PDD Pass - Study Approach

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    Scott Barber

    Congrats David, and great write-up! Enjoy the freedom of being done with these exams!! If you ever get bored your input is always welcome on the forum - thanks for sharing your experience and advice with myself and others along the way. Time to celebrate!!!

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    David Kaplan

    Thanks Scott, really appreciate it.  I plan on grabbing some beers tonight for sure.  I plan on logging onto this forum here and there to see if I can help provide any input.  It's been a big help.

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    Victoria Nizzoli

    Great write up David!

    I've been lurking in a lot of these forums, but have found your write ups and comments to be so helpful in sifting through the sea of recommended materials.

    I actually just took PPD yesterday (failed sadly), but have the PDD exam scheduled for two weeks away. Would you say PDD is more in line with a typical architectural role, especially for those of us who work in drafting details, bldg sections, etc.? I only have 4 years of experience, but feel like I know a drawing set frontwards and backwards at this point, so I'm hoping that makes PDD more intuitive. Anyways, congrats and enjoy the freedom!

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    David Kaplan

    ^^^^Yes, absolutely.  That experience you have will go far on this exam.  I would still recommend looking at the details that NCARB identifies in the guidebook though.  I've been doing CD's for 13 years, there's not much I haven't drawn.  There were still a couple of things that differed from the way I'd normally draw something, and it was helpful to see Graphic Standards and BCI's version of these.

    Know the concepts behind wall construction, weather barriers, vapor barriers, insulation.  Read up a little bit on the science behind all that with respect to condensation, how water gets in and out of buildings, etc.  AGS and BCI all cover this well I thought.

    Sorry to hear about PPD - hope that you aren't too down about it, and kudos to you for still sticking with PDD.  I definitely think it's the way to go.  Read up a little bit more - you can do this!

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    Meiqian Klingelhofer

    Hi David,

    Could you explain more on "Simple concept behind one-line diagrams and how they are arranged. "? thanks 

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    David Kaplan

    Meiqian,

    Very basic.  Just understand how they are laid out.  Honestly what I did was google "how to read one-line diagrams" and I found a couple of websites that walked me through it at a basic level.  It was just something I've seen in all my drawing sets, but I've never really delved into.  Thought I should brush up on it, glad that I did.

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    Jingyu Lee

    Meiqian Klingelhofer, 

    I found information on "simple concept one-line diagram in MEEB chapter 27. 

    David, 

    congrats!

    how do you recommend studying for "Historic building repair approaches – what are general limitations? "

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    David Kaplan

    Jingyu,

    The Department of Interiors has the standards for historic building rehabilitation.  I personally did not go onto their site, and it's because my office has done several of these projects.  I have to believe that if you go on there, it might end up being too in depth and detailed for what you really need to know at the end of the day.  It's likely a several hundred page document if I had to guess.

    The Architect Exam Prep for PPD had a good overview of historic buildings, but that would require you having to buy this testing guide.  I wouldn't recommend doing so just for this topic - not worth it.  Personally, it wasn't a ton of questions, but there were some. If anyone on here has a free source about this - please post it.

    What I might recommend is googling "Historic Building rehabilitation limitations."  You might find a better summary that is easier to understand.  Try to google about what CAN you do and what CAN'T you do?  Imagine you have this old historic building and the exterior is in need of repair and the windows are totally shot.  How do you go about fixing those situations without negating the historic classification?  These types of projects have strict guidelines that must be followed in order to get the tax credits associated with them. 

    I'd love to just post on here what the general limitations are, but I'm not certain if doing so would violate the candidate agreement, so I'm instead trying to direct you to a source that could be helpful. 

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    Jingyu Lee

    David, 

    Wow. Thank you so much! I googled history building rehabilitation limitation, but most of results are coming out related to "IRS and Tax credit"

    But I found the department of interior link, and I found them pretty helpful!! For others who like to study this topic, please see below. 

    https://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/treatment-guidelines-2017.pdf

    I think tables like below on page 32 seems very useful! Thank you so much for your help!

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    David Kaplan

    Jingyu,

    Yes these types of tables are good. I encourage you to look into window repairs/replacement as well and how that is handled.  Other item would be if you're doing an addition to the building - what are limitations?  Should it mimic the existing building?  Be totally and completely contemporary?  Etc.

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    Marcel Garderen

    Congrats on being done with the ARE. 

    I am wondering where one finds practice exams. Did you use those at all in your preparation?

    Thanks for the detailed layout of your study strategy.

    Marcel

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    Yvonne Strain

    All, Thank you for your insights on these 2 exams.

    To follow up on Marcel's question, what is the best method for actual (timed) practice for the 5.0 exams?

     

    Thank you in Advance

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    Shikha Subramanian

    David,

    You mention the 2010 Ballast 4.0 Structural Systems book...is this an actual book or the section in the 2010 ARE Review Manual by Ballast? Or are you referring to the questions and answers book by Ballast?

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    David Kaplan

    Shikha,

    I'm saying that back when the ARE 4.0 exams were around, Ballast had put out a study manual for each test.  So I had the 4.0 Structural Systems review manual.  It wasn't an all-inclusive book that had study resources for every single 4.0 test in one book, it was a singular book just for that exam. 

    In my opinion, any guide you have to study structural concepts is likely just fine.  It's not like the basics of structural engineering has changed (let's hope not!)

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    Priscilla Leung

    Hi David,

    Struggling with exactly this: "Know the concepts behind wall construction, weather barriers, vapor barriers, insulation.  Read up a little bit on the science behind all that with respect to condensation, how water gets in and out of buildings, etc."

    Which part(s) of AGS did you refer to? And can you recall any other resources? The version I have only has a short bit on permeance in the Exterior Enclosure section. Particularly trying to understand why/when condensation would occur on the outside and inside faces of a wall.

    Thanks!

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    David Kaplan

    Priscilla,

    I didn't personally read up on anything specific with respect to this concept, it was more understanding where vapor barriers should go and WHY that is.  Essentially, there's two different temperatures and a dividing line in between them: Interior Temperature, Exterior Temperature, and the dividing line is the exterior wall.  You need to understand how temperatures try to balance one another out - meaning, in what direction does cold or hot air move?  The point where they meet one another is the dew point and that's where condensation can occur, and we as architects want to make sure that this condensation doesn't a) rot out our building materials due to mold and b) can get out of the wall system (i.e. flashing, weepholes in masonry, etc.)  Knowing those flashing and weephole details is important for this exam, and that's what I focused on studying when using AGS and also Building Construction Illustrated.

    I would google "where to put the vapor barrier" and find some sites that explain the science behind that better than I can.  As an architect, I sort of rely on the old rule of thumb "warm side of insulation in the winter time."  For me, in Ohio, that's always facing the interior of the building. 

    Hope this helps?

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    Priscilla Leung

     

    Hi David - thanks; helpful direction to keep reading!

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    Sofia Salvat Mere

    Laughed out loud with the MEEB/fly part lol

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