PDD Practice quiz

Weekly PDD practice quiz

Each week we add a new practice quiz question for Project Development & Documentation to help you study for PDD, or if you are simply wanting to keep your skills sharp.


Question 1:
1/20/2020

Evaluate the resulting pressure of the wind on the building shape shown. Assume a steep roof pitch (8:12).

Which diagram below correctly depicts the wind induced pressure on the building?

wind pressure

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B.

wind pressure A

Wind exerts positive pressure on the windward surfaces of the building and negative pressure on the leeward surfaces. Since this is a steep roof (over 30%), it acts as a windward surface. If it was less than 30% (low slope or flat), the resulting pressure would be negative, in other words, it would be an uplifting force on the roof.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 1.22


Question 2:
1/27/2020

The load from a building is transferred to the earth through a column and its footing. The load on the column is 6000 pounds. The column is 10 feet high. The allowable soil bearing is 2000 psf. The footing shall be as small as possible in order to be economical.

Which footing size is best suited for this column load? Use the equation F = P/A where P is pressure, F is force, and A is area. Ignore the weight of the footing in your calculation.

A. 2 feet by 2 feet
B. 3 feet by 3 feet
C. 4 feet by 4 feet
D. 5 feet by 5 feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. 2 feet by 2 feet

Take the equation given and rearrange to solve for A by multiplying both sides by A and then dividing both sides by F.

F = P/A can be rewritten as A = P / F

Now, fill in the numbers for P and F and solve.

A = 6000 pounds / 2000 psf
A = 3 sf

Finally, find the length of each of the sides of a square footing that has an area of 3 square feet. To do this, take the square root of 3.

√3 = 1.73 feet. Round up to 2 feet.

Ref: Building Structures Section 33.1, Building Construction Illustrated 3.16


Question 3:
2/3/2020

Construction for a new concrete parking garage will occur in the winter when there are cold temperatures.

What type of Portland cement should be used in the concrete mix?

A. Type I, normal
B. Type II, moderate sulfate resistance
C. Type III, high early strength
D. Type IV, low heat

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is Type III, high early strength.

Type III Portland cement is used when high early strength is needed. In cold weather, concrete must be protected from cold temperatures and using high early strength cement reduces the amount of time the construction must be protected.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods, Building Construction Illustrated 12.04


Question 4:
2/10/2020

Refer to the table. A public building will have 4 urinals, 10 flushometer water closets, 6 lavatories, and a janitor sink.

How many drainage fixture units total?

_____ supply fixture units

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 64 supply fixture units.

Calculate the number of fixture units for each type of fixture.
Urinals: 4x4=16
Water closets: 10x4=40
Lavatories: 6x1=6
Service sink: 1x2=2

Total them up.
16+40+6+2=64 supply fixture units

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards, International Plumbing Code, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings


Question 5:
2/17/2020

The water supply line to a condominium is being replaced as part of a kitchen renovation project. The unit’s supply line must have a valve that does not allow water to get back into the building’s water service line.

What type of valve should be specified in this scenario?

A. Gate
B. Check
C. Ball drip
D. Globe

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Check

Check valves only allow water to flow in one direction. This prevents backflow from contaminating the public water supply.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings


Question 6:
2/24/2020

The construction documents for a wood-framed apartment building are being prepared. A senior architect in the firm is redlining the drawings for the team for MEP coordination. The senior architect notes on the roof plan to call out and detail the plumbing vents.

Which of the following would occur if the plumbing is not vented?

A. The water in the pipes would generate a lot of noise
B. The pipes would be allowed to freeze and the pipes may burst
C. Condensation would form on the pipes and cause moisture problems
D. Water would be siphoned out of the plumbing traps, allowing sewer gas into the building

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

D. Water would be sucked out of the plumbing traps.

If air is not allowed into the pipes by the vents, the water in the traps will be siphoned out. If water is not present in the traps to make a seal, foul gases can flow from the sewer into the building through the plumbing fixtures.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 11.28, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings


Question 7:
3/2/2020

An architect is reviewing and coordinating the electrical drawings for an assisted living facility.

Which shows the common symbol for a duplex outlet?

duplex

A. Symbol A
B. Symbol B
C. Symbol C
D. Symbol D

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Symbol C.

Choice A shows a single receptacle outlet. Choice B shows a wall-mounted light fixture. Choice C shows a duplex outlet. Choice D shows a quad outlet.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings; The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings


Question 8:
3/9/2020

The structural plans for a shopping mall show a wide flange beam. The beam is designated as a W12 x 65.

What is known about the beam?

A. The beam weighs 12 pounds per linear foot
B. The depth of the beam is approximately 12 inches
C. The beam’s maximum span is 65 feet
D. The beam weighs 65 pounds total

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. The depth of the beam is approximately 12 inches.

The first number in the designation indicates the approximate depth of the beam in inches. The second number indicates the weight of the beam in pounds per linear foot.

A W12 x 65 is 12.1 inches deep and weighs 65 pounds per linear foot.

Ref: Steel Construction Manual


Question 9:
3/16/2020

Refer to the graphic.

Which building form offers the greatest reduction in the effects of wind?

wind effects

A. Form A
B. Form B
C. Form C
D. Form D

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Form B.

Buildings with rounded forms offer the least resistance to wind pressure. This because the rounded form has a streamlining effect where air slips along the surface like a flowing liquid.

Choice A has a recess that creates a “cupping” effect that can catch wind. Choice C has a large overhang that catches wind and adds to the overall drag effect of the building. Choice D has flat surfaces that make it less aerodynamic than the rounded form.

Ref: Building Structures (2nd edition) Chapter 45


Question 10:
3/23/2020

A corrosion-resistant material is needed for the metal handrails at an outdoor public swimming pool. Stainless steel alloy is chosen for the railing material.

What is added to steel to make stainless steel?

A. Chromium
B. Aluminum
C. Carbon
D. Nickel

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Chromium.

Stainless steel is an alloy with chromium added. Chromium is added to increase the metal’s resistance to corrosion.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods; Dictionary of Architecture and Construction


Question 11:
3/30/2020

The design of a cafe includes a raised wood deck for outdoor seating. The deck should be constructed of a species of wood that is naturally resistant to decay.

Which of the following species of wood are the MOST decay-resistant? Select the three that apply.

A. Ponderosa pine
B. Red oak
C. Western red cedar
D. Black locust
E. Eastern white pine
F. Redwood

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are:
C. Western red cedar
D. Black locust
F. Redwood.

Wood construction that is exposed to the elements should be either naturally decay resistant or pressure treated with preservatives. The heartwood of some species is naturally decay resistant including western red cedar, black locust, and redwood.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods


Question 12:
4/6/2020

A junior architect is preparing a training manual and powerpoint presentation for the new summer interns. The architect needs to convey the role of the drawings in a construction project.

Construction drawings show which of the following?

A. Layout and dimensions of the construction
B. Explanations of methods of material installation
C. Requirements for material quality and workmanship
D. Reference standards needed for the execution of the work

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Layout and dimensions of the construction.

The other three choices describe what are shown in the specifications, not the drawings.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice


Question 13:
4/13/2020

Refer to the image.

What is the name of the component indicated by the ‘X’?

A. Joist hanger
B. Gusset
C. Rafter
D. Ledger

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Ledger.

The ledger attaches to the wall. It supports the framing members.

Choice A, joist hangers, are specialized structural metal hardware that are used to connect joists to beams or girders. Choice B, gussets, are triangular-shaped supports often used in structural steel structures and wood cabinets. Choice D, rafters, are roof framing members.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated


Question 14:
4/20/2020

The product literature for some site furnishings show a powdercoat finish that is 9 mils thick.

How thick is 9 mils in inches?

A. 0.09 inches
B. 0.009 inches
C. 0.0009 inches
D. 0.00009 inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. 0.009 inches.

A mil is a common measurement for coating thickness. A mil is a thousandth of an inch.

Ref: A Visual Dictionary of Architecture


Question 15:
4/21/2020

The structural consultant for an office building tells the architect that a building design must be given careful consideration for stability due to having a ‘soft story’.

Which describes a ‘soft story’?

A. Solid wall with no openings
B. Wall with a few small openings
C. Wall with large openings
D. Rigid frame with short columns

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Large unobstructed openings in the wall.

Soft stories are relatively weak and flexible due to large openings in the wall. They often occur on ground floors but can be on upper floors as well. Soft stories are particularly susceptible to damage from lateral forces such as those generated by earthquakes.

Ref: Building Structures


Question 16:
5/4/2020

A senior architect is reviewing the construction documents for a multi-story mixed-use building. Details of the stairs show the following.

Which detail should the architect request be revised?

A. 11" tread
B. Rounded nosing
C. Open risers
D. 1/2" nosing projection

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Open risers.

IBC 2015 Section 1011.5.5.3 prohibits open risers in most instances.

Ref: IBC 2015 Section 1011; Architectural Graphic Standards; Building Construction Illustrated


Question 17:
5/11/2020

A building was originally constructed in 1968. An architecture firm is preparing construction documents for an interior renovation of the building that includes demolition of finishes and walls.

Which statement is correct regarding this scenario?

A. The architect should call out for removal of any hazardous materials such as asbestos in the construction documents
B. The owner is responsible for verifying and removing any asbestos that may be present in the area of the renovation
C. The local jurisdiction should be consulted to see if there are any records of asbestos in buildings of the same type and age
D. It is likely that there are no materials containing asbestos in this project

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. The owner is responsible for verifying and removing any asbestos that may be present in the area of the renovation.

A building built in 1968 likely has asbestos and it is the owner’s responsibility to both identify and manage the handling of the material. B101 states that the architect has NO responsibility for the discovery, presence, handling, removal or disposal, or exposure of persons to hazardous or toxic substances at the project site.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice; B101


Question 18:
5/18/2020

The final cost estimate for a $1,000,000 interior renovation to a library is being prepared.

Which should be included in the cost estimate? Select the two that apply.

A. Site clearing
B. Construction loan financing
C. Contractors’ profit
D. Change order sums
E. Demolition work
F. Structural engineering

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are:
C. Contractors’ profit
E. Demolition work

Based on the B101, the cost of the project is the cost to construct the work defined by the architect and their consultants and includes materials, labor, contractors’ general conditions, overhead, and profit. It does not include other costs including professional design fees, financing, and cost of land.

Choice A is incorrect because there is no site clearing in an interior renovation. Choice D is incorrect because there are no change orders until construction.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice; B101


Question 19:
5/25/2020

In which location would a high SHGC for fenestration make the most sense?

A. East-facing window in the desert of Arizona
B. West-facing window on the coast of California
C. South-facing window in the mountains of Colorado
D. North-facing window in subtropical Florida

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. South-facing.

SHGC stands for solar heat gain coefficient and it applies to glazing systems in buildings. It is a measure of the solar transmittance through the glass and is given as a number between 0 and 1. A low number such as .25 means more solar heat is blocked making low numbers common in the southern United States. A high number such as .62 means a higher amount of solar heat is transmitted through. This means the glass can have passive solar warming capabilities which may be desirable in a location such as the snowy, sunny mountains of Colorado.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings; IECC C402.4


Question 20:
6/1/2020

Refer to the section detail of an aluminum framed storefront. The graphic depicts a horizontal frame with a 1" insulated glass unit.

thermally broken storefront

Which indicates the thermal break?

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

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. A.

The thermal break in this diagram is a nylon clip that holds the two pieces of the metal frame together. The thermal break separates the two metal pieces so that heat cannot transfer through the frame between the interior and exterior of the building.

Choice B is a setting block. Choice C is a glazing gasket. Choice D is a spacer.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods


Question 21:
6/8/2020

Refer to the diagram showing a connection of a steel beam to a column. The connection is bolted and there are no welds.

bolted connection

What does this connection resist?

A. Shear only
B. Moment only
C. Both shear and moment
D. None of the above

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Shear only.

A bolted connection as shown resists gravity (shear) but does not resist rotation (moment).

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods; Building Construction Illustrated 4.17-4.18; American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) Manual of Steel Construction


Question 22:
6/15/2020

The design of a library includes an accessible ramp that connects two areas of book stacks. The ramp requires a clear width of 36 inches and requires handrails on both sides.

How far can the handrails protrude into the clear width of a ramp?

A. 4.5" each side
B. They cannot protrude at all
C. 1.5" each side
D. 3" each side

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. They cannot protrude at all.

The distance between handrails on a ramp shall be the full clear required width.

Ref: ANSI 117.1-2009 405.5, ADA-2010 405.5


Question 23:
6/22/2020

An architecture firm that develops plans for a popular chain store is licensed in 45 states. The firm has a prototype design for the store that must be adopted for the different climate regions found throughout the country.

The documents for which city should show the vapor retarder on the outside of the cavity insulation?

A. Baltimore, MD
B. Atlanta, GA
C. Boise, ID
D. St. Louis, MO

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Atlanta, GA.

In a hot, humid climate such as the southeastern U.S., the vapor retarder is either eliminated altogether, or placed on the outside of the insulation. This is because in summer, when hot, humid outdoor air meets a cool, air-conditioned surface inside the wall cavity, condensation results. The condensation can’t dry out and can cause mold and rot within the wall.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 24:
6/29/2020

Metal masonry ties will be used to tie the inner and outer wythes of an exterior wall. The specification for the ties are called out as hot-dip galvanized.

Hot-dip galvanizing is the process of coating steel with what other metal?

A. Zinc
B. Nickel
C. Aluminum
D. Molybdenum

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Zinc.

The hot-dip galvanization process uses zinc to coat steel. The layer of zinc protects the steel from corrosion by first creating a barrier between the environment and the steel and secondly by offering a sacrificial layer for galvanic action. The zinc coating also provides abrasion resistance.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 25:
7/6/2020

The force required to open or close an interior door is limited by accessibility codes.

The force should be no greater than how many pounds?

____ lbs

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 5 lbs

The force required to open or close an interior door should be no more than 5 pounds.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 8.19


Question 26:
7/13/2020

A 120 V electrical circuit has a total voltage drop of 5 V due to impedance of the wire.

How many volts remain to power an appliance on the circuit?

____ V

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 115 V

Voltage drop occurs across every part of a circuit. Voltage drop is especially a concern in long wires and extension cords. To answer the question, subtract the amount of drop from the circuit voltage. 120 V - 5 V = 115 V

Ref: Plumbing, Electricity, and Acoustics Sustainable Design for Architects, page 17


Question 27:
7/20/2020

The means of egress for an office building must remain lit after hours based on the International Building Code (IBC).

What is the minimum level of illumination in footcandles?

___ fc

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 1 fc

The means of egress illumination level shall be a minimum of 1 footcandle (fc) at the walking surface.

Ref: International Building Code (IBC) 1008.2.1


Question 28:
7/27/2020

A copper pipe carries the hot water supply to the plumbing fixtures. The pipe is 50 feet long.

Consider a scenario where the temperature of the pipe is 65 degrees at room temperature and 165 degrees after carrying hot water.

What is the change in the length of the pipe due to thermal expansion? Use the equation dL = (L)(α)(dT) where dL is expansion, L is the original length, α is the coefficient of thermal expansion, and dT is the temperature difference. The linear coefficient of thermal expansion of copper is 17 x 10 ^-6.

Round your answer to the nearest hundredth of an inch.
____ inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 1.02 inches

dL = 50 feet x 0.000017 x 100 = 0.085 feet.

Take this number times 12 to get inches.

0.085 x 12 = 1.02 inches.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Building Construction Illustrated 7.48


Question 29:
8/3/2020

A steel bar is subject to a tensile force of 12,000 pounds. The unit stress must not exceed 24,000 psi.

What is the minimum area of the bar?
_____ square inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 0.5 square inches

The fundamental relationship for simple direct stress is demonstrated with the equation A = P/F where A is the structural member’s cross-sectional area, P is pressure or applied force, and F is force per unit area.

Now plug in the numbers to find the value of A.

A = 12,000 lbs / 24,000 psi

A = 0.5 square inches

Ref: Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders, 11th edition, page 50


Question 30:
8/10/2020

Refer to the graphic. The fastener shown features a round head and a square shoulder.

What is an advantage of this type of fastener?

A. Allows free rotation of the attached parts
B. Can be tightened exclusively from the side of the nut
C. Able to thread its way without drilling a hole first
D. Enables connecting to a hollow object such as a gypsum board wall

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Can be tightened exclusively from the side of the nut

A carriage bolt has a smooth rounded head with a square shoulder that prevents the bolt from rotating. This way, the bolt can be tightened from the side of the nut. Carriage bolts are used to attach wood to wood or wood to metal.

Choice A is incorrect because this describes a fastener called a shoulder bolt that has a portion of the shank unthreaded, allowing objects to slide and rotate. Choice C is incorrect because this describes a screw with a pointed end that allows the fastener to thread into the wood as it is rotated whereas the bolt shown requires a predrilled hole. Choice D is incorrect and describes a toggle bolt.

Ref: A Visual Dictionary of Architecture, 2nd edition, page 86


Question 31:
8/17/2020

A municipal water main has a water pressure of 75 psi.

What is the maximum height a plumbing fixture requiring 15 psi can be placed in the building?
___ feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 138 feet

Step 1: Find the required water pressure to serve the fixture by subtracting the fixture’s required psi from the supply.
75 psi - 15 psi = 60 psi

Step 2: Since 1 psi can raise a column of water 2.3 feet, it follows that 60 psi can raise a column of water 138 feet.
60 psi x 2.3 feet = 138 feet

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 11th edition, page 974


Question 32:
8/24/2020

An architect is preparing the code documentation for a commercial project.

In regards to wind design, which building siting scenario represents exposure category D?

A. Suburban shopping mall area
B. Dense, urban area with high-rise buildings
C. Wooded hillside area
D. Flat, unobstructed, coastal plain

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Flat, unobstructed, coastal plain

Exposure category D applies where the surface roughness is flat and unobstructed.

Choices A, B and C all describe exposure category B.

Ref: International Building Code (IBC) 2015 Section 1609.4.3; Building Codes Illustrated, 5th edition, page 333


Question 33:
8/31/2020

A retaining wall is to be constructed of fluted architectural block. The architect is preparing the specification for coating the wall in order to seal the masonry and protect it from graffiti.

What statement belongs in the coating specification?

A. Install backer rod to a uniform depth
B. Dilute the coating solution before application
C. Lightly sand and wipe to clean the block surface
D. Apply the coating by spraying in an overlapping X-pattern

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Apply the coating by spraying in an overlapping X-pattern

Since the block is fluted, the coating should be applied using an overlapping X pattern that allows the coating to completely cover recessed areas.

Choice A is incorrect because backer rod is used with caulk or sealant, not graffiti coating. Choice B is incorrect because coating products are typically designed to be used as packaged. Choice C is incorrect because fluted architectural block would not be cleaned by sanding.

Ref: CSI Masterspec section 9


Question 34:
9/07/2020

An architect is detailing the exterior skin of a building and must show a continuous air barrier in section view.

What common building material qualifies as an air barrier?

A. Brick
B. Concrete masonry
C. Vermiculite insulation
D. Self-adhered bituminous membrane

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Self-adhered bituminous membrane

Air barriers are materials that are designed to control airflow through the building enclosure. Self-adhered bituminous membranes are fabricated sheets consisting of rubber-modified asphalt bonded to a carrier film and are applied by self-adhesion to a structural substrate. Choices A, B, and C do not meet the definition of an air barrier.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 35:
9/14/2020

A check valve is shown on the plumbing plans for a condominium unit.

What function does a check valve serve?

A. Metering
B. Flow restriction
C. Emergency shutoff
D. Backflow prevention

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Backflow prevention

A check valve is introduced when it is necessary to prevent flow in a direction opposite that which is planned. The check valve operates with a hinged leaf that permits flow in one direction and closes when flow comes from the opposite direction.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 11th edition, page 984-985


Question 36:
9/21/2020

An architect is preparing construction documents for a renovation of a two-story 30,000 square foot vocational technology classroom building. The renovation is focused on two large rooms on the first floor. As part of the submittal to the jurisdiction, the architect must demonstrate that the renovations do not compromise the egress requirements of the building.

On what plan should this information be shown?

A. Plot
B. Floor
C. Life safety
D. Fire protection

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Life safety

Life safety plans show occupancy, exiting, and fire resistivity of the building. This information is shown on the life safety plan because this helps the architect organize the information so it can be easily found and understood. Life safety plans are sometimes called code plans.

Ref: The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings


Question 37:
9/29/2020

An above grade exterior wall has a surface area of 400 sf and an R-value of 25. The indoor temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and the exterior temperature is 35 degrees F.

What is the design heat loss through the wall?
___ Btu/h

Use the equation q = (A)(U)(T1-T2) where q is the hourly heat loss, A is the surface area of the wall, U is the U-factor of the wall, T1 is the indoor temperature (F), and T2 is the outdoor temperature (F).

Round your answer to the nearest whole number.

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 640 Btu/h

First find U which is 1/R.

1/25 = 0.04

Then use the equation to find q.

q = (400 sf)(0.04)(75-35)

q = 640 Btu/h

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 11th edition, page 208


Question 38:
10/6/2020

A detail drawing of a concrete footing indicates a #5 compression reinforcing bar.

What is the diameter of the rebar in inches?
____ inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 0.625 inches

Bar numbers are based on the number of 1/8 inches in the diameter of the bar. A #5 bar is 5/8 of an inch, or 0.625

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Olin’s Construction: Principles, Materials, and Methods


Question 39:
10/13/2020

A slab-on-grade detail shows granular fill under the slab.

What is the primary function of the granular fill?

A. Reduce heat loss
B. Reduce cracking
C. Mitigate soil gases
D. Prevent capillary action

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Prevent capillary action

The primary job of a gravel subbase is to provide a capillary break that prevents moisture from wicking up and collecting under the slab. The gravel also provides a stable and level surface for the slab.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 40
10/20/2020

During an earthquake, the period of ground motion matches the fundamental natural period of a building in the area affected by the earthquake.

What can be expected as a result?
A. A landslide may be triggered
B. The building may tip or overturn
C. The design loads of the building may increase
D. The soil under the building may liquify or subside

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. The design loads of the building may increase

The fundamental natural period of a building is defined as the time (in seconds) it takes for the building to complete one full back-and-forth motion during an earthquake. When the natural period of the building matches the natural period of the ground, the resulting sway of the building is amplified and the effect of the loads are increased. This phenomenon is called resonance and can cause significant damage during earthquakes.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; A Visual Dictionary of Architecture


Question 41:
10/27/2020

Towards the end of the construction document phase of a new junior high school building, a door must be added to provide an additional exit from a classroom directly to the outside.

What are the minimum required clearances on the latch side of the door?
A. 0" push / 18" pull
B. 12" push / 18" pull
C. 18" push / 0" pull
D. 24" push / 18" pullc

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. 12" push / 18" pull

To accommodate a wheelchair user with a forward approach, the minimum latch side clearances for doors with both a latch and closer are 12 inches on the push side and 18 inches on the pull side.

Ref: ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities table 404.2.3.2; 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design table 404.4.2.1


Question 42:
11/3/2020

What is the typical sequence for routing electrical service in a small building?
A. Meter → Transformer → Main panel → Branch circuits
B. Transformer → Meter → Main panel → Branch circuits
C. Meter → Transformer → Branch circuits → Main panel
D. Transformer → Meter → Branch circuits → Main panel

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Transformer → Meter → Main panel → Branch circuit

For a small building, the transformer is owned by the utility company and is located on a utility pole or on the ground off site. The electrical service from the transformer first passes through the meter where consumption can be measured, then to the main panel where the breakers are located that control the power to the circuits, then the branch circuits that serve the appliances, lighting, outlets, and other electrical needs in a building.

Choice A describes the typical sequence of electrical service for a larger building where the building owner usually purchases the electricity at a higher voltage and maintains their own step-down transformer on site. Choices C and D show the panel and circuits in the wrong order.

Ref: Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics: Sustainable Design Methods for Architecture; Building Construction Illustratedc


Question 43:
11/10/2020

A design team selects a rainscreen exterior wall for a proposed building. The wall construction consists of the following materials in order from outside to inside:

  • exterior metal panel cladding system
  • air cavity
  • weather/air barrier
  • sheathing
  • studs

How does the rainscreen system work?
A. Capillary action is prevented by the cladding
B. The air cavity provides convective loop drying
C. The cladding provides a surface to keep bulk rainwater out
D. The air cavity is a gap in the wall that creates positive air pressure
E. The air gap prevents wind-driven rainwater from entering the interior wall
F. A continuous system of sealant prevents rainwater from entering the air cavity

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are
B. The air cavity provides convective loop drying
C. The cladding provides a surface to keep bulk rainwater out
E. The air gap prevents wind-driven rainwater from entering the interior wall

Rainscreen technology provides a double wall system with an air gap in between. The screen is offset from the inner wall by furring strips, providing a drainage plane that directs water out and an air cavity that equalizes the air pressure, preventing pressure-driven moisture from wind or capillary action from entering the wall.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Building Construction Illustrated


Question 44:
11/17/2020

Refer to the graphic. These symbols are shown on the electrical legend for a construction document drawing set of an office building.

From top to bottom, what are represented by the symbols shown?

A. Wifi access point, thermostat, duplex receptacle
B. Data receptacle, electronic card reader, duplex receptacle
C. Fire alarm pull station, photoelectric cell, quadruplex receptacle
D. Ceiling-mounted duplex receptacle, flush-mount floor duplex receptacle, quadruplex receptacle

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Ceiling-mounted duplex receptacle, flush-mount floor duplex receptacle, quadruplex receptacle

This is a type of block diagram that is common on electrical floor plans. It represents a floor receptacle.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 45:
11/23/2020

An architect is detailing a low slope, internally draining roof on a large warehouse building.

What is the minimum slope of the roof?

A. 1 inch per foot
B. 1/8 inch per foot
C. 1/4 inch per foot
D. 1/2 inch per foot

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. 1/4 inch per foot

The minimum recommended slope for low-slope roofing is 1/4 inch per foot. Lower slopes drain poorly and increase chances for ponding.

Ref: The minimum recommended slope for low-slope roofing is 1/4 inch per foot. Lower slopes drain poorly and increase chances for ponding.


Question 46
12/1/20

Photovoltaic arrays are proposed for the roof of an elementary school in Indiana. The location is at 40 degrees latitude and the climate is temperate.

What is the optimal orientation and tilt of the panels for the most efficient year-round electricity production?

A. Due west, 20 degree tilt from horizontal
B. Due west, 40 degree tilt from horizontal
C. Due south, 20 degree tilt from horizontal
D. Due south, 40 degree tilt from horizontal

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Due south, 40 degree tilt from horizontal

For a location in a temperate climate, the best orientation and tilt is due south and at an angle that is equal to the latitude.

Ref: Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects


Question 47
12/7/20

The street level of a building has a lobby that will house an automatic banking machine.

The specifications for the banking machine can be found in what division?

A. 11
B. 12
C. 13
D. 14

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. 11

Bank equipment is found in Division 11 - Equipment.

Division 12 is Furnishings. Division 13 is Special Construction. Division 14 is Conveying Equipment.

Ref: CSI MasterFormat


Question 48
12/14/20

Refer to the graphic showing a detail of a roof edge found in a progress drawing set.

What label should the architect place in the empty box?

A. Lock seam
B. Gravel stop
C. Angle flashing
D. Continuous cleat

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Continuous cleat

The cleat provides an anchor for the snap-on metal fasica.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards


Question 49
12/21/20

An architect is reviewing the code requirements for attic construction including ventilation. The code requires 1 square foot of ventilation per 150 square feet of attic area. The attic is 900 square feet.

How many 20 inch by 20 inch screened vents best meets the requirement?

A. 2
B. 3
C. 4
D. 5

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. 3

First find the area of ventilation required based on the size of the attic.
900 sf / 150 = 6 square feet

Multiply by 144 to turn square feet into square inches.
6 sf x 144 = 864 square inches

Next find the area of a 20 inch by 20 inch vent.
20 x 20 = 400 square inches

For the last step of finding the number of vents required, divide the area of the required ventilation by the ventilation supplied by each vent.
864 / 400 = 2.16 vents.

Since a partial vent does not work, round up to 3 vents.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated


Question 50
12/28/21

A 40 foot tall building has no structural irregularities. The maximum recommended lateral drift for the building is 0.01 times the building height.

What is the maximum permissible horizontal displacement of the building due to wind?

___ inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 4.8 inches

First change the height of the building into inches.
40 feet x 12 inches = 48 inches

Then multiply the drift ratio times the height.
48 inches x 0.01 = 4.8 inches

Ref: Building Structures; FEMA 454


Question 51
1/4/21

Refer to the graphic of a truss under a load. Each segment of the truss is either in compression, tension, or carries no load.

pratt truss

What answer group correctly labels the diagram?

A.
1 - Tension
2 - Compression
3 - Zero force member
B.
1 - Compression
2 - Tension
3 - Zero force member
C.
1 - Zero force member
2 - Compression
3 - Tension
D.
1 - Zero force member
2 - Tension
3 - Compression

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is
A.
1 - Tension
2 - Compression
3 - Zero force member

This is a common type of truss called a Pratt truss where the vertical members and top chord are in compression and the diagonals and bottom chord are in tension. The section of the bottom chord near the right support is a zero force member, meaning it theoretically carries no load.

It is helpful to exaggerate the effect of the load on the truss in order to visualize the forces. Picture the load on the truss compressing or shortening the vertical members. The top chord would also compress or shorten under the load. Picture the bottom chord stretching or lengthening under the force which means it is in tension.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated; A Visual Dictionary of Architecture: Structural Design: A Practical Guide for Architects


Question 52
1/10/21

The following keynote is found in a set of construction documents.

09 21 16

Based on Masterspec published by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), what does this keynote indicate?

A. Metal shelving
B. Gypsum board
C. Gypsum sheathing
D. Sliding wood doors

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Gypsum board

Masterspec section 09 21 16 is gypsum board assemblies and is found within division 09, Finishes.

Metal shelving is in division 10, Specialties. Gypsum sheathing is in division 06, Wood, Plastics, and Composites. Sliding wood doors are in division 08, Openings.

Ref: CSI MasterFormat


Question 53
1/18/21

Refer to the graphic depicting a portion of a site plan.

What is indicated by the number 61.98 that is found near the question mark on the left hand side?

A. Datum
B. Spot elevation
C. Finished floor elevation

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Spot elevation

Spot elevations show the elevation or altitude of the ground at a particular spot on a site plan. The number 61.98 is relative to the finished floor elevation of the building which is shown as 3362.0 above sea level.

Choice A, datum, is any point used as a reference such as sea level or floor level. Choice C, finished floor elevation, is shown on the site plan as U.L. F.F. = 3362.0. In this case, the letters U.L. stand for upper level.

Ref: The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings


Question 54
1/25/21

The owner of a proposed office building requests that the walls between offices be constructed with the following requirements:

  • Normal speech shall not be heard at all from office to office
  • Loud speech shall only be faintly heard from office to office

What sound transmission class (STC) is appropriate for the office walls?

A. 15
B. 25
C. 35
D. 45

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. 45

A partition with an STC rating of 45 will block normal speech and allow loud speech to be faintly heard.

Choices A and B will allow normal speech sounds to be heard through the barrier. Choice C, 35 STC, will allow loud speech to be heard and normal speech may be intelligible but heard.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics: Sustainable Design Methods for Architecture


Question 55
2/1/21

What is the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of clear glass?

A. about 0.10
B. about 0.35
C. about 0.50
D. about 0.85

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. about 0.85

Solar heat gain coefficient is the ratio of solar heat admitted through the glass to the total heat energy striking the glass. Clear glass has a SHGC of 0.70 to 0.90 which means the glass allows 70% to 90% of the solar energy that strikes the glass to pass through.

Ref: Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods


Question 56
2/8/21

Refer to the graphic depicting a metal expansion joint cover in a floor assembly.

What letter identifies the slip joint?

slip joint

A.
B.
C.
D.

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D

A slip joint allows the movement of one element over another. In this detail, the slip joint allows the cover plate connected to the slab on the left to slide independently of the slab of the right, allowing movement of the two building slabs.

A is a cover plate. B is joint filler. C is compressible filler.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated, 5th edition 7.49


Question 57
2/15/21

An architect must specify oak flooring that is either plain sawn or quarter sawn.

What statement about quarter sawn boards is correct?

A. Most efficient use of the log
B. Less expensive than plain sawn
C. Finished boards cup and twist less
D. Dynamic grain expression (for example cathedraling)

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Finished boards cup and twist less

Quarter sawn oak flooring is more dimensionally stable than plain sawn. This means the quarter sawn boards will cup and twist less.

Choices A, B, and D are all correct about plain sawn boards, not quarter sawn.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods


Question 58
2/23/21

Along with water, what are the essential ingredients in modern concrete mix? Select the two that apply.

A. Lime
B. Sand
C. Rebar
D. Cement
E. Aggregate
F. Admixtures

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are
D. Cement
E. Aggregate

Concrete is made by mixing aggregates, cement, and water and allowing the mixture to harden.

Ref: Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods


Question 59
3/1/21

An architect is preparing construction documents for a building with a concrete slab on grade. The slab is 100 feet by 150 feet. The design calls out isolation joints (also called expansion joints) at the slab perimeter and around each column.

Inclusion of isolation joints in the slab is primarily for addressing what?

A. Shrinking of the slab
B.. Expansion of the slab
C. Thermal movement of the slab
D. Tensile stresses within the slab

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Shrinking of the slab

Concrete shrinks as it dries and hardens.

Choice B is incorrect because the concrete is at its greatest mass when it is placed and will shrink as it dries. Choice C is incorrect because the thermal movement of the slab is small compared to the shrinking of the slab. Choice D is incorrect because control joints address cracking, not isolation joints.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods, 9th edition, page 157-158; Architectural Graphic Standards; Structural Design: A Practical Guide for Architects, 2nd edition, page 552; Building Construction Illustrated, 5th edition, 3.19


Question 60
3/8/21

A client would like to incorporate green design while either maintaining or reducing construction costs.

What should the architect incorporate into the project to help meet the client’s goal?

A. Energy-efficient lighting controls
B. Heat or energy recovery ventilator
C. Trees that provide shading for the building
D. Separation of the building into thermal zones

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Trees that provide shading for the building

Strategically locating trees for shade is a cost-neutral green design strategy. This is because the trees would be part of the project anyways and placing them strategically will reduce heating and cooling costs, making it a green design strategy.

The other choices are all incorrect because they increase the construction cost.

Ref: Green Building Illustrated, page 231


Question 61
3/15/21

An architect is analyzing the use of wood as a structural material in a building.

How is wood strongest?

A. In shear parallel to the grain
B. In compression parallel to the grain
C. In tension perpendicular to the grain
D. In compression perpendicular to the grain

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Compression parallel to the grain

Since wood is composed of cellular fibers, it exhibits different physical and mechancial properties dependent on the direction of loading. Of the choices given, wood is strongest in the direction parallel to the grain.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods


Question 62
3/22/21

A floor structure for a Type V-B office building uses 2x10 framing members.

What provides lateral support to the structure?

A. Girders
B. Blocking
C. Cribbing
D. Sheathing

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer D. Sheathing

Floor sheathing provides lateral support to the wood joist system and together they constitute a horizontal diaphragm that carries loads from wind and earthquakes to the vertical structure and down to the foundation.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; Building Construction Illustrated 4.27; 2015 International Building Code chapter 23


Question 63
3/29/21

Refer to the psychrometric chart.

psychrometric comfort

What area of the chart is located within the comfort zone?

A
B
C
D

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A

The comfort zone varies by season, location, and building use but is generally between 68 and 78 degrees F and between 20% and 60% relative humidity.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings


Question 64
4/5/21

The facilities manager for a new school building would like to keep daily building maintenance to a minimum.

What should the architect do in order to help reach the goal?

A. Specify permeable paving materials
B. Incorporate walk-off carpets at all entryways
C. Provide a buffer zone between the building and site vegetation
D. Placing the ductwork inside of the building’s thermal envelope

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Incorporate walk-off carpets at all entryways

Walk-off carpets or boot-scrapers at building entrances promote indoor air quality and reduced building maintenance by limiting the amount of dirt and moisture that is tracked into a building by its users.

Ref: Green Building Illustrated, page 55


Question 65
4/12/21

A civil engineer’s site plan indicates the slope of a driveway is 1:10.

What is the slope of the driveway expressed as a percentage?
___%

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 10%

Slope is rise over run which is expressed as slope = rise / run

1/10 = 0.10.

Multiply by 100 to express the number as a percent.

Ref: The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings


Question 66
4/19/21

A building is a Type V wood-framed structure. The structural members shall be 2x6 exterior stud walls, 2x4 interior walls, and pre-engineered wood trusses for the roof.

What wood species are most common for use as structural lumber such as in the example given? Select the two that apply.

A. Poplar
B. Red Alder
C. Douglas Fir
D. Western Larch
E. Southern Pine
F. Western Red Cedar

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answers are
C. Douglas Fir
E. Southern Pine

Douglas fir and southern pine are the two most commonly used wood species for structural lumber in the United States.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards, Building Structures


Question 67
4/26/21

Refer to the diagram showing a building section with a Trombe wall on a sunny winter day in Minnesota (32 degrees F).

Each diagram shows a possible graph of the temperature as it changes from the outside air temperature, through the wall construction, and into the interior space.

What diagram shows the most realistic temperature graph?

A
B
C
D

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A

Graph A shows the lowest temperature on the outside of the building which matches the scenario of a cold, sunny winter day in Minnesota. The graph rises after it passes through the glass because the glass traps the heat from the sun, warming the cavity space. The graph drops slightly through the mass wall as the heat makes its way through the dense material to the interior. The interior temperature is higher than the outside temperature.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings


Access other quiz questions

1 Like

Thank you for adding these practice quizzes! Besides the practice exams, keeps me thinking about what areas of PDD I haven’t covered enough in studying.

5 Likes

Thanks, @gabrielle! Happy to hear it!

1 Like

I have a concern with Question #2 on this practice quiz thread; In the rewrite algebraic formulas (A=P/F) it states that P is the Force that is being applied to the footing through the columns and F is the pressure from the soil bearing. When it should be the other way around. Area = Force/Pressure. The Numerical values provided are correct but the algebraic formula in the example is not. This resulted in some confusion as I was practicing this. Additionally, this is at discrepancy with one of your practice exam questions, which has the formula written correctly. See Screenshot of question from a PDD Black Spectacles Practice Exam.!

1 Like

Hi @dustin_casper and welcome to the ARE Community! Our expert architect will be able to help with this question. @coachchrishopstock do you mind jumping in?

Hi @dustin_casper you’re correct, the formula is A=F/P as noted in our practice exam question.

Thank you Chris and the Black Spectacles team.

Just took PDD on Tuesday and Passed!!!
Couldn’t have done it without the help and great efforts you make in your study and teach program!
Thank you all so much for everything you do.

image005.jpg

1 Like

@dustin_casper That’s amazing to hear!! We’re happy we could help.

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I need clarification regarding the question 18 word site. I involved many interior works and often use word site for the project location not necessary outside/exterior area/site. Site cleaning for me is cleaning of the project area for this case, inside the building.

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