Advice for construction detailing areas to focus study time on?



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    Brett Bowers

    Just flipping through Building Construction Illustrated is typically enough for CE. Focus on site work, foundations, and typical wall assemblies.

    Code related content will show up on the technical exams.

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    If you want to use one sentence to summarize the 2"-thick spec book: "Don't leak, don't fall."

    Focus on the details that keep the water and moisture out of the building, the "don't leak" part.

    The "don't fall" part is handled by the structural engineer.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (

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    Michael Ermann


    Draw, from memory, two wall sections:

    1. A large commercial building wall section detail with steel or concrete structure, exterior rigid insulation, masonry/rain screen, a parapet and a low-sloped roof membrane
    2. A small house wall section detail with stick construction, cavity fibrous insulation, an overhanging steep roof with roof shingles and gutters

    The wall sections should be "all the way" details from bottom of foundation to a small portion of the roof, inclusive of windows and intermediate floors. Not sure where to start? Try drawing the sections in the order that each element would be constructed on the site, for instance, footer, then footer key, then foundation wall, then termite shield, etc.

    There's obviously more than one way to draw these. You can check your work and then redraw (from memory again) with edits from Architectural Graphic Standards, Building Construction Illustrated or Fundamentals of Building Construction. 

    That said, Eugene, I think you may just want to schedule the exam. Your answers to other posters' questions on this forum, across a yawning expanse of subjects, were so strong, clear, and precise that, a week before you posted this question, I had already "flagged" you as a person to watch and sent an email to my colleagues about you. How often do I do that? Maybe four times total in 15 years. So, yeah, I think you're probably ready and should take your shot now. The penalty for failing is so small, just a 60 day wait, you can study more if you need to retest during that window. 

    --Michael Ermann, Amber Book creator

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    Eugene O'Callaghan

    Thank you all, that's great to know.

    Michael, I'm glad to hear that - I have it scheduled for 3 weeks time, and if it doesn't work out I will be retaking it asap after the holidays. Thanks for the encouragement!

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