page when you get to them, and instead just focus on the structural concepts (how structures react under loading conditions in particular).  This book covers the concepts very well, and it goes into wind and seismic design which are important.  With respect to formulas, it DOES cover moment and shear diagrams, and I would in fact say to you yes, go ahead and study those.  Know how to calculate the moment about point A.  Know what the shear diagram would look like for this loading condition.  These are basic calculations.  But man I'm telling you - ignore the rest 100%.  I've taken and passed both tests and many on this forum share my opinion - don't overstudy structural formulas.  Study concepts and systems.  

    3) FEMA 454 - Chapters 4 and 5.   This is an excellent source for learning about seismic design and it is free online.  It covers how buildings get damaged by earthquakes, how we design to resist them, and has easy to understand diagrams.  No calculations at all - it sticks to practice and design concepts.  It's a great read.

    Can't recommend these enough.  Hope that helps.

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    Ann Strickland (Edited )

    I get almost all my study materials from my local library via interlibrary loan, some may cost $5 but much cheaper than the $1000s you could shell out trying to purchase every ARE 5.0 reference.  Most libraries will let me renew the loan for as long as needed, but make sure to ask how long you can keep it and if you can renew. And be sure to stipulate the edition, so you avoid being loaned a 1st edition of something you need the 12th edition.

    Then after studying for the ARE, if one books seems like a useful professional tool, you can purchase that one knowing you will reference it in "real life".

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