PDD - how deep does it go?



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    David Kaplan


    I am offering you my personal experience only with the PDD test - others may have had different experiences so please take this as one person's experience.

    I had ZERO questions dealing with the level of difficulty that you describe above.  ZERO.

    Know how to calculate the moment about a point - yes, I had to do that. 

    I had no questions about sizing MEP systems.

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    Cait Larson

    This test is a beast that touches on literally every topic related to architecture, but you don't have to dig too deep on much of it, especially the engineering portions. I borrowed MEEB from someone in my office and skimmed it, selecting only the most basic equation of any given section to study.  I also used Architect's Studio Companion and Ballast for these sections.

    Some of the topics covered:

    Structural overturning, moment
    Coefficient of thermal expansion (memorize it for steel) 
    Elevator energy
    Duct sizing based on ACH or CFM
    Lighting calculations
    Acoustics design 
    HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical system layout and sequencing (and know the symbols on those drawings)
    Sprinkler effect on fire code
    Amps, volts, watts
    Plumbing pressure calcs
    Drain inverts
    Know a lot about pipes, their materials, diameters, uses
    Rebar concrete coverage in a member based on where it is

    There is a healthy mix of visual/design interpretations of these systems and the equations themselves. 


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