P&A Practice quiz

Monthly P&A practice quiz

Each month we add a new practice quiz question for Programming & Analysis to help you study for P&A, or if you are simply wanting to keep your skills sharp.


Question 2:
1/27/2020

A building is to be sited in central North Dakota, an area known for extreme weather and cold temperatures.

Which building configuration is best in this situation?

A. Low to the ground with a sprawling plan
B. Multi-storied with a central court
C. Elongated for maximum southern exposure
D. Centralized and compact

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Centralized and compact

Buildings in cold climates should minimize the ratio of the building skin to the floor area in order to reduce exposure too low temperatures. In other words, buildings that are centralized and compact reduces heat loss to the outside during the long winter season.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 1.15


Question 3:
2/3/2020

The space requirements for a library are as follows:
~ 90,000 volumes at 0.09 net square feet per volume
~ 300 readers at 15 net square feet per person
~ Service space at 25% of reader space

What is the gross area of the building?

_______ sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 13,725 sf.

First find the area required for the books.

90,000 volumes x 0.09 sf each = 8,100 sf

Then find the area per reader.

300 x 15 = 4,500 sf

Next calculate the area of service space required.

4,500 x 0.25 = 1,125 sf

Now add the areas to get the gross area.

8,100 sf + 4,500 sf + 1,125 sf = 13,725 sf

Ref: Space Planning Basics


Question 4:
2/10/2020

An architecture firm is hired to perform pre-design services for a new recreation center. The proposed services include programming the space.

Which of the following is the primary purpose of architectural programming?

A. To establish the building style and form
B. To collect data from the owner and the end users
C. To identify the scope of work to be performed
D. To define the client’s problems

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. To define the client’s problems

A successful design must be based on the true needs of the project at hand. What kind of facility is needed and for whom? What is the timeline of the project? How much money is available and how is the project going to be funded? What are the site and jurisdictional restrictions?

Identifying the problems gives direction to the designer and provides a sound basis for creating a successful design. Choice A is incorrect because form-making is design which doesn’t start until after the problems are defined. Choices B and C are incorrect because they represent only parts of architectural programming.

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Primer


Question 5:
2/17/2020

A new development of 135 homes is being planned upland from a wetland area. The wetland must be protected from the new development.

What should be part of the stormwater management plan for the new development?

A. Minimize volume of the run-off
B. Decrease stormwater infiltration
C. Minimize stormwater recharge
D. Increase velocity of the run-off

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Minimize volume of the run-off.

Best practices in stormwater management include keeping run-off on site so as to not overwhelm downstream systems.

Ref: Site Planning and Design


Question 6:
2/24/2020

A new building is being planned for a college campus along a creek. The finished floor of the building must be above the base flood elevation.

Where should the architect look to find the base flood elevation (BFE)?

A. Flood insurance maps
B. Geotechnical analysis
C. Zoning map
D. Historic photos

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Flood insurance maps.

The base flood elevation (BFE) can be found on the most recent Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) published by Federal Emergency Management (FEMA).

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards; FEMA


Question 7:
3/2/2020

A developer approaches an architecture firm with a 13 acre site in southern California. They wish to rezone the property in order to put several identical apartment buildings on the site.

The density of the proposed development should be no more than 30 units per acre. It is important to maximize the number of units and design each unit to be the minimum area allowable by code. The proposed parking will be surface parking and open carports. All units will be on the main floor and have direct access to the outdoors. Recreational amenities such as community rooms and a fitness center are planned to be included in the project. These amenities can be estimated at 1,500 sf each for the purposes of planning.

Refer to the exhibit that shows an excerpt from the city’s land use and development code. All of the MF zones shown in this table will allow this project type. The designer must decide what zone the client should rezone to, and then calculate the building’s gross square footage.

city of murrieta

What is the total combined gross area of all of the apartment buildings together?

______ square feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 214,500 sf.

Since the proposed development should have no more than 30 units per acre, it follows that the property should be rezoned to MF-3 which is the last column on the table. Using 30 units per acre, calculate the proposed number of units.

30 units x 13 acres = 390 units

Now calculate the gross square footage of the units based on the minimum 500 sf given in the land use code.

390 units x 500 sf = 195,000 sf

Next calculate the number and area of the recreational amenities required by the code.

390 units / 30 = 13 amenities

13 x 1,500 sf = 19,500 sf

Finally, add the gross area of the units to the gross area of the amenities to find the gross area.

195,000 + 19,500 sf = 214,500 sf

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 8:
3/9/2020

The Environmental Site Analysis (ESA) for a proposed apartment building shows a high number of VOCs within the soil. The contaminated soil is above the line of ground saturation. A consultant who specializes in hazardous materials recommends to remove the contaminants through a vapor extraction method.

Which describes vapor extraction?

A. Wells or trenches are employed to recover the vapors from the unsaturated soil
B. Soil is hauled off site and subjected to extremely high temperatures that destroy the vapors
C. Microorganisms are introduced deep in the soil where they work to degrade the vapors
D. Air is injected into the saturated soils and then bubbles up to a vent system that removes the vapors

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Either wells or trenches are employed to recover the vapors from the unsaturated soil

Vapor extraction is a process where vapors are removed from unsaturated soil via extraction wells or trenches and then treated.

Choice B describes soil incineration. Choice C describes bioremediation. Choice D describes air sparging which can be used along with vapor extraction.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook page 343, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Question 9:
3/16/2020

The Environmental Site Analysis (ESA) for a proposed apartment building shows a high number of VOCs within the soil. The contaminated soil is above the line of ground saturation. A consultant who specializes in hazardous materials recommends to remove the contaminants through a vapor extraction method.

Which describes vapor extraction?

A. Wells or trenches are employed to recover the vapors from the unsaturated soil
B. Soil is hauled off site and subjected to extremely high temperatures that destroy the vapors
C. Microorganisms are introduced deep in the soil where they work to degrade the vapors
D. Air is injected into the saturated soils and then bubbles up to a vent system that removes the vapors

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Either wells or trenches are employed to recover the vapors from the unsaturated soil.

Vapor extraction is a process where vapors are removed from unsaturated soil via extraction wells or trenches and then treated.

Choice B describes soil incineration. Choice C describes bioremediation. Choice D describes air sparging which can be used along with vapor extraction.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook page 343, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


Question 10:
3/23/2020

An architect is working with a developer on a new residential community. The site is a previously undeveloped forested area in a foothill region in the arid southwestern United States. The development includes 170 new homes, a park, and a new elementary school building.

Which is of most concern to the new residents in this changing landscape?

A. Extreme weather
B. Air quality
C. Fire
D. Flooding

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Fire.

The name given to the areas experiencing human development that encroach on previously undeveloped wildlands is called the Wildland/Urban Interface (WUI). One of the biggest concerns in these areas are forest fires, especially in the arid southwest where the climate is dry.

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 11:
3/30/2020

Refer to the site plan. The main building’s footprint is 1600 sf. The garage footprint is 640 sf.

The maximum lot coverage is 30% including accessory buildings but not including porches and decks.

A two-story addition is planned for the main building.

What is the maximum area of the building footprint of the addition?

_____ sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 2,560 sf.

To find the answer, first find the gross area of the site.

80 feet x 200 feet = 16,000 sf

Now find the allowable footprint area based on the maximum lot coverage.

16,000 sf x 0.3 = 4,800 sf

Then add the gross areas of the building and garage together.

1,600 sf + 640 = 2,240 sf

Finally, find the allowable area of the footprint of the proposed addition by subtracting the area of the existing footprints from the allowable footprint area.

4,800 sf - 2,240 sf = 2,560 sf

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 1.24


Question 12:
4/6/2020

A large office park is being planned for an 8-acre site. The project will need to have onsite provisions for handling stormwater. The stormwater management plan should include consideration for removing pollutants from the stormwater as well as providing a habitat for wildlife.

Which stormwater practice should the architect recommend for this site?

A. Infiltration trench
B. Wet pond
C. Porous pavement
D. Grassy swales

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Wet pond.

The answer is wet pond because it satisfies both criteria of pollution reduction and potential for wildlife.

Choice A is incorrect because an infiltration trench provides little potential for a wildlife habitat. Furthermore, infiltration trenches are suitable for constrained sites, not large office parks. Choice C is incorrect because while porous pavement provides opportunities for reducing pollutants, it does not satisfy the requirement for wildlife habitat. Choice D provides low potential for wildlife and low to moderate and somewhat unpredictable reductions in pollutants.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 13:
4/13/2020

In order to plan for a new grade school building, area calculations must be performed.

For a classroom space, how much square footage per occupant should the architect plan for?

A. 20-25
B. 45-60
C. 150-200
D. 650+

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. 20-25.

Based on the 2015 International Building Code Section 1004, the occupant load of classroom spaces is 20 net square feet per person.

Ref: IBC 2015 Section 1004


Question 14:
4/20/2020

An existing two-story masonry building is showing indications of differential settlement.

Which soil condition is most likely to result in differential settlement?

A. Loose till
B. Sand
C. Bedrock
D. Sandy silt

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Loose till.

Till is a mix of clay, sand, silt, gravel, and boulders deposited by glaciers. Loose means the till is not well-graded or in other words, the mix of particle sizes is not uniform. Loose till can cause differential settlement if used for a bearing material for a building’s foundation.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 15:
4/21/2020

Zoning ordinances help directly regulate which of the following?

A. Construction worker safety
B. Hazardous materials
C. Neighborhood flooding
D. Traffic congestion

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Neighborhood flooding.

Zoning ordinances are laws that define how land may be used and the size and shape of buildings that may be built. Zoning ordinances also regulate the maximum amount of lot coverage as well as restrict development in areas that are more prone to flooding. Zoning laws might also require specific building standards to reduce potential flooding.

Ref: Site Planning and Design; Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 16:
5/4/2020

A large site will be used for a residential subdivision. The density of the neighborhood will be 1000 residential units per 333 acres.

This density is equivalent to how many residential units per acre? Round your answer to the nearest whole number.

__

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 3.

1000/333 = 3 residential units per acre

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 17:
5/11/2020

A lodge is to be placed on a site. The site is 36 acres with several options for siting the building. The site is in Indiana where there is a temperate humid climate. The building should be located to be energy efficient and to balance the needs of both warm and cool seasons.

Which indicate the optimal location to site the building? Select the two that apply.

A. Top of a hill
B. Bottom of a hill
C. Midway up a hill
D. Southwest-facing slope
E. Southeast-facing slope
F. East-facing slope

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are:
C. Midway up a hill
E. Southeast-facing slope

The optimal siting of a building in a temperate climate is part way up a southeast-facing slope. This is because heat conservation is the primary objective. The southeast-facing slope allows for the sun to warm the building in the morning while protecting it from cold northwest winds which prevail throughout most of the colder regions of the United States. Midslope is the best location because the top of the hill is windy and the bottom gets cold at night as cool air settles in valleys.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated; Sun, Wind & Light


Question 18:
5/18/2020

Refer to the excerpt from International Building Code (IBC) Chapter 5.

A multistory office building is to be Type IV construction. The building will be sprinklered.

Based on IBC, what is the maximum area of the building?

___ sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 108,000.

The office building is a B (business) occupancy. Using the table, find B in the column on the left. Since the building is multi-story and sprinklered, use the row labeled SM. Follow the row across to Type IV where the value for maximum area is 108,000 sf.

Ref: IBC 2015; Building Codes Illustrated


Question 19:
5/25/2020

An architecture firm prepares design drawings in schematic design.

Who are these drawings primarily for?

A. Owner
B. Contractor
C. Jurisdiction
D. Consultants

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Owner.

Schematic drawings are primarily for the owner. This phase is where the requirements and goals of the owner are identified and addressed with a conceptual design.

Ref: The Architect’s Studio Companion


Question 20:
6/1/2020

An existing building’s entrance is 5 feet 6 inches above the sidewalk. An accessible ramp must be added.

Including all required top, bottom, and intermediate landings, what is the minimum length of the ramp?

____ feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 86 feet.

The maximum slope of the ramp is 1:12. This means for every foot of run, the ramp may rise no more than 1 inch. Since there are 66 inches of rise, 66 feet of run is required.

Since a ramp run may not rise greater than 30 inches, two intermediate landings are required. Top and bottom landings are required. Each landing is a minimum of 5’-0" in length. Four ramps at 5’-0" each is 20 feet.

Add 66 feet and 20 feet for 86 feet.

Ref: ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Section 405, 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Section 405


Question 21:
6/8/2020

A tax deduction is available for building owners. One of the requirements of the deduction is meeting the standards set forth in ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

What is described in ASHRAE Standard 90.1?

A. Standard for measurement and balancing of HVAC systems in commercial buildings
B. Standard for thermal comfort for human occupancy in commercial buildings
C. Standard for ventilation and indoor air quality in commercial buildings
D. Standard for energy efficiency in commercial buildings

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Standard for energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

The full title of ASHRAE 90.1 is Standard 90.1: Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except Low-Rise
Residential Buildings. ASHRAE is American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. ASHRAE 90.1 sets the standard for all energy use requirements for environmental systems found in buildings (i.e., HVAC, lighting, electrical, power, water, envelope, and energy management).

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings


Question 22:
6/15/2020

A paved pathway circles a small pond in a park. A portion of the path has a slope of 3%.

Which accurately describes this portion of the path?

A. Accessible ramp
B. Accessible route
C. Nonaccessible ramp
D. Nonaccessible route

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Accessible route.

An accessible route is 0 to 5% (no steeper than 1:20). An accessible ramp is over 5% and up to 8%.

Ref: ANSI 117.1-2009 403.3, ADA-2010 403.3


Question 23:
6/22/2020

The following soils are found on a site.

Which is the LEAST susceptible to frost action?

A. Clay
B. Sand
C. Peat
D. Silt

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Sand.

Sand drains easier than the other soils, making it least likely to be susceptible to frost action.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 1.24


Question 24:
6/29/2020

A new tech center is being planned. The site has not yet been selected. The tech center campus should be sized such that it is about a 15 minute walk from edge to edge. Assume 3 mph average walking speed and a circular footprint for the campus. campus

How big should the campus be?

A. 280 acres
B. 440 acres
C. 660 acres
D. 1500 acres

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. 280 acres

If the average walking speed is 3 mph, a person can walk 3/4 of a mile in 15 minutes.

15 minutes = 1/4 hour
3 mph x 1/4 hour = 3/4 mile or 0.75 miles

The area of a circle is calculated with the equation A = π r^2.

Find the radius first. The radius is 1/2 the diameter:
0.75 miles / 2 = 0.375 miles
0.375 miles x 5,280 feet in a mile = 1,980 feet

Then use the radius to find the area:
A = 3.14 x 1980 feet x 1980 feet
A = 12,310,056 sq. ft.

There are 43,560 square feet in 1 acre.

12,310,056 sq. ft. / 43,560 sq. ft. = 282.6 or approximately 280 acres.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 25:
7/6/2020

A property in flood zone X has a 0.2% chance of flooding every year.

This is equivalent to which of the following?

A. 50-year flood
B. 100-year flood
C. 200-year flood
D. 500-year flood

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. 500-year flood

A 0.2% chance is 1 in 500.

1 / 0.002 = 500

Ref: FEMA


Question 26:
7/13/2020

A new mixed-use development is located near a stream. In order to protect the stream from runoff that may convey contaminants and pollutants into the stream rather than filtering through the soil, a vegetated buffer is required.

While local standards may differ, what is the common standard for the width of a stream buffer?

A. 20 feet
B. 50 feet
C. 100 feet
D. 200 feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. 100 feet

Development next to bodies of water can have a significant impact on the health of the body of water. Although some situations such as a sensitive stream or clay soils require more buffer width and others like urban areas can have less buffer width, 100 feet is a common buffer width that can remove most contaminants.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook


Question 27:
7/20/2020

In order to gather information when starting a building project, the architect should examine the four major factors of function, form, economy, and time.

The key subtopics of site, environment, and quality fall under which of these factors?

A. Form
B. Time
C. Function
D. Economy

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Form

Form relates to the site and the physical properties of the construction including quality.

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer


Question 28:
7/27/2020

A flood insurance map of a large city’s downtown area shows the following flood zones.

What flood zones are within the high risk areas? Select the three that apply.

A. A
B. AE
C. X-shaded
D. X-unshaded
E. V
F. B

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Anwer is
A. A
B. AE
E. V

FEMA flood maps show flood zones that indicate the probability that the land will be flooded for insurance purposes.

Zones A and AE and all other A zones are subject to inundation by the 1% annual chance flood event. The difference between A and AE is that in AE, a base flood elevation has been established. Zone V is also subject to inundation by the 1% chance with additional hazards of storm-induced waves. A 1% chance of annual flooding is the same as the 100-year flood, which is a high risk area and subject to flood insurance and other flood management regulations.

Zones B and X-shaded are moderate risk areas with 0.2% chance of flooding in any given year. X-unshaded is a minimal risk area outside the 1% and 0.2% annual risk areas. These zones are equivalent to the 500-year flood line.

Note: Zone B and X-shaded are the same zone. B is used on older maps and X-shaded is on new and revised maps. Zone C and X-unshaded are also the same, with C being used on old maps and X-unshaded taking its place on the new and revised maps. These zones are outside the 500-year flood line.

Ref: FEMA; Planning and Urban Design Standards, student edition, pages 87-88


Question 29:
8/3/2020

A proposed building is classified in the International Building Code (IBC) as a Type IV Heavy Timber (HT).

Based on the IBC, HT buildings must have which of the following?

A. Metal connectors
B. Automatic sprinkler system
C. Noncombustible exterior walls
D. Fire-retardant treated wood

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Noncombustible exterior walls

A Heavy Timber Type IV building must have noncombustible exterior walls.

Choice A is incorrect as connectors may be doweled wood construction or mortise and tenon. Choice B is incorrect because an HT building may or may not require a sprinkler system. Choice D is incorrect because the fire-resistance of timber is in its size.

Ref: International Building Code (2015) section 602.4


Question 30:
8/10/2020

A shopping center is 2,500,000 gross square feet. The building is 65% efficient.

What is the net area of the building?
_____ sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 16,250,000 sf

A building’s efficiency expresses the relationship between net and gross area. The net area of a building is found by multiplying the efficiency times the gross area.

2.500,00 sf x 0.65 = 16,250,000 sf

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer


Question 31:
8/17/2020

During a site analysis the architect observes the following characteristics of the soil. The site and the soil are currently dry.

What is an indication of expansive soils in dry soil?

A. Soil is sticky and accumulates on tires and shoes
B. A pocket knife blade can penetrate the dry soil quite easily
C. Surface cracking is present in a more or less regular pattern
D. A cut into the soil with a shovel leaves a rough pocked surface

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Surface cracking is present in a more or less regular pattern

The cracks are formed when wet expansive (clay) soils dry. Expansive soils undergo cycles of shrinking and swelling which can deteriorate structures. The cracking in expansive soils is often in a polygonal pattern.

Choices A and B are incorrect because this is true of wet expansive soil, not dry. Dry expansive soil resists a pocket knife blade. Choice C is incorrect because the cut surface would be smooth and shiny.

Ref: Site Planning and Design, 2nd edition, table 3.3


Question 32:
8/24/2020

A shopping center is 2,500,000 gross square feet. The building is 65% efficient.

What is the net area of the building?
_____ sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 1,625,000 sf

A building’s efficiency expresses the relationship between net and gross area. The net area of a building is found by multiplying the efficiency times the gross area.

2,500,000 sf x 0.65 = 1,625,000 sf

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer


Question 33:
8/31/2020

An architect presents several examples of sustainable technologies including the one shown in the picture.

flat plate collector

What sustainable technology is depicted?

A. Heat pump
B. Photovoltaic cell
C. Flat plate collector
D. Heat recovery exchanger

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Flat plate collector

A flat plate collector is a simple technology that collects heat from the sun and then transfers that heat to air or water for use in the building.

Ref: Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects, 4th edition, page 218; Green Building Illustrated, page 208


Question 34:
9/07/2020

Refer to the topographical map of a proposed site. The building will be sited at the location as indicated on the map.

In what main direction is the drainage at the location of the building?

A. South
B. North
C. West
D. East

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. East

The building is located near the topo line 7520. The topo line to the west (left) is 7560 which is higher and the topo line to the east (right) is 7480 which is lower. The drainage of the site will flow to the lower elevation which is mainly to the east.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 1.10


Question 35:
9/14/2020

A building site is known to have expansive soils.

What can expansive soils cause? Select all that apply.

A. Sinkholes
B. Subsidence
C. Liquefaction
D. Cracked sidewalks
E. Heaving retaining walls
F. Building foundation failures

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are:
D. Cracked sidewalks
E. Heaving retaining walls
F. Building foundation failures

Expansive soils are clay soils that are prone to shrinking and swelling as a result of a change in water content. Expansive soils can cause cracked sidewalks, cracked foundations, and retaining wall failures.

Choices A and B describe ground that collapses which is typically not associated with expansive soils. Choice C, liquefaction, is associated with earthquakes and most often occurs in loose sandy soils, not expansive soils.

Ref: Site Planning and Design, 2nd edition, page 55


Question 36:
9/21/2020

A 120-acre tract of previously undeveloped land is to be developed as a neighborhood. The project will include housing, retail and dining establishments, and a 13-acre recreation area with hiking paths and a pond. The housing will be clustered together with open space in between that links to the recreation area.

What zoning technique should be applied?

A. Overlay Zoning
B. Incentive Zoning
C. Planned Unit Development
D. Transfer of Development Rights

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Planned Unit Development

Planned Unit Development (PUD) is a zoning technique that allows property developers to arrange large-scale developments with greater flexibility than conventional zoning. A PUD allows mixing uses and clustering buildings to provide open space as common area between buildings.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition, page 891; Building Construction Illustrated 1.24


Question 37:
9/28/2020

A new office development is planned for a hot arid climate.

In order to reduce energy costs associated with this development, what street orientation and layout should be implemented?

A. Narrow streets for north-south routes
B. Orient streets for capturing the prevailing winds
C. Discontinuous streets in the direction of winter winds
D. Streets laid in alignment with strict cardinal orientations

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Narrow streets for north-south routes

Narrow north-south streets provide shade to the buildings during much of the day, reducing heat gain for the individual buildings.

Choice B is appropriate for hot-humid climates where winds can be cooling but not hot arid climates where winds can be hot and drying. Choice C is appropriate for a very cold climate where blocking winter winds is desirable. Choice D is appropriate for colder climates where sun is a priority and excessive heat gain in summer is not as much of an issue.

Ref: Sun, Wind & Light: Architectural Design Strategies, 3rd edition, pages 139-140


Question 38:
10/6/2020

The appraisal report for a for-sale empty lot includes a statement of “highest and best” use.

What is needed in order to determine the highest and best use? Select the four that apply.

A. Past uses
B. Market study
C. Zoning analysis
D. Net income potential
E. Land use restrictions
F. Tenant letters of intent

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are
B. Market study
C. Zoning analysis
D. Net income potential
E. Land use restrictions

The definition of highest and best use is the most profitable use of vacant land or an improved property that is legally permissible, physically possible, and financially feasible. For example, a property may be legally developed as either a multifamily development, restaurant, or office building but the office building generates the most income, it is the highest and best use.

Choice B, market study, is important because there must be demand for the use in the market that will generate enough income to cover costs of construction, maintenance, and a return on the investment to be financially feasible. Choice C, zoning analysis, is need to determine what is physically possible based on use and restrictions such as setbacks, allowable height, lot coverage, and floor area ratio (FAR). Choice D, net income potential, is needed to determine financial feasibility and return on investment. Choice E, land use restrictions such as deed restrictions and comprehensive plans, are needed along with zoning laws to determine what is physically possible.

Choice A is an incorrect answer because a statement of highest and best use is forward-looking, not backward-looking. Choice F is incorrect because a statement of highest and best use considers the use, but does not require commitment from specific tenants.

Ref: Site Planning and Design, 2nd edition, page 410


Question 39:
10/13/2020

A school is granted permission to be located in a residential zone. The school is allowed based on satisfying certain criteria such as parking and traffic control.

What zoning approach is described in the scenario?

A. Variance
B. Overlay zone
C. Conditional use permit
D. Planned urban development

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Conditional use permit

A conditional use permit provides a way to allow a land use that would not normally be allowed in a zoning district so long as certain conditions set by the governing body such as parking and traffic control are met.

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards, student edition, page 372; The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition, page 892


Question 40:
10/20/2020

A building is proposed in an area with a hot, arid climate. The site is on a hillside.

Based on microclimate alone, what position on the hillside is the most desirable location for the building?
A. Top
B. Bottom
C. Mid to upper
D. Lower to mid

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Bottom

For a site in a hot, arid climate, buildings should be located in the valley or at the bottom of the slope where cool air settles at night.

Choice A is incorrect because the top of the slope can experience dry, dusty winds, high amounts of solar exposure, and there is no advantage of valley cooling. Choice C is ideal for a temperate climate where buildings benefit from both sun and wind. Choice D is incorrect because this location is ideal for a building in a cold climate where some solar access is desirable but the cold valley floor is too cold.

Ref: Sun, Wind & Light: Architectural Design Strategies, 3rd edition, page 222


Question 41:
10/27/2020

The population of a city was 75,000 in 2000. The population grew to 97,000 by 2020.

Assuming a linear growth rate, what is the projected population in the year 2035?
_____ people

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 113,500 people

A linear growth pattern is plotted as a straight line. The slope of a line is RISE/RUN (rise over run).

First, find the rise by finding the population growth in the first 20 years as given in the problem.
97,000 - 75,000 = 22,000 people

Then find the slope of the known portion of the line using rise over run.
22,000 / 20 years = 1,100
This is the same as saying there are 1,100 additional people each year.

Then take the per year population growth times the number of years in the projection.
2035 - 2020 = 15 years
15 years x 1,100 = 16,500

For the last step, add the projected growth to the population in the year 2020.
97,000 + 16,500 = 113,500 people

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards, student edition, page 299-301


Question 42:
11/3/2020

An architect is performing a site analysis for a new apartment building. The site is an empty lot in an urban area.

What information should the architect collect while on site? Select the three that apply.
A. Wind speed
B. Noise levels
C. Solar insolation
D. Circulation patterns
E. Property boundaries
F. Sun and shadow patterns

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are
B. Noise levels
D. Circulation patterns
F. Sun and shadow patterns

Noise levels as well as their sources, circulation patterns, and sun and shadow patterns are all best gathered while on site.

Choice A is incorrect because wind information is best collected from recorded data. Choice C is incorrect because information about solar insolation is found through research and data, not on-site. Choice E is incorrect because property boundary information should be collected from a survey or recorded data.

Ref: The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design


Question 43:
11/10/2020

An existing restaurant has a dining area that is 17 inches above the main level. The renovation plans include a ramp to the raised area.

What should the architect design for the ramp configuration in order to meet accessibility requirements? Select the three that apply.

A. 17 foot long ramp without landing
B. 12 foot long ramp with 60 inch landing
C. 32 inch clear width between 1.5 inch diameter handrails with circular cross sections
D. 36 inches clear width between 2 inch diameter handrails with circular cross sections
E. Handrail with the top of the gripping surface at 32 inches above the walking surface
F. Handrail with the top of the gripping surface at 36 inches above the walking surface

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are
A. 17 foot long ramp with no landing
D. 36 inches clear width between 2 inch diameter handrails with circular cross sections
F. Handrail with the top of the gripping surface at 36 inches above the walking surface

The maximum slope for an accessible ramp is 1:12. Therefore, a 17 inch rise requires a 17 foot run. A landing is not needed for a rise of less than 30 inches. Accessible ramps must have a minimum of 36 inches clear between handrails. Handrails shall be 1.25 to 2 inches in diameter. The top of the handrail shall be 34 to 38 inches above the walking surface.

Ref: ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities, 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design


Question 44
11/17/2020

A project owner wishes to use the Integrated Project Delivery (IDP) method.

What phrase explains the notion of “systems thinking” that is characteristic of IPD?

A. Working in a silo
B. Divide and conquer
C. Nothing happens in a vacuum
D. Control the chaos to create order

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Nothing happens in a vacuum

The notion of systems thinking can be characterized by the phrase “Nothing happens in a vacuum.” This is because systems thinking is characterized by non-linear, holistic thinking patterns where every part of a system has a connection and relationship to every other part. An example of using systems thinking in architectural design is…

Systems thinking is fundamentally different than linear thinking which focuses on a single aspect of a problem at a time in isolation. Choices A, B, and D all characterize the notion of linear thinking.

Ref: The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design


Question 45
11/23/2020

At the beginning of the schematic design phase for a building project, the architect is identifying the restrictions and requirements for the project. The architect looks at both zoning and building codes.

What information is found in the building code?

A. Allowed uses
B. Parking requirements
C. Bulk plane restrictions
D. Fire separation distances

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Fire separation distances

Fire separation distances are found in Chapter 6 of IBC. Fire separation distances are measured from the exterior face of a building to the property line, the centerline of a street or alley, or to an imaginary line between two buildings on the same lot. Fire separation distances determine the fire resistance requirements of the exterior walls and wall opening requirements.

The other three choices are all found in zoning ordinances.

Ref: Building Codes Illustrated; Professional Practice: A Guide to Turning Designs into Buildings


Question 46
12/1/20

A building project is to include solar panels on the roof. The target capacity is 4.5 kWh and the modules are 15% efficient.

What is the recommended size of the array?

Use the equation A = 11C/E where A is area in square feet, C is the system peak output in kWh, and E is the module efficiency as a decimal.
____ square feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 330 square feet

Fill in the numbers in the equation given.

A = 11 x 4.5 kWh / 0.15
A = 330 square feet

Ref: The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design


Question 47
12/7/20

An architect is drawings plans for a playground serving children from ages 5-12. The equipment shall be spaced so that an adequate area around each piece of equipment is clear for potential falls.

What is the minimum dimension the architect should show between the pieces of playground equipment?

A. 6 feet
B. 8 feet
C. 10 feet
D. 12 feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. 12 feet

The generally accepted fall distance is 6 feet. This means the minimum spacing between playground equipment should be 12 feet.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook


Question 48
12/14/20

The grating for an underground vault must be placed in a city sidewalk where a high number of workers and shoppers walk.

Based on accessibility standards, what is required of the grating?

A. The void space in the grating shall be a minimum of 1/4" in any direction
B. The void space in the grating shall be a minimum of 1/2" in any direction
C. The long dimension of the grating opening shall be parallel to the direction of travel
D. The long dimension of the grating opening shall be perpendicular to the direction of travel

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

D. The long dimension of the grating openings shall be perpendicular to the direction of travel

The long dimension of the grating openings shall be perpendicular to the direction of travel so that wheels from a wheelchair user do not get caught in the openings.

Choices A and B are incorrect because there is no minimum size requirements for grating openings. However, the openings are limited to 1/2" maximum.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook


Question 49
12/21/20

A large restaurant includes a dining area and a separate kitchen where the food is prepared.

According to the International Building Code (IBC), to what occupancy group does the kitchen belong?

A. H
B. B
C. F-1
D. A-2

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. A-2

A commercial kitchen attached to a restaurant is the same occupancy group as the restaurant which is A-2.

Ref: International Building Code (IBC) 2018 Section 303.3; Building Codes Illustrated, 5th edition, page 21


Question 50
12/28/20

A brewer to build a brewery on the edge of a town. A constructed wetland is shown in the architect’s schematic design.

What is the purpose of a constructed wetland?

A. Retains stormwater runoff and thus reduces flooding
B. Stores rainwater for use by firefighters in emergencies
C. Treats wastewater onsite through biological processes
D. Provides water for heat exchange for the building’s cooling system

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Treats wastewater onsite through biological processes

A constructed wetland is a water treatment system that mimics natural wetlands that use natural processes to improve water quality.

Ref: The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design


Question 51
1/4/21

A building owner wants to turn an existing wood framed 10,000 sf one story warehouse building into a restaurant and bar.

What will need to happen to make this project code compliant?

A. A variance must be authorized by the local zoning department
B. A change of occupancy application must be filed with the local building department
C. A special inspector must determine if the building will be code compliant with the new use
D. A licensed architect must perform the feasibility analysis in order to determine if the new use is allowed by code

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. A change of occupancy application must be filed with the local building department

When a building is approved and recorded for a certain use and occupancy and another use is desired, the building must be evaluated for conformance with the building codes and zoning regulations as the new use. Some of the common areas that need to be reviewed are the building type, height and area, parking, occupant load, fire resistance, fire protection, egress requirements, plumbing, and ventilation. A change of use also means the existing building must be brought up to code including energy code and accessibility. The authority having jurisdiction will need to approve a change of occupancy permit.

Choice A is incorrect because the zoning department would need to authorize the use, but not through a variance. Choice C is incorrect because it is not the job of a special inspector to determine if the building will be compliant with the new use, this is the job of the architect and engineers. Choice D is incorrect because while the plans that are submitted as part of the permit application must be prepared by a licensed architect (or engineers, depending on the work), preparation of the feasibility study does not require a licensed architect.

Ref: International Building Code 2018 chapters 2 and 3


Question 52
1/10/21

A proposed landscape wall is to be built out of concrete. The above grade portion of the wall is 6 feet tall. The wind speed is 140 mph (vult) and the pressure is 50 lbs/sf. In order to check the wall for overturning moment, the wind pressure on the wall must be calculated

What is the total wind pressure on a 1 foot wide section of the wall?
____ lbs

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 300 lbs

The total wind pressure exerted on a 1 foot wide section of the wall is determined by multiplying the height of the wall above grade by the wind load in pounds per square feet. 6 feet x 50 lbs/sf = 300 lbs.

Ref: Site Planning and Design, 2nd edition, pages 103-104


Question 53
1/18/21

A developer would like to build out a tenant suite for a small cafe to seat no more than 65 people. The developer would like to know if the space needs to be sprinklered.

What chapter of International Building Code should the architect look to find the answer?

A. 5
B. 6
C. 7
D. 9

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. 9

A cafe seating 65 patrons is an A-2 occupancy. Occupancy groups are found in chapter 3.

Chapter 9 is where requirements for fire protection and life safety systems are found. Requirements for where sprinkler systems are required are found in IBC section 903.

According to IBC 903.2.1.2, an automatic sprinkler system shall be provided throughout stories containing group A-2 occupancies and throughout all stories from the group A-2 occupancy to and including the levels of exit discharge serving that occupancy where one of the following conditions exists:

  1. The fire area exceeds 5,000 square feet.
  2. The fire area has an occupant load of 100 or more.
  3. The fire area is located on a floor other than a level of exit discharge serving such occupancies.

Ref: International Building Code 2018 section 903.2.1.2


Question 54
1/25/21

A new office park would like to adopt sustainable strategies for stormwater management. One of the goals is to collect and filter runoff from the large parking areas quickly while blending into the landscape as much as possible. The strategy should filter the stormwater in place as much as possible in order to manage potential pollutants.

What stormwater technique should the architect suggest?

A. Swale
B. Dry well
C. Dry pond
D. Rain garden

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Rain garden

Rain gardens are shallow areas in the landscape that are designed to detain stormwater for short periods of time as it infiltrates the soil. Rain gardens drain fairly quickly and use regular plantings, allowing them to blend into the rest of the planted landscape. Rain gardens are also called bioretention basins.

Choice A is a shallow grassy ditch designed to allow rainwater of smaller storms to infiltrate the soil as well as help direct stormwater during bigger storms. Choice B is a small excavated pit in the soil filled with aggregate that is designed to infiltrate stormwater into the soil. Choice C is another word for detention pond, where stormwater is collected and detained for a period of time before drying out. Rain garden is the correct answer because they can be scattered throughout the parking areas in the islands to take care of the runoff quickly while blending into the landscape.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook, 2nd edition, pages 282-284


Question 55
2/1/21

The floor area ratio (FAR) for a building project is 4.0.

What agency reviews the project for compliance with FAR?

A. Fire department
B. Building department
C. Planning department
D. Public works department

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Planning department

Local planning departments implement zoning ordinances and other regulations that govern land use such as floor area ratios (FAR).

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 56
2/8/21

The geotechnical report for a construction project shows an area of soil that has a high plasticity index (PI).

What soil type is likely represented?

A. Silt
B. Clay
C. Peat
D. Sand

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Clay

PI is the difference between the liquid limit and the plastic limit (PI = LL-PL) of a soil. A high plasticity index means the soil has a large range of moisture content where it behaves as a plastic (flowable) substance. Since some clays can absorb many times their weight in moisture, it behaves plastically over a broad range of moisture levels.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook, 2nd edition, page 230


Question 57
2/15/21

A developer wishes to place the following on a site:

  • 12 clusters of attached single family housing units (typical site dimensions for each cluster is 300 feet by 125 feet)
  • Public school building (site dimensions including parking is 300 feet by 150 feet)
  • Shopping center (site dimensions including parking is 300 feet by 600 feet)
  • Park (site dimensions are 300 feet by 300 feet, no parking needed)

The site should allow approximately 20% more area for roads.

Assuming the entire site is available for development, what size site is most suitable for the development?

A. 10 acres
B. 20 acres
C. 30 acres
D. 40 acres

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. 20 acres

Find the total area required by adding up the areas of the parts.

12 housing clusters:
12 x 300 feet x 125 feet = 450,000 square feet

Public school building:
300 feet x 150 feet = 45,000 square feet

Shopping center:
300 feet x 600 feet = 180,000 square feet

Park:
300 feet x 300 feet = 81,000 square feet

Total: 756,000 square feet

Add 20% for roads:
756,000,000 square feet x 1.2 = 907,200 square feet

Divide by 43,560 to get acres.
907,200 / 43,560 square feet = 20.8 acres

The closest answer is B, 20 acres.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook, page 146


Question 58
2/23/21

A parcel of land is to be developed and the architect is gathering site information.

What information about the land parcel is called out in a metes and bounds survey?

A. Easements and restrictions
B. Block, lot, and street numbers
C. Planning commission approvals
D. Course and length of property lines

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Course and length of property lines

A metes and bounds survey describes a parcel of land by describing the boundaries by starting at a reference point and working around the perimeter of the site until returning to the starting point.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated, 5th edition, 1.38


Question 59
3/1/21

Refer to the adjacency diagram for a proposed bank.

What programmatic criteria can be discerned from the diagram?

A. The vault should be adjacent to the teller area
B. The board room should be adjacent to the bankers’ office area
C. The bankers’ office area should be directly adjacent to the teller area
D. The vice president and president’s offices should be adjacent to the lounge area

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. The vault should be adjacent to the teller area

This type of diagram is called an adjacency matrix. To find the adjacency relationship of two programmed spaces, find the two area names on the list to the left then follow the diagonal line to the intersection where the two areas meet. Then read the symbol and find the intended relationship in the legend.

The symbol at the intersection of vault and teller is a solid circle which is given in the legend as having a strong relationship which means they should be adjacent to each other. The intersection between the board room and bankers’ area has a dash, suggesting no required adjacency. The intersection between the bankers’ area and the teller area has an open circle which is shown in the legend as a weaker adjacency relationship. The intersection between the lounge area and the vice president’s area shows a strong relationship but the lounge and president’s areas has a weaker adjacency requirement.

Ref: Space Planning Basics


Question 60
3/8/21

The soil for a site is being tested for properties of cohesion at different moisture content levels.

What test is used for this purpose?

A. Atterberg Limits
B. Soil Classification
C. Standard Penetration Test
D. Environmental Site Assessment

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Atterberg Limits

Atterberg Limits is a standard test used to contribute to understanding of site soil conditions. The Atterberg Limits are two measures that define the boundaries between states of consistency of a plastic soil, the liquid limit (LL) and the plastic limit (PL). The liquid limit is the water content, expressed as a percentage of dry weight, at which soil begins to act like a liquid or flow. The plastic limit is the water content, expressed as a percentage of dry weight, at which a soil loses its plasticity and begins to act like a solid.

Ref: Site Planning and Design, page 230; Visual Dictionary of Architecture, 2nd edition, page 233


Question 61
3/15/21

Based on the owner’s program, the design of a new multistory office building must be exactly 50,000 gross square feet.

How is gross building area measured in this instance? Select the two that apply.

A. Measured to the inside face of the exterior wall
B. Measured to the outside face of the exterior wall
C. The sum of the floor areas of all levels of the building including the basement and all mezzanines
D. The sum of the floor areas that are available for assignment to a tenant including interior walls and columns
E. The sum of the floor areas of all useable area, core and service areas, but excluding vertical penetrations such as stairs and elevators
F. The sum of the floor areas of all levels of the building but excluding the basement and vertical penetrations such as stairs and elevators

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Measured to the outside face of the exterior wall
C. The sum of the floor areas of all levels of the building including the basement and all mezzanines

The way building area is measured and calculated can vary depending on how the area is intended to be used. For programmatic purposes, the gross building area is the sum of all the floors including the basement and all mezzanines and is measured to the outside face of the exterior wall.

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer


Question 62
3/22/21

An architect is reading a geotechnical report that gives the soil type as CL as categorized by the Unified Soil Classification System.

What describes this soil type?

A. Fat clay
B. Lean clay
C. Silty sand
D. Loamy sand

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Lean clay

Lean clay is a clay soil with low to medium plasticity.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 63
3/29/21

A building project is to include solar panels on the roof. The panels should be sized to provide system peak output of 5.5 kW and the expected panel efficiency is 21%.

What is the estimated size of the required area of modules necessary to produce the desired daily peak output?

Use the equation A = 11C/E where A is area of the panel in square feet, C is the system peak DC output in kW and E is the module efficiency in decimal form. Provide your answer rounded to the nearest whole number.

____ sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 288 sf

11 (5.5 kWh) / 0.21 = 288 sf

Ref: The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design


Question 64
4/5/21

A building site is 200 feet by 250 feet.The floor area ratio (FAR) for the site is 12. The city requires 1 parking spot for every 2,000 sf of gross floor area.

If the buildable area is maxed out, how many parking spaces will be required?

___ parking spaces

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

300 parking spaces

250 feet x 200 feet = 50,000 sf

50,000 sf x 12 = 600,000 sf

600,000 sf / 2,000 spaces = 300 parking spaces

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards page 132


Question 65
4/12/21

A property owner in an urban area would like to rezone their property from industrial to commercial.

What is the correct sequence for the steps in the rezoning process?

A. Appeal filed → Notice of public hearing → Adjacent property owners notified → Board of Zoning hearing → Decision

B. Application submitted → Planning Commission hearing → Decision → Adjacent property owners notified → Approval or denial by governing body (City Council)

C. Adjacent property owners notified → Notice of public hearing → Application submitted → Board of Zoning hearing → Decision → Approval or denial by governing body (City Council)

D. Pre-application meeting → Application submitted → Notice of public hearing → Adjacent property owners notified → Planning Commission hearing → Decision → Approval or denial by governing body (City Council)

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is ** D. Pre-application meeting → Application submitted → Notice of public hearing → Adjacent property owners notified → Planning Commission hearing → Decision → Approval or denial by governing body (City Council)**

In a typical rezoning process, the first step is for the applicant to meet with the city’s planning staff to discuss the project. This is often called a pre-application meeting. Planning staff can let the applicant know what documents will be required. These documents may be drawings, maps, traffic studies, hazard reports, evidence of sufficient water supply, or anything needed to make the application go smoothly. The next step is to submit the application. The next steps are to give notice of public hearing and notify adjacent property owners. This allows the public to comment on the application. The application then goes in front of the planning staff which renders a decision. The decision is finalized and either accepted or denied by the legislative body which is the city council in this scenario.

Choice A is incorrect because this series describes an appeals process, not a rezoning process. Choice B is incorrect because adjacent properties owners would need to be engaged to provide comment before the planning commission meets. Choice C is incorrect because the application would need to be submitted before the public hearing.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition, figure 13.6


Question 66
4/19/21

A client would like to build a 10,000 square foot industrial building in Houston, Texas. The architect recently had the same building built in New York City for a cost of $2,100,000.

If Houston has a cost index of 80 and New York City has a cost index of 140, what is the cost of the building in Houston?
$____

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is $1,200,000

A city cost index number is a percentage ratio of that city’s cost to the national average. To make a location adjustment, use the equation: Index for City A / Index for City B x Cost in City B = Cost in City A

80 / 140 x $2,100,000 = $1,200,000

A city cost index number is a percentage ratio of that city’s cost to the national average. To make a location adjustment, use the equation: Index for City A / Index for City B x Cost in City B = Cost in City A

80 / 140 x $2,100,000 = $1,200,000

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer


Question 67
4/26/21

The following restrictions are found in a municipal zoning ordinance:

Floor area ratio (FAR): 1.5
Maximum lot coverage: 7,250 sf

A client is considering a building site that has 20,000 square feet of gross area. The site has a special historic district overlay that limits buildings to 4 stories.

What is the maximum gross square footage of the building allowed?
___sf

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 29,000

First find the total allowable square footage by taking the gross site area times the FAR.

20,000 sf x 1.5 = 30,000 sf

Now divide the total area allowed by the area allowed per floor.
30,000 sf / 7,250 sf = 4.1

Since only 4 stories are allowed, the maximum area of the building is the lot coverage times 4 which is 29,000 sf.

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 68
5/3/21

Refer to the topographical map. Four potential building sites are shown.

What building site is the flattest?

A. Location A
B. Location B
C. Location C
D. Location D

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Location D

Topographical maps are understood by reading the shape of the contours and horizontal distance between the lines. When a slope is gentle, the contour lines are far apart. Conversely, when the contour lines are closely spaced the terrain will be steep. To find the flattest area of the site, find the location where the topo lines are spaced the farthest apart which is location D.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated


Question 69
5/10/21

A client would like to build a small, one-story building on a hilly site in North Dakota where the climate is categorized as cold.

What site and orientation should the architect recommend?

A. Place the building at the top of the hill; orient the building to the southeast
B. Place the building at the bottom of the south-facing slope; orient the building to the southeast
C. Place the building on the east-facing slope about a third of the way up; orient the building to the south
D. Place the building on the south-facing slope about half-way up; orient the building to the south-southeast

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Place the building on the south-facing slope about half-way up; orient the building to the south-southeast

In a cold climate, heat conservation is the main driver for siting and orienting buildings.

Placing the building about halfway up the slope offers protection from cold winter winds at the top of the hill as well as the cold air that settles at the bottom of the slope. The midslope location also places the building high enough on the hill to take advantage of exposure to the sun for warming.

Orienting the building to the south-south east allows for warming morning sun and protection from afternoon summer sun which can get hot in the summer.

Choice A is incorrect because placing the building at the top of the hill subjects the building to cold winter winds. Choice B is incorrect because placing the building at the bottom of the slope means it can’t take advantage of exposure to the warming sun in the morning. It also places the building in the valley where cold air settles at night. Choice C is incorrect because buildings in cold climates should be on the south or southeast slopes and should be about midway up.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated; Sun, Wind & Light


Question 70
5/17/21

The residential neighborhood for a proposed shopping center has a population of 60,000 people. It is determined that the shopping center must sell $40 for every square foot of retail space on an annual basis in order to meet their profit goal.

If each resident can be expected to spend $125 a year on average, what is the optimal size of leasable area for the shopping center?
____ leasable square feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 187,500 leasable square feet

Step 1: Multiply the population by the average spent by each person.
60,000 x $125 = $7,500,000

Step 2: Divide the annual amount of spendings by the minimum per square foot.
$7,500,000 / $40 = 187,500 square feet

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 71
5/24/21

A 1-acre parking lot receives 1 inch of rain in 1 hour.

The rain results in about how many gallons of stormwater runoff? (Note: 1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons)

A. About 3,000
B. About 27,000
C. About 43,000
D. About 87,000

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. About 27,000

An acre is 43,560 sf. This is a good number to have memorized for the exams.

First, find the volume for 1 inch of water. To do this, take the area of the parking lot and divide by 12. You divide by 12 because there are 12 inches in a foot and one foot of water over an acre would be 43,560 cubic feet.

43,560 sf / 12 = 3,630 cubic feet

From the question we know that 1 cubic foot is equal to 7.48 gallons. Convert cubic feet to gallons.

3,360 cu ft x 7.48 gallons = 27,152.4

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook


Question 72
5/31/21

A client is planning to build a new storage warehouse and wants the largest building that the code will allow. Based on IBC Table 506.2, the architect determines that the building’s allowable area is 63,000 sf.

What can the architect propose to increase the area of the building?

A. Provide open space around the building
B. Designate some of the spaces as accessory
C. Increase the capacity of the sprinkler system
D. Include more exits than the minimum required

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer. is A. Provide open space around the building

IBC allows an increase in the allowable area of a building that has open space around it. This is called a frontage increase.

Ref: International Building Code (2018)


Question 73
6/7/21

An architect is reviewing a contour map of a site that is relatively flat.

What is known about the contour lines of this map?

A. Equally spaced
B. Unequally spaced
C. Spaced wide apart
D. Spaced close together

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Spaced wide apart

Contour lines on a flat site are spaced wide apart. This is because widely spaced contours indicate long horizontal distances with little vertical gain.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated


Question 74
6/14/21

An architect is hired to renovate an existing 1860’s era wood framed store front.

What US government department writes the standards that guide the treatment of historic structures?
A. Secretary of Interior
B. Army Corp of Engineers
C. Department of Commerce
D. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Secretary of Interior

Under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Secretary of the Interior established standards and guidance on the treatment of the nation’s historic properties.

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 75
6/21/21

The floor area ratio (FAR) for a site is 34 and the developer would like to max out the building area.

What building type is most suitable?
A. Duplex
B. Highrise
C. Enclosed mall

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Highrise

An FAR of 34 means the building area can be 34 times the area of the site. A building that is 34 times the size of the lot will be many stories and therefore the most suitable building to max out the are is a highrise.

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards page 133


Question 76
7/1/21

An architect is reviewing the preliminary designs for a new school building. The following answer choices describe the design concepts as presented by the design team for the project.

What preliminary concept should be revised?
A. All existing drainage patterns on the site should be maintained as much as possible and not changed.
B. The west side of the lot has a 12% slope and is well suited for a surface parking lot for students and staff.
C. The athletic fields should be located on the east side of the site where the existing grade is a 1-2% slope.
D. The school building should be placed on the north side of the site where the existing grade is a moderately steep slope.

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. The west side of the lot has a 12% slope and is well suited for a surface parking lot for students and staff.

12% is too steep for a parking lot.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated


Question 77
7/26/21

A city’s zoning ordinance requires 5 foot side setbacks but allows roof eaves to project 18 inches into the side yard. A proposed building has 4 foot eaves.

How close to the side property line can the building be built? Provide your answer in inches?

__ inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 90 inches

Since only 18 inches of the overhang is allowed in the setback, the building must be setback from the setback line by 30 inches.

48 inches - 18 inches = 30 inches

30 inches + 60 inches = 90 inches

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition, page 868


Question 78
8/03/21

A geotechnical report indicates 1-2 feet of topsoil, then expansive soils for 12 feet down to bedrock.

What foundation type is most suitable?

A. Slab on grade
B. Pier and beam
C. Spread footing

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Pier and beam

Expansive soils (clay) act on building foundations by expanding and contracting with variations in moisture content. A pier and beam foundation extends like stilts to the bedrock and is isolated from the expansive soil below by a void form. The void form is a cardboard material placed under the grade beam that disintegrates, leaving a space where expansion and contraction of the soil is absorbed.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated


Question 79
8/10/21

A new major highway is planned through an existing residential neighborhood. The highway should be designed to limit noise from the highway reaching the nearby homes.

What is the best way to attenuate the sound from the highway?

A. Raise the roadway
B. Recess the roadway
C. Plant trees along the roadway

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Recess the roadway

Recessing the roadway interrupts the direct path of sound from the vehicles. Choice C is incorrect because trees provide little acoustical screening. Choice A is incorrect because while raising the road bed provides a useful amount of attenuation, the attenuation is no longer blocked after a distance of about 500 feet.

Ref: Architectural Acoustics, pages 253-254


Question 80
8/18/21

An established, mature city in the midwestern United States is currently seeing a high number of requests for variances, over 1,000 per year.

What leads to a higher number of requests for zoning variances?

A. A detailed and comprehensive city-wide plan
B. Performance and PUD (planned urban development) zoning are widely used
C. Greenfield development standards are adopted for general use throughout the city

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Greenfield development standards are adopted for general use throughout the city

Adopting greenfield development standards throughout a city with older, established neighborhoods will lead to a higher number of requests for variances. This is because development standards for the design of drainage, traffic circulation, parking, and open space that work well for laying out new areas on the edge of a city differ from the systems already established in mature neighborhoods.

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards


Question 81

8/24/21

A client approaches an architecture firm with a request to design a sustainable building.

The most influential decisions made about sustainability are made during which phase?

A. Predesign
B. Schematic Design
C. Design Development
D. Construction Documents

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Schematic Design

Sustainable design is achieved through an integrated design approach which is established at schematic design where the fundamental components of the building and the relationships between the various parts are established. At the SD phase, all of the key design professionals and other stakeholders such as the client and sometimes the construction manager or contractor and major subs such as HVAC should get together and have a discussion led by the architect. This early design meeting allows these key players to set goals and share information that informs the various aspects of the project’s design and construction.

Ref: The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design


Question 82

9/13/21

The parking layout for a mall building shows a van accessible parking space next to a 5’-0" wide access aisle.

Based on accessibility guidelines, what is the width of a van accessible parking spot?

A. 8’-0"
B. 9’-0"
C. 10’-0"
D. 11’-0"

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. 11’-0"

The width of a van accessible parking space located adjacent to a 5’-0" access aisle shall be a minimum of 11’-0".

Ref: 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design section 502.2


Question 83

10/11/21

A building owner does not want LED light sources for their new office interior. They want the lighting to be a warm white with the highest color rendering index possible.

What alternative lighting source should the architect select?

A. Fluorescent
B. Metal Halide
C. Incandescent
D. High Pressure Sodium

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Incandescent

Incandescent lamps provide warm (yellow) light and have a high color rendering index. Fluorescent and metal halide light sources provide cooler (blue) light and lower color rendering indexes. High pressure sodium lamps provide a warm light but low color rendition.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Access other quiz questions

On question 2 the service space is 25% or reader space. Shouldn’t we multiply 4,500 x 0.25? Instead of 1.25?
My final number was
8,100 + 4,500 + 1,125 for the total gross of 13,725

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Good catch! We got this adjusted, thanks for letting us know!

Regarding Question 11: The question is referring to a footprint for a two story building. So should the final answer 2,560 be divided by 2?

Question 59 is missing the ‘‘adjacency program’’

Question 1, the size of the dining room for 16 people, the 12’ x 26’ room seems like probable choice with 8 diners on each sides which is many operators preferred arrangement not to make hierarchy positions (end seats) using 3’ deep (often selected table depth in restaurant which is comfortably set up plates) long table will accommodate nicely with less square footage. Would any one explain or reason 14’ x 25’ is better answer or choice for this question?

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