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    Elif Bayram


    I agree. I just finished it and Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods. I didn't read them before I took PPD and PDD first time. A lot of posts here recommending ASC and Building Const Illustrated for PPD and PDD fooled me to think that those would be enough for this tests but they were DEFINITELY not. If this is your first time congrats on looking in different resources to find better info about this issues. I think to be able to pass PPD and PDD, a deeply understood knowledge and even memorization of some info in this two book is crucial!


    FYI, I will be also reviewing:Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects -  Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics -  Mechanical & Electrical Equipment for Buildings-  for systems this time. The test is not as easy as ASC to be enough source in this issues especially if you don't have extensive experience on them.

    Good luck and thanks for sharing!

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    Brett Spencer

    Hi Elif,

    Thanks for the insight.  Any chapters in particular that stuck out to you in Fundamentals of Building Construction?  Planning on reading it cover to cover but maybe there are some areas where I should take diligent notes?

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    Elif Bayram

    @Brett I read the whole book because after failing first time I felt I need a deeper understanding of construction materials and systems. It wasn't that hard to read, if you have time I recommend doing the same. I think I felt overwhelmed by the amount of the study materials on the reference list for this two tests and resorted on 3rd party materials at my first try and it was a mistake. So this time around I am really trying to read as much as I can from the NCARB reference materials. Hope it helps!

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    Seth Wiley

    Hi Elif & Bret.

    Funny...I feel like basically everything has materials and methods implications because that's what all this ultimately comes down to right?...stuff built on earth. Here's the list of books I've read basically in their entirety front cover to back. And then I've added lots of videos and web content to fill in gaps here and there:

    • ARE 5.0, PPI
    • ARE 4.0 Kaplan
    • Graphic Standards
    • Handbook of Professional Practice
    • ADA 2010
    • IBC 2012/2015 chapters 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 & 10
    • Building Codes Illustrated for 2012 IBC
    • Architect's Studio Companion
    • Time Saver Stds for Arch. Design: Technical Data for Prof. Practice – Watson & Crosbi, 2004
    • Sun, Wind, & Light
    • HOK Guidebook to Sustainable Design – Mendler, Odell, Lazarus, 2006
    • LEED Resources
    • Planning and Urban Design Standards – Steiner and Butler
    • Landscape Architectural Graphic Standards – Hopper, 2007
    • Site Engineering for Landscape Architects – Strom, Nathan, Woland, 2013
    • Structures – Ambrose & Tripeny
    • Structural Design: A Practical Guide for Architects – Underwood & Chiuini, 2007
    • AISC Manual
    • Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods – Allen & Iano
    • Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods – Simmons
    • Building Construction Illustrated – Ching
    • Visual Dictionary of Architecture – Ching
    • Mechanical & Electrical Equipment for Buildings – Stein & Reynold
    • Working Drawings Handbook
    • FEMA Earthquake Manual Chapters 4 &5
    • Preservation Briefs 32: Making Historic Properties Accessible
    • HUD Fair Housing Act Design Manual
  • Avatar
    Elif Bayram


    Impressive! Did you pass the tests hopefully..? Great job! 

    It is definitely necessary to read if you don't have enough experience or educated and experienced in a foreign country like myself. For instance in Turkey, where I went school and worked for the first 5 years of my architectural life, it is all about concrete structures, hydronic heating system with radiators using natural gas as fuel (talking about residential), and split systems for cooling where each home owner install their own AHU in the rooms they want and hang the compressor/condenser unit on the exterior wall (most of the times in balconies where there is a drain). And in NY, I have been doing a ton of commercial interior fit-out where you get to see only part of the mechanical, plumbing system and rarely structural changes are involved in the process cause they are pricey and clients prefer to work around existing conditions rather than spending money on re-adjusting structures. Therefore, reading this books- which is a lot- is unfortunately the only way for people like me to learn/pass. It is tedious and too much work but needs to be done. Good luck to all of us who has to keep reading and reading for weeks:)

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