CE Practice Exam #3 - Need clarifications

Black Spectacles Practice #3

#1: “An architect is designing a multipurpose indoor arena on a sloped site. During a site visit, the architect observes a process where soldier beams are being inserted and wood planks are placed against the flanges of the columns. Soldier beams and lagging planks are used during which part of construction?”

Correct Answer: Excavation support because “Soldier beams and lagging planks are used to hold back the surrounding soil during excavation of a site.”

What would be an example of excavation with columns already installed?

#2: “Shortly after construction has started, the architect discovers that the mechanical and civil drawings aren’t coordinated. Before the contractor gets too far, the architect needs to make sure the condenser units are located properly. In which of the following formats should the revision(s) be issued?”

Answer : Addendum, Change Order, Construction Change Directive, Bulletin

Correct Answer: Bulletin

Where is the sweet spot between the issuance between a Bulletin and a Change Order or CDD? Can Bulletin still be issued by the Architect if construction has already started? If the drawings are “not coordinated”, does that mean there are clashes thus most likely this will incur additional time and cost to fix the issue?

#3: “A California architecture firm has entered into a joint venture with a New York architecture firm. The architecture firm from California will be in charge of design, and the New York architecture firm will perform construction administration. A local construction manager has been hired to oversee the work four days a week. During the preconstruction meeting, the client asks who will be responsible for documenting the installation of the grand stair. Which of the following parties will be responsible for this?”

Correct Answer: New York Firm

What is the correct way to interpret “documenting the installation” at site? I’m confused if “documenting” can be tied to producing a daily log of what happened at site (CM’s responsibility) or generating a field report / observing the work (Architect’s responsibility)?

#4: “The architect is visiting a project to observe the sitework that has been taking place over the past month. During this visit, the architect notices that the contractor has misplaced four of the twelve retaining walls. When documenting this discrepancy in a field report, to whom should the architect assign the action item in order to resolve the issue? Check the two that apply.”

Answers : Geotechnical engineer, Structural Engineer, Civil Engineer, Owner, Architect, General Contractor

Correct Answer: Civil Engineer and General Contractor

Owner is an incorrect answer because “While the location of retaining walls should be coordinated with the owner, the contractor misplacing them is not directly the owner’s responsibility.”

My question is on the question’s wording “architect [to] assign the action item”. Since retaining walls are part of site work and handled by civil engineers, the Owner most likely have a separate contract with the Civil engineer, and from the question, the architect seems to have no contractual relationship with the civil engineer, then would it be appropriate for the architect to directly assign this action item to the civil engineer, instead of notifying the Owner and have him/her notify the civil engineer? I see in A201 Section 3.1.2 “The Architect shall coordinate its services with those services provided by the Owen and the Owner’s consultants” as part of basic services, yet in Section 4.1.1.20 “Architect’s coordination of the Owner’s consultants” as part of supplemental services. Under what circumstance can the Architect coordinate with Owner’s consultants, including geotechnical, civil, art, etc?

#5: “The construction of a large 175-room multi-wing senior living facility is finishing up. When the architect arrives to conduct the punch walk, they see the following items on the punch list and determine that the project is not yet ready to walk based on one of the items. Click on the punch list item that is the reason why the project is not ready for the punch walk.”

Correct answer: Add a 5’-0” wide concrete wandering path in the courtyard because “Adding walkways in a courtyard is too major to take care of by way of a punch list. This should already have been done via a change order.”

My question is another possible answer, “fire caulking missing”. Even if one location of fire caulking is missing, would that mean the building is NOT prepared for its intended use because fire safety is 100% completed thus not 100% safe to occupy?

#6: This is a case study question. “The architect is assembling the appropriate AIA documents for the construction of the electric vehicle charging station at the Zero Energy Building. Which AIA documents are relevant? Check four that apply.”

The excerpt on this case study says, “A new building that will serve as an electric vehicle charging station and an internet cafe is under construction… The architect has completed the design, and construction is underway.”

One of the correct answer is A305-1986 because “This item should be included with the documents that are provided to all contractors who are bidding on the project.” My question is the excerpt has indicated construction is already underway, is it necessary, or common, for Owner to ask for the selected Contractor’s qualifications after the contract has been awarded?

Another correct answer is G701-2001 because “The project will in all likelihood require a change order, so this document can be considered relevant to the project.” My question is the scenario nor all given exhibits have mentioned change orders or any possibilities leading to one. Is this assumption only made due to the scale and complexity to this project (aiming for Zero Energy Building Certification and building on former Native American land)?

Two other wrong answers include A101-2017 because “there is no indication that the fee type for this project is stipulated sum”, and B101 because it “would be signed at the beginning of the architect’s involvement in the project [thus] is not relevant to the construction phase”. The reasoning for A101 seems to contradict with the reasoning under G701. As for B101, my thought was this agreement would still be relevant despite what stage the project is in.

#7: This is a case study question. “The owner has notified the construction manager of acceptance of their guaranteed maximum price proposal. What is the next step in the process?”

Correct answer: Construction manager and owner execute the guaranteed maximum price amendment to their contract, per A133 Section 2.2.6.

Incorrect answer: Construction manager begins procurement and mobilization.

My question is under A133 Section 2.3.1.2, “the construction phase shall commence upon Owner’s acceptance of the CM’s GMP proposal or the Owner’s issuance of a notice to proceed, whoever occurs earlier.” Why wouldn’t this answer work as well? What is the indicator for the CM know what the next step should be — whether there is an amendment at hand or not? If not, the CM can proceed if Owner has accepted the GMP proposal even without a notice to proceed?

Phew that was a lot… Thank you so much for your help in advance! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

1 Like

Hi @samantha.lee we are currently updating our practice quizzes & there’s been a few glitches. Some answers are showing up as incorrect when they are actually correct. We are working super fast to get all of this fixed.

In the meantime let’s get some clarification on these questions. @coachglennparks do you mind helping Samantha?!

@monicafitzpatrick - Thanks for letting me know! Is there any way I can find out which answers are actually correct once the Black Spectacles team fixes these bugs?

@monicafitzpatrick Hi! Is there anyway you can help me find out who’s best to answer these questions or let me know the correct answer? My test is coming up very soon and it’ll be really helpful to get some clarification. Thank you so much! :slight_smile:

Hi @samantha.lee sorry for the delay, there isn’t one author for each of the exam forms or questions - there are multiple architects that are involved in creating these questions so I don’t have a particular person to direct these questions to. I’m working on finding an architect who will be able to help with each question.

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