P&A Practice quiz

Weekly P&A practice quiz

Each week 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 1:
1/20/2020

The program for a restaurant includes a private dining room for 16 people at one large table. The restaurant is a fine dining establishment with waiter service. Allow for 24" of width per seated guest.

Which room dimensions should the architect propose for the dining room?

A. 14 feet by 25 feet
B. 13 feet by 16 feet
C. 18 feet by 18 feet
D. 12 feet by 26 feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. 14 feet by 25 feet

Space needs for fine dining are minimum 18-20 square feet per person. This means for 16 people, a room that is 288 to 320 square feet is needed.

14 feet by 25 feet provides 350 square feet. This size provides room for a single long table with room all around for waiter service, as stated in the requirements.

With 7 diners on each of the long sides and 1 on each short side and allowing for 24" of width per diner, the long side of the table should be 14 feet. With 1’-6" of depth for the chair and 36" clearance between the chairs and the walls for service and egress, the distance from the table edge to the wall should be a minimum of 4’-6". The room that is 14 feet by 25 fits this configuration.

The other choices are either too small overall, too narrow, or in the case of the 18 foot by 18 foot room, not conducive to the shape of a table that will accommodate 16 people. The table must be oblong or rectangular because a round or square table large enough to seat that many people is so large that it would be impossible for anyone’s arm to reach the center for cleaning and therefore impractical.

Ref: Space Planning Basics


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


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

1 Like

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?

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