I took (and passed!) PDD on Monday, and I wanted to share my observations, since I found others helpful to guide my studying. This was my last exam (all 5.0).
- I have access to the Ballast materials through work, but I barely skimmed some of the beginning and ending chapters (skipping the ones on structures entirely). I primarily used Architectural graphics, Fundamentals of Building Construction and BCI, but I went through parts of other relevant books I had on hand.
- You'll need to be able to interpret details and locate items in drawings. If you haven't looked at a variety of drawing layouts looking through CD sets from other firms would be good to study from
- Be familiar with IBC and ANSI/ADA. I had some questions that I hadn't studied for, but thumb through them often enough for work I knew the answers
- Look at as many details as possible
- Electrical Lighting (compare different choices - a matrix would be helpful)
- Understand the different varieties of each building system typology and the pros/cons of each - I looked for videos online about how HVAC worked because I felt that was one of my weaker areas
- There is a wide variety of sections/details (particularly exterior) covered. Review all of them, especially if you don't regularly work with a system.
- B101, particularly pertaining to CD's
- Be able to identify where a requested change would affect other elements/drawings.
- Wind, seismic and moment forces (simplified and details to resist)
- Electrical one-line diagrams
- Understand how a building is plumbed and powered
- Compare schedules and drawings
- R values vs U values and how they are calculated
- Detailing for historic preservation
- There are a lot of questions involving interpreting or searching through drawings, and some of those questions can take quite a bit of time
- I kept a list of the topics of all the questions so I could strategize which ones I wanted to go back to or might have a better idea of how to answer. I finished the case studies with about half an hour to review my answers
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