Just passed PDD! last one (PPD) to go!!

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    Bankole Folorunso (Edited )

    Congratulations on passing your PDD! It appears to be the most challenging for me, and the only one I have outstanding having failed it again two days ago.

    Did you finish? I was not able to complete the case study section.

    Which resource would you say helped you the most of the graphics text questions? And what would your most important advise for those of us that have PPD outstanding?

    Thanks.

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    Roma Agrawal

    Thanks Bankole. I was good with time, had 15 minutes left after finishing all questions to recheck my marked ones. Building Construction by Madan Mehta was the best book for bldg materials & graphic details, Graphic Standards for MEP symbols, 4.0 materials for Mech, MEEB for Mech/ Elec. Imp. Advice - get your concepts solid and know how architect will detail components of basic layering of roof, door /windows, penetrations, typ. Floor, foundation etc. from Madan Mehta book.

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    Roma Agrawal

    Also, Architects Studio Companion as well for concepts and basic understanding of all Struct, MEP systems.

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    Bankole Folorunso

    Hi Roma,
    I appreciate the pointers, plus you boosted my confidence again, thanks..
    Good luck with PPD, am sure it would be a walk in the park for you. A lot easier than PDD😀 for sure!

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    Gang Chen

    Congratulations! I am glad you think my advice is helpful.

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

     

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    Joseph Petrarca

    There's a lot of overlap between PPD and PDD... But PPD has much more IBC and ADA content.

    For PDD, one resource that doesn't seem to make it on to many lists is the book Architectural Detailing. Great book because it is easy to understand, and approaches detailing relative to Central principles.
    Wash
    Labyrinth
    Capillary Break, and so forth
    Then delves into details so you can see how the principles are applied.
    The narrative works well with the diagrams.
    I have been detailing in an office for many years and I still learned a lot.
    I want to stress that this exam is not rocket surgery. It is great to understand many issues in depth; aside from. ARE, it helps us in our work obviously. But the exam does not get into great complexity.
    You need to have a very firm grasp on...
    Flashing in various conditions
    Membrane roof details
    Brick veneer details including steel shelf angles, thru-wall flashing, weeps, mortar net, air infiltration- VRAIB, rain screen cavities masonry ties/anchors ...how they work and the various types...
    You all should be able to draw blindfolded:
    Wall section of brick veneer wall and a rain screen cladding wall
    Window sill detail
    Curtainwall head, sill, mull and jamb details.
    And understand why the pieces go together.
    Some if the questions will be straight ahead drag and drop to add call outs to a section drawing.
    Some of the questions will be asking why a certain kind of wall anchor would be most appropriate.
    Many questions do not focus on one specific topic (like brick anchors) but will be asking for a best choice in a given scanario... So you might have to evaluate whether given the specific conditions, would the architect be better off:
    Changing the masonry ties from two-piece to corrugated
    Increasing wall lateral bracing
    Adding angle bracing at floor level
    Increasing mortar strength
    Or increasing the air cavity from 1" to 4"

    So you have to understand a bunch of different things and make an evaluation of the BEST option knowing how each of those answers will relate to the given building condition.

    And cost estimates.
    Pay attention to the details. I cant stress that enough. Write down in words if you need to... Evaluate the process because it will be a multi-step process. All your assumptions need to be correct. It's worth spending a lot of time doing as many sample questions as you can because while it's not rocket science, it is SO EASY to make a wrong assumption about quantities or miss that there's one factor that's square feet And another factor that's in square yards... Or cubic yards....

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    Bankole Folorunso

    This so comprehensive, thanks!

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    Brian Blodnikar

    Congratulations Roma.  Which version of Building Construction by Madan Mehta did you study from for this exam?  There are a couple of different versions when I looked up the book on Amazon.com.

    Thanks!

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Also...
    Understand basic electrical service and distribution. Understand the difference electrical service types..... 120/240 single phase, 120/208 three phase, 277/408 three phase.... What the diagrams look like and what kind d of buildings you would expect to see each of those in

    Understand basic electrical supply "riser" diagram. Transformer, secondary lines, main switchboard and main breaker, secondary panels and meters, breakers, switches, motor loads, etc. They symbols they use in the exam are kinda confusing so make sure you study VARIOUS sources so you understand really well where the main transformer, switchboard, meters, motor loads, and so forth would appear in a diagram. Sometimes you might see some symbol that looks weird. It doesn't seem to be the normal transformer symbol but by it's position, you know it must be the transformer.

    Also, know all your steel frame construction... Columns typically go two stories between connections, moment frame and non-moment connection... What they look like... If they are welded... What the welding means... Bolted connections, etc

    Also, be able to identify typical residential wall framing construction and all the components, as well as residential roof framing, and all the components.

    I shouldn't have to say this but super important to understand vapor barrier, placement in different climates, vapor retarder/ air infiltration barriers (VR/AIB), cavity walls, rainscreen construction and principles, your brick types and configurations.... Soldier, stretcher, rowlock, header, sailor.... And your BRICK JOINT PROFILES... Hint: Concave is best with very close second.

    Understand what EIFS is... The pros and cons.... Understand stucco... the various layers ...And stucco is generally recommended in seismic zones.

    Understand STC ratings
    Be able to look at several wall sections and evaluate which detail is best or worst STC. Same exact thing for IIC and floor assemblies.

    Understand basic lighting, footcandles at the surface, lumens per lamp, area if the room... That formula and how the factors relate to each other, the inverse square law (simple... Sometimes you are trying to figure out a lighting problem and it's not complicated, it's just the inverse square law)

    People, you can do this!

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    Bankole Folorunso

    Roma is definitely right about two things!
    This Mehta txt book and Eliif’s practice test, I wished I had gotten these heads-up from the on-set.
    I got the 3rd Edition, the graphics are good and easy to understand too.

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    Roma Agrawal

    Thanks! Since you've passed, PPD, any advice for me....on the resources etc.

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Who's the question for?

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    Bankole Folorunso

    I believe the question is for me!

    You want to familiarize yourself with the various foundation types, which you would use under a particular site condition. How a new foundation may impact an existing, sizing based on anticipated load and how to calculate cumulative dead loads. 

    You want to know your cathodic/anodic tables and how volume or size may tilt the dynamics of anticipated results.

    You want to familiarize yourself with the 1-7 United States climatic zones, it seems to me that NCARB has zero tolerance for ignorance on these subject. Know the characteristic of each zone, know your sun path diagram and how to read it. While at it, you may also want to understand locating your building in consideration to the existing natural drainage patterns and man made site drainage elements.

    Practice calculating drainage/sewer pipes depths, distances, slopes and inverts.

    Structural building elements i.e., wood, laminated structural beams, composite beams, concrete and when you would use what given specific design/cost/span and time requirements.

    The scope is wide but they are not asking an arm and a leg, I think the important thing is to cover a wide ground without necessarily going into details. Having said that, my advice would be to use a lot of practice question doing them over and over again. Designer Hacks and PPI helped me out quite a bit. Ben Norkin is the go to if you have difficulty with the sun path diagram and I think these is one of those that is free on his site.

    Good Luck!

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    Joseph Petrarca

    No affiliation whatsoever, but I have worded as a carpenter for 20 years and an architectural designer for 27.... And I wouldn't want to try PPD without Ben Norkin Hyperfine. It will force you to learn in various ways. It's almost like having an ARE coach showing you what's what. Couple that with Elif Bayram's Arequestions. Com and you have a really amazing package for probably 20% of the cost for the ridiculous Ballast or Kaplan. Reading Architectural Graphic Standards is like saying.... "Go to the new York public library and read everything on Architecture. ". You can't focus because there's SO MUCH content and detail. You really need very practical advice on WHAT to study and to WHAT DEPTH or you're gonna lose your mind and spend thousands of hours studying.

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    Joseph Petrarca

    Lastly (hahaha)... Exam strategy is maybe more important than the content. Do not let these damm things freak you out. They're just questions... Questions you probably know or you do some deductive reasoning and make smart guesses. Keep in mind... YOU ONLY HAVE YO GET A D TO PASS. No prizes or gold stars for smarty-pants with A's or B's.

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