PDD vs PPD

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    Matthew Bowers

    Hi Renee -

    I just passed both exams this week (passed PDD today and finally done)...PPD is much more focused on the early design and general system selections, whereas PDD is focused on detailing and technical design considerations. Where PDD is oriented toward late design development and construction document production, PPD is related to schematic design through early design development. Below are a few key areas I'd focus on:

    • Passive strategies, like site selection, solar geometry, orientation, and climate considerations. I thought this material would be more relevant for PA, but that wasn't the case.
    • Resilient strategies regarding dynamic loads - wind and seismic. This includes pressure, uplift, lateral loads, and best practices...especially concerning seismic.
    • General material considerations and comparisons. This would include comparisons between basic structural systems, as well as LCA/LCCA comparisons between construction materials.
    • Acoustics and HVAC. You aren't going to encounter detailed analysis or calculations, but have a solid understanding of HVAC systems and understand best practices for acoustics.
    • Historic preservation and adaptive reuse. This is another one that I thought would be mostly applicable to PA, but I found it just as relevant to PPD.
    • Appropriate estimating strategies through project phases. This is pretty straight forward.
    • Zoning and code analysis...zoning categories, development restrictions, occupancies, egress, parking, etc.

    I'd say that I found just as much similarity/overlap with PA+PPD as I did with PPD+PDD - although I'm aware there are several versions of each test and each of our experiences may vary. In my case, PDD was more difficult than PPD. Chances are, you already have a decent grasp of much of the material since passing PDD (especially if you've also passed PA). Anyway, I hope this gives you a better idea for how to begin preparing for your next exam. Good luck!

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