Took about 6 weeks to get ready for this one. I took the 4 previous exams under 2012 and I didn't realize the code change till a week or two ago. The changes aren't excessive but I really wish I had a few things explained to me. To save you a few minutes,and for those without building codes illustrated, I'll summarize what I found to be the most helpful changes to be aware of.
1- Determining allowable building area has been revamped-for the better ! Sprinkler bonuses are now baked into the table. There are three different formulas to pick from depending on building type
• One story single occupancy
• Multi story single occupancy
• multi story mixed occupancy
• (One story mixed occupancy determined by 508.1)
the tables also separate allowable stories and sq ft. Much easier to read imo. The manner of using building frontage to calculate bonuses hasn't changes.
One thing to be very careful of is when calculating Aa= At + (NS X lf) is that regardless if your building is sprinkled or not always use the not sprinklered figure from the table here for NS.
2) Some egress charts in ch 10 seem to have been rearranged. Exits from rooms and common path requirements are combined to help reduce some searching for related dimensions. It is worth it to scroll through and look at the charts. See if you understand it rather than memorize it
Now as far as the test
Lots of sustainable and site topics . Absolutely review all your PA notes. All the topics on my PA write-up came up one way or another. It's a very visual exam which is great, some people complain the images aren't 1080p HD, but if you've ever been 8 stories underground looking at a plan that the contractor just handled with his greasy hands, you can understand that being an architect means working with less that ideal graphics sometimes.
For this exam don't stress over formulas. Concepts. Remember this exam is testing you on system selections. As many others on here have said read architects studio companion cover to cover. I think all that weird funny business regarding the Canadian building code is keeping this book off the exam references..
There are a few things I recommend memorizing. Others, such as David , Adelina, Kurt, and Scott have great comprehensive lists to zoom in on once the following items are covered.
• Major ADA dimensions. Yes it's alot. But after 5 exams it's cooked into my brain. You will get free points for this. I've had ADA questions on every exam.
• Occupancy groups . You will save time. It comes up a lot.
• Construction type.
• General idea of the major hvac systems( water, air, mixed)
• General idea of major structural systems ( masonry concrete,steel, prefab…)
• Solar affects on a building and how design can maximize or minimize this
• General plumbing
• General lighting principles
• Smoke, fire, and life safety principles ( our #1 job is keeping people safe)
• Sustainable architecture.
• Site design
A General understanding is not enough. Use the ARE handbook and other posts to study as much as possible in these topics. Understand return on yield. I didn’t study structural as that is my weakest area. If I were to spend 20 hours to be able to answer a few questions it wouldn’t be worth the effort.
Case studies were clear and straight forward. You got this. Study like it’s your second job.
Last one in two weeks. Good luck
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