# PPD Practice quiz

PPD practice quiz

Here you can take our Project Planning & Design quizzes to help you study or if you’re simply wanting to keep your skills sharp.
We’re no longer posting new quiz questions to this channel but we now offer PPD quizzes in our ARE 5.0 subscriptions.

Question 1:
1/20/2020

Concrete weighs 150 pounds per cubic foot.

How much does concrete weigh per cubic yard?

______ pounds per cubic yard

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 4050 pounds per cubic yard.

To convert from pounds per cubic foot to pounds per cubic yards, multiply by 27.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards

Question 2:
1/27/2020

A ramp is planned for the rear entry of an existing community college classroom. The exterior concrete ramp will lead from the door landing down to the parking lot area. The ramp must have a cross-slope in order to provide drainage. The cross slope shall be no greater than 1:48. The ramp is 4 feet wide.

What is the maximum rise across the ramp?

_____ inch(es)

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Cross slope is the slope of the surface perpendicular to the direction of travel. It is measured the same way as slope is measured, rise over the run. A maximum cross slope of 1:48 means that over 48 inches of width, the maximum rise is 1 inch.

Ref: ANSI 117.1-2009 405.3, ADA-2010 405.3

Question 3:
2/3/2020

The floor-to-floor height for a commercial building is 12’-8".

Based on the International Building Code, how many risers are required?

____ risers

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Based on the IBC, the maximum rise for each riser is 7 inches. To find the required number of risers, first change 12’-4" into inches.

12’ x 12" = 144"
144" + 8" = 152"

Then divide by 7".

152" / 7" = 21.7 risers

Since you can’t have a partial riser, round up to 22.

Ref: International Building Code Section 1011.5.2, Building Construction Illustrated 9.03

Question 4:
2/10/2020

A client would like to explore the costs of installing solar panels. The cost to install the panels is \$22,000. There is a 28% tax credit that allows the client to deduct the cost of the installation from their taxes. There is also a local rebate of \$800 on the installation of the system.

Electricity is 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour and estimated monthly electricity use is 1,200 kilowatt-hours. The system will provide 100% of the electricity required.

What is the payback period? Round your answer to the nearest whole number.

____ years

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Step 1: Find the cost of installation after the tax deduction and local rebate.

\$22,000 x 0.28 = \$6,160

\$22,000 - \$6,160 - \$800 = \$15,040

Step 2: Find the annual estimated electric consumption.

1,200 kilowatt-hours x 12 months = 14,400 kWh

Step 3: Calculate the annual estimated costs savings.

14,400 kWh x 8.5 cents per kWh = \$1,224.00

Step 4: Calculate the payback period by dividing the upfront costs by the annual savings.

\$15,040 / \$1,224.00 = 12.3 years. Round to 12 years.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 5:
2/17/2020

An existing two-story church would like to make their building accessible for members with mobility difficulties. The funds for the project are limited.

What type of elevator should be installed?

A. Hydraulic
B. LU/LA
C. Gearless traction
D. Geared traction

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

LU/LA stands for limited use, limited access. It is specifically designed for use in applications such as the one presented in the scenario.

Ref: Visual Dictionary of Architecture; Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 6:
2/24/2020

A new office building is planned for a temperate climate in the northern hemisphere. There are large windows to the west that will allow for a larger than desired heat gain from the afternoon summer sun.

Which is most effective in limiting the unwanted heat gain?

A. Light colored drapes or blinds
B. Horizontal exterior fins
C. Vertical exterior fins
D. Deep roof overhangs

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Vertical exterior fins.

Vertical exterior fins will be able to block the low angles of the hot summer afternoon sun while, minimizing unwanted solar heat gain. Vertical fins are also advantageous because they will allow reflected light inside the building.

Interior drapes or blinds are not as effective as exterior shading devices. This is because with interior sun control mechanisms, the heat has already been admitted into the building. Horizontal exterior fins and deep roof overhangs would be effective on the south side, but not the west side where the sun angles are low.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings; Building Construction Illustrated 1.18; Sun Wind and Light

Question 7:
3/2/2020

A library building is in the design development phase. The building is on a site in the northern hemisphere. The roof overhang on the south side of the building is designed to perfectly shade the south glass from the sun at noon on August 30th.

On which other date does the exact same shading occur?

A. March 15
B. April 15
C. May 15
D. June 15

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. April 15

In the northern hemisphere, the sun is in the same position in the sky on April 15th as it is on August 30th. Since the sun is the highest in sky on the summer solstice (typically June 21), it follows that the position of the sun at points on either side of the solstice on the sun path are in equal positions in the sky.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 8:
3/9/2020

Refer to the drawing of a section of carpet flooring.

How is this type of carpet pile identified?

A. Berber
B. Cut
C. Loop
D. Frieze

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The “pile” is the upright tufts of yard that form the surface of the carpeting. This shows a cut pile which can be long (shag) or short (plush).

Ref: Visual Dictionary of Architecture

Question 9:
3/16/2020

A client for a new clubhouse at a golf course wants a vaulted ceiling inside a large dining area that overlooks the 9th hole. The framing will be pre-manufactured wood trusses. The finished ceiling will be gypsum board.

Which truss should the architect select?

A. Scissor
B. Bowstring
C. Coffer
D. Tray

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A scissor truss provides a vaulted ceiling.

A bowstring truss is curved on the top. A coffer truss forms a coffer, not a vault. A tray ceiling is flat on top, thus not vaulted.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 4.07

Question 10:
3/23/2020

The water pressure at the city main in the street is 50 psi. The service connection to the building reduces the pressure by 10 psi.

What is the water pressure at a faucet that is at a point 45 feet above the main? Provide your answer rounded to the nearest tenth.

____ psi

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Water pressure decreases with height. 1 psi will make a column of water raise 2.31 feet. To find the pressure at any point above the main, divide the height by 2.31.

45 psi / 2.31 psi = 19.48 psi. Round to 19.5 psi.

Now find the pressure at 0 feet. This is found by subtracting the magnitude of the pressure drop from the main.

50 psi - 10 psi = 40 psi

Finally, subtract the pressure drop due to height from the initial pressure.

40 psi - 19.5 psi = 20.5 psi

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 11:
3/30/2020

The plans for a proposed office building show a below-grade basement with two stories of wood-framed construction above. Engineered wood I-joists are being considered for the floor framing.

What is an advantage of using wood I-joists over dimensional lumber?

A. Increased resistance to fire
B. Easier handling for workers on-site
C. Faster framing at openings
D. Improved thermal performance

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Easier handling for workers on-site.

Wood I-joists use material more efficiently and are more lightweight than their dimensional lumber counterparts.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods; Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods

Question 12:
4/6/2020

Which shows the corresponding moment diagram?

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Moment is the tendency of a beam to bend or rotate. Beams must be designed to resist these forces. Moment diagrams are useful tools for representing the magnitude of the forces. In this example, the force is greatest in the middle of the beam and falls to zero at the supports.

Choice A is incorrect because this shows the moment diagram for a beam with a point load, not uniformly loaded. Choice B is incorrect because the moment for a simply-supported, uniformly-loaded beam is positive, which means it is drawn above the baseline and not below. Choice D is incorrect because this diagram is the shear diagram for the beam in question.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 2.15; Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders

Question 13:
4/13/2020

A property has an historic district overlay.

Where can the requirements and restrictions for the overlay district be found?

A. Property deed
B. Building code
C. Zoning ordinance
D. Local historic society

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Zoning ordinance.

Overlay districts are superimposed over other zoning districts. Overlay districts bring additional restrictions or requirements specifically designed for the district that are detailed within zoning ordinances.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice; Planning and Urban Design Standards

Question 14:
4/20/2020

What is the maximum slope permitted for the walking surface of an accessible ramp?

A. 1:8
B. 1:12
C. 1:20
D. 1:48

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Walking surfaces of accessible ramps shall not be steeper than 1:12.

Ref: ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities Section 405.2, 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Section 405.2

Question 15:
4/21/2020

A client would like to know if their budget allows for a parking structure or a parking lot.

Which shows solutions for parking in order from least expensive to most costly?

A. Open structure parking, closed structure parking, surface parking, underground parking
B. Surface parking, closed structure parking, underground parking, open structure parking,
C. Surface parking, open structure parking, closed structure parking, underground parking
D. Open structure parking, underground parking, closed structure parking, surface parking

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Surface parking, open structure parking, closed structure parking, underground parking.

Surface parking is least expensive because there is no structure. Open structure parking is next because the only cost is the structure. Closed structure parking is third because of the added cost of the mechanical ventilation system that must be installed. Underground parking is the most costly because in addition to mechanical ventilation, structure cost, there are also excavation costs.

Ref: The Architect’s Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design

Question 16:
5/4/2020

A 50-year-old higher education building requires an accessibility upgrade. Two new elevators will be added within the existing building footprint. The project will use public funds and therefore must be competitively bid.

What kind of specification should the architect use for the elevators?

A. Open
B. Proprietary
C. Closed
D. Prescriptive

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

An open specification describes the product or system but encourages competitive bids, allowing for any supplier who can meet the requirements at the best price to win the bid.

Proprietary means a specific product or system is called out by name, thus limiting competition. This is the same as a closed specification and is the opposite of an open specification. Prescriptive specification is not the correct answer because a prescriptive specification is also a closed specification.

Ref: The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice

Question 17:
5/11/2020

A three story office building will have two elevators. In which chapter of International Building Code can the architect find the required fire-protection rating of the shaft enclosure?

In which chapter of International Building Code can the architect find the required fire-protection rating of the shaft enclosure?

A. Chapter 6
B. Chapter 7
C. Chapter 8
D. Chapter 9

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Chapter 7.

Chapter 7 of IBC is Fire and Smoke Protection Features. Section 13 of this chapter is Shaft Enclosures.

Ref: IBC 2015 Section 713

Question 18:
5/18/2020

The design for a new restaurant calls for a stucco exterior.

What is the thickness of 3-coat exterior cementitious stucco?

A. 5/8"
B. 3/4"
C. 7/8"
D. 1"

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The first two coats are 3/8" each and the finish coat is 1/8" thick for a total of 7/8" thickness.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards

Question 19:
5/25/2020

The design for a proposed multistory building uses a concrete floor structure.

Which of the following concrete flooring systems are two-way structures? Select the two that apply.

A. Waffle slab
B. Joist
C. Flat plate
D. Hollow core slab
E. Single tee
F. Double tee

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A. Waffle slab
C. Flat plate

When a concrete structure spans in two directions, it is a two-way slab. The column grid for two-way structures is usually square or close to it.

Choices B, D, E, and F are all one-way structures. This is because the structural action is one directional.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards; The Architect’s Studio Companion; Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods

Question 20:
6/1/2020

The client for a new airport requests that the design provide environments that enable a diverse group of people to use. The project manager must pass this information on to their team of designers and consultants who will design and detail the building.

Which term applies to this request?

A. Accessible design
B. Inclusion design
C. Universal design
D. Equitable design

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Universal design.

Universal design is the design and arrangement of spaces and elements so that the greatest number of people may use them. Design for these groups goes beyond those addressed in accessibility standards and includes people with chronic conditions such as asthma and arthritis, the elderly, children, caretakers with strollers, and people carrying luggage or other heavy items. Some examples of universal design include: simple and intuitive layouts, flexibility such as providing different types of seating, and design that minimizes the need for physical effort to use such as providing automatic doors.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards

Question 21:
6/8/2020

An architect is comparing Light Fixture A with Light Fixture B.

The costs for each lamp are as follows:
Light Fixture A: \$0.80
Light Fixture B: \$6.00

The energy used by each fixture is as follows:
Light Fixture A: 60 watts
Light Fixture B: 12 watts

The life of each bulb is as follows:
Light Fixture A: 1,000 hours
Light Fixture B: 10,000 hours

The cost of electricity is 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The lighting system is estimated to be used for 3,000 hours annually.

Using a time period of 10 years, what is the cost difference between the two systems?

\$____

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

When architects select materials and systems, they should consider not just first costs, but ongoing costs as well. This is done through a life cycle cost analysis.

A life cycle cost analysis can be done by adding the following:

Initial cost + Replacement costs + Operating costs

To answer the question, perform the analysis for each fixture over the time period given, then compare the costs. Since initial costs are not given in the question, we can ignore that and focus on replacement and operating costs.

Fixture A:
Hours of operation: 3,000 hours per year x 10 years = 30,000 hours
Number of bulbs needed: 30,000 / 1,000 = 30 bulbs
Replacement costs: 30 bulbs x \$0.80 each = \$24.00
Energy consumption: 60 watts x 30,000 hours = 1,800,000 Wh
Convert to kWh: 1,800,000 Wh / 1,000 = 1,800 kWh
Cost of electricity: 1,800 kWh x \$0.085/kWh = \$153.00
Total costs: \$24.00 + \$153 = \$177.00

Fixture B:
Hours of operation: 3,000 hours per year x 10 years = 30,000 hours (same)
Number of bulbs needed: 30,000 / 10,000 = 3 bulbs
Replacement costs: 3 bulbs x \$6.00 each = \$18.00
Energy consumption 12 watts x 30,000 hours = 360,000 Wh
Convert to kWh: 360,000 Wh / 1,000 = 360 kWh
Cost of electricity: 360 kWh x \$0.085/kWh = \$30.60
Total costs: \$18.00 + \$30.60 = \$48.60

For the last step, simply find the difference between the two costs.
\$177.00 - \$48.60 = \$128.40.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 22:
6/15/2020

An architecture firm is designing a 10-unit apartment building in the U.S.

Which electrical system voltage is appropriate?

A. 120/240-V single phase
B. 120/240-V single phase, 3 wire
C. 120/208-V 3 phase, 4 wire
D. 277/480-V 3 phase, 4 wire

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. 120/208-V 3 phase, 4 wire.

Choice A is appropriate for the smallest of building such as accessory outbuildings or isolated small loads less than 6 kVA. Choice B is appropriate for a single family homes or small stores where the load does not exceed 19.2 kVA. Choice D is appropriate for very large buildings such as multistory office buildings or large industrial buildings.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 23:
6/23/2020

The voltage of the electrical service provided by the utility company is not enough to meet the needs of a building.

What piece of equipment is used to provide the needed voltage?

A. Service panel
B. Switchboard
C. Generator
D. Transformer

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Transformers change the voltage of the electrical alternating current (AC). A transformer can be step-up where the voltage is increased or step-down where the voltage is decreased.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings; Building Construction Illustrated 11.31

Question 24:
6/29/2020

A reinforced concrete building is designed as a flat slab. The column bays are 22 feet by 22 feet. The load is 100 pounds per square foot.

What is the load carried by an interior column in the structure?

_____ pounds

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

To find the answer, first find the tributary area that an interior column supports. An interior column takes the load from the area around it up until the midline to the next column. This column has a tributary area of 22 feet by 22 feet.

22 feet x 22 feet = 484 square feet

Now take the load times the area.

100 psf x 484 square feet = 48,400 pounds

Ref: Structural Design: A Practical Guide for Architects

Question 25:
7/6/2020

Refer to the graphic of a building placed on a site. The architect must create a grading plan that will divert water around the building.

Which plan shows the best grading around the building?

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The ground must slope away from the building. This is often referred to as positive drainage. Swales are shallow depressions designed to carry stormwater runoff away from buildings. Choice B shows swales that wrap around the back of the building in order to create positive drainage away from the building.

Ref: Site Engineering for Landscape Architects

Question 26:
7/13/2020

A 5 story office building is being planned. The structure will be steel beams and girders. The building should be structurally efficient.

Which should the architect select for the column bays?

A. 15 x 30 feet
B. 18 x 25 feet
C. 28 x 35 feet
D. 25 x 42 feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. 28 x 35 feet

Based on the book, Architect’s Studio Companion Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design, the column spacing for an office building constructed with steel beams and girders should be between 25 and 40 feet to carry load efficiently. The bays should be rectangular with the longer span 1.25 to 1.5 times the shorter span. The product of the two spans should be approximately 1,000 sf. A 28 x 35 foot column bay meets all three guidelines.

Ref: Architect’s Studio Companion Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design, 5th edition, page 102

Question 27:
7/20/2020

Refer to the simplified psychrometric chart.

Which line on the chart identifies the line of saturation?

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The line of saturation is the top left curve. This line is the same as 100% relative humidity. At this point, the air is saturated with moisture and cannot hold any more. This point lies where the DB (dry bulb) temperature and WB (wet bulb) temperature are the same, which is also known as the dew point.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 11.05

Question 28:
7/27/2020

Refer to the graphic of a building with a pitched roof. The wind is indicated by the arrows.

What statements about the forces from the wind acting on the building are correct? Select all that apply.

A. The pressure on the leeward side of the roof is negative
B. The pressure on the leeward side of the roof is positive
C. The pressure on the leeward side of the roof depends on the slope of the roof
B. The pressure on the windward side of the roof is positive
E. The pressure on the windward side of the roof is negative
F. The pressure on the windward side of the roof depends on the slope of the roof

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A. The pressure on the leeward side of a pitched roof is negative
F. The pressure on the windward side of a pitched roof depends on the slope of the roof

Air is sucked away on the leeward side, resulting in negative pressure. On the windward side, it depends on the pitch of the roof. A steeply pitched roof would catch the wind more resulting in positive pressure and a lower sloped roof experiences suction just like the leeward side does.

Ref: Heating, Cooling, and Lighting Sustainable Design Methods for Architects, 4th edition, figure 10.5d

Question 29:
8/3/2020

A tenant space is being planned for a speech therapy clinic. The clinic will have 6 private offices and an open reception area. In order to minimize noise distractions, acoustical privacy is very important.

In the context of the interior wall assemblies in the office space, which statements are correct? Select the three that apply.

A. Light gauge metal studs provide higher STC ratings than heavy gauge studs
B. Wood studs provide higher STC ratings than metal studs
C. Doubling the layers of gypsum board on both sides of the wall increases STC
D. Providing an airspace between the gypsum board and sound-absorbing batts decreases STC
E. Resilient channels applied to one side of the reduces STC
F. Staggering studs increases the STC rating of the wall

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A. Light gauge metal studs provide higher STC ratings than heavy gauge studs
C. Doubling the layers of gypsum board on both sides of the wall increases STC
F. Staggering studs increases the STC rating of the wall

Light gauge metal studs increase STC because they are less stiff than heavier gauge studs. Doubling the gypsum board layers increases STC because increasing the mass of a wall increases the amount of material that the sound must penetrate in order to transfer. Staggering the studs in a wall increases the STC because it breaks direct sound transmission from opposite sides of the wall.

Choice B is incorrect because wood studs are stiffer than metal studs. Choice D is incorrect because the opposite is true, the airspace increases STC. Choice E is incorrect because the opposite is true and the channels increase STC, not reduce.

Ref: Architectural Acoustics page 208

Question 30:
8/10/2020

An architect is laying out a 6 story apartment building. The common path of travel must be illustrated on the plans to demonstrate code compliance.

What describes the common path of travel, as defined in the International Building Code (IBC)?

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A. The distance an occupant must travel in order to reach a protected escape route or final exit
B. The portion of an exit corridor that allows occupants to exit in either direction
C. The route an occupant must travel before having access to two or more exits
D. The point in a building where an occupant has two separate and distinct ways out

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. The route an occupant must travel before having access to two or more exits

The IBC defines common path of travel as “that portion of the exit access travel distance measured from the most remote point within a story to the point where the occupants have separate and distinct access to two exits or exit access doorways."

Ref: International Building Code (2015) chapter 2, definitions

[spoiler]

Question 31:
8/17/2020

What are examples of dynamic loads? Select all that apply.

A. Heavy snow on a pitched roof
B. A sudden gust of wind on the face of a building
C. Lawnmower hitting a deck column
D. Clog dancers on a temporary stage
E. Rainwater accumulating on a flat rooftop
F. Elevator cab moving up and down

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

B. A sudden gust of wind on the face of a building
C. Lawnmower hitting a deck column
D. Clog dancers on a temporary stage
F. Elevator cab moving up and down

All of the loads given are dynamic loads except choices A and E. A dynamic load is one that changes in size, location, or direction.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 2.08; Visual Dictionary of Architecture, 2nd edition, page 157; The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition, pages 861-862

Question 32:
8/24/2020

A short timber post supports a load of 16 kips. The allowable unit compressive stress is 1000 pounds.

What is the minimum post size required to carry the load?

A. 4x4
B. 4x6
C. 6x6
D. 6x8

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

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

16 kips is equal to 16,000 pounds. Now plug in the numbers to find the value of A.

A = 16,000 lbs / 1,000 psi

A = 16 square inches

16 square inches is the minimum size of the post that can carry the load. Since a 4x4 post has actual dimensions of 3.5 by 3.5, it will not be large enough.

Find the cross-sectional area of the 4x6 to see if it is adequate. A 4x6 post has side dimensions of 3.5 inches and 5.5 inches.
3.5 x 5.5 = 19.25 square inches

19.25 inches is greater than 16 inches, therefore the 4x6 post is the smallest post size that will work.

Ref: Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders, 11th edition, page 51

Question 33:
8/31/2020

An architect is designing a low-cost multi-story hotel and must compare several cast-in-place concrete building systems.

What concrete building system has the lowest cost formwork?

A. Flat plate
B. Joist slab
C. Waffle slab
D. Slab and beam

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Flat plate

A flat plate slab is the least expensive in terms of formwork because it is the simplest. A flat plate slab has no column capitals, dropped panels, or beams to form.

Ref: Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods, 9th edition, section 3.13.4

Question 34:
9/07/2020

Based on a particular site, the best solution for a multistory apartment building is an L-shape with long narrow legs.

What is the best solution to minimize damage from seismic forces?

A. Extra weight at the top of the building
B. A discontinuous horizontal diaphragm
C. Regularly spaced square column bays
D. A continuous joint where the two legs meet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. A continuous joint where the two legs meet

The L-shape creates what is called a re-entrant corner. The plan’s irregularity means forces collect in this corner during a seismic event. When the two legs of the building move, a tearing action occurs at this junction. The joint allows the two portions of the building to move independently of each other.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated 2.32

Question 35:
9/14/2020

International Building Code (IBC) classifies all buildings into five categories. These five categories are given Roman numeral designations. These categories are further subdivided as A or B.

What does the A or B indicate?

A. The intended occupancy group of the building
B. The inherent fire-resistance of the building materials
C. Whether the building is protected by a sprinkler system
D. Whether the building’s fire protection system is active or passive

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. The inherent fire-resistance of the building materials

Type A buildings have a higher level of fire resistance and a higher degree of fire-protection applied over the structural members than type B. Type A denotes “protected” construction and type B denotes less protected construction.

Ref: Building Codes Illustrated, 5th edition, page 96; International Building Code (2015) table 601

Question 36:
9/21/2020

An architect is writing down the steps to take in a building code analysis as part of establishing a set of guidelines for the staff.

The first step is to determine the occupancy classification.

What is the next step the architect should take?

A. Determine type of construction
B. Determine requirements for egress
C. Determine allowable height and area
D. Determine if a sprinkler system is required

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Determine if a sprinkler system is required

Once the building’s occupancy is determined, the architect should see if the occupancy requires protection by a sprinkler system and what the threshold limits are based on chapter 9 of the International Building Code (IBC).

From there, the allowable height and area can be determined based on chapter 5. The next step is determining yhe type of construction which is chapter 6. The last step is determining egress requirements which is chapter 10.

Note that the four steps are all interrelated and iterations of the relationships are often necessary to optimize solutions.

Ref: Building Codes Illustrated, 5th edition, page 14; International Building Code (2015) section 903

Question 37:
9/29/2020

A proposed retail building will be type V-A construction and will not be sprinklered.

Based on the excerpt provided from Table 504.4 from 2015 IBC, what is the maximum number of stories of the building?
___ stories

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A retail building is M-mercantile occupancy. Find the M in the leftmost column; it is close to the bottom. Since the building is not sprinklered, follow the row with NS to the right of the M to the column corresponding with Type V-A construction and read the value of 3 stories.

Ref: Building Codes Illustrated, IBC 2015

Question 38:
10/6/2020

An electronic screen is planned to be mounted to the wall in a public elevator lobby. The bottom of the screen will be mounted at 48 inches above the floor.

Based on accessibility requirements, the screen may not protrude past what distance from the wall?
_____ inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Wall mounted objects between 27 and 80 inches must not protrude more than 4 inches from the wall because the protruding object is a hazard for people with sight impairments who often travel closely along walls.

Ref: ICC A117.1-2009 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities section 307; 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design section 307

Question 39:
10/13/2020

Refer to the graphic depicting heating degree days (HDD) for a city in New England in the United States.

What is the annual total number of heating degree days (HDD)?
_____ HDD

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

To find the annual total heating degree days, add up the heating degree days for all of the months.

1250 + 1050 + 900 + 550 + 200 + 50 + 150 + 400 + 750 + 950 = 6250 HDD

Note that July and August do not have any heating degree days and June and September have both cooling and heating degree days.

Ref: Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects; Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 40:
10/20/2020

A kitchen appliance has a resistance of 19 ohms. It is plugged into a 120 volt outlet.

How much electric current is in the circuit? Round your answer to the nearest whole number.
_____ amps

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Current (I), voltage (V), and resistance (R) are all related by the equation known as Ohm’s law. Electricity flowing in a wire is called current and is measured in amperes or amps for short. Volts are the unit of electric potential or force. This potential is what causes electricity to flow. The higher the potential (voltage), the higher the flow (current). Resistance is the friction that resists the flow and is found in the wire itself as well as lighting and appliances. Resistance is measured in ohms.

Ohm’s law is written as I = V/R. Find the answer by applying Ohm’s law.

I = 120 / 19
I = 6.3 amps
Round to 6 amps.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 41:
10/27/2020

A large conference room has an occupancy load of 80 people.

What is the minimum required exit door configuration for the conference room?
A. One exit: 36 inches wide
B. One exit: 60 inches wide
C. Two exits: each 36 inches wide
D. Two exits: one 36 inches wide and one 72 inches wide

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Two exits: each 36 inches wide

A room with an occupant load of 50 or greater requires 2 exits. The required combined width of the exits shall be no less than 0.2 inches times the number of occupants. 80 x 0.2 = 16 inches. Since all of the doors in the answer choices provide the minimum required width, answer choice C with two 36 inch doors is the minimum configuration.

Ref: International Building Code Chapter 10

Question 42:
11/3/2020

A design team is considering concrete for the structural frame of a building.

What are the properties of concrete? Select the three that apply.
A. Combustible
B. Noncombustible
C. Shrinks as it cures
D. Expands as it cures
E. Weak in compression
F. Strong in compression

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

B. Noncombustible
C. Shrinks as it cures
F. Strong in compression

Concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension. Concrete shrinks as it hardens and is noncombustible.

Ref: Building Structures

Question 43:
11/10/2020

A vegetated roof shall be planted with greenery that is hardy, lightweight, and easy to maintain.

What should the architect propose for the plantings?
A. Succulents and mosses
B. Butterfly and bird garden
C. Dwarfed bushes and shrubs
D. Native wildflowers and grasses

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Succulents and mosses

Succulents such as sedum and mosses perform well on vegetated roofs because they are lightweight, evergreen, and can stand the high wind speeds and solar radiation, thin soil, and low water.

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

Question 44
11/17/2020

A developer wishes to build a privately owned apartment building and wants to know what accessibility standards apply to the inside of the dwelling units.

What should the architect tell the developer?

A. The rules from Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG) apply
B. The rules from Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) Accessibility Guidelines apply
C. The rules from Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design apply
D. There are no rules that apply to the interior of the units, only the public spaces

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. The rules from Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG) apply

Privately owned multifamily buildings with more than 4 units must be designed to meet Fair Housing Accessibility Guidelines (FHAG).

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards

Question 45
11/23/2020

What noise source is correctly paired with its respective sound intensity level in decibels (dB)?

A. Threshold of pain: 80 dB
B. Threshold of hearing: 25 dB
C. Symphony orchestra: 60 dB
D. Noise level in a quiet office: 40 dB

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Noise level in a quiet office: 40 dB

The noise level in a quiet office is about 40 dB.

Choice A, threshold of pain, is around 130 dB. Choice B, threshold of hearing, is around 0 dB. Choice C, symphony orchestra, is around 100 dB.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated

Question 46
12/1/20

Refer to the cut sheet of a light fixture.

What is the efficacy of the Type IV fixture?

___ lumens per watt

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is 101 lumens per watt

The correct answer is 101. Efficacy is the measure of the effectiveness with which a lamp converts electric power into luminous flux. It is the ratio of flux emitted to power input and is expressed in lumens per watts. The cut sheet shown tells us the lumens per watt for fixture Type IV is 101.

If the cut sheet did not provide the answer for us, it can still be found by dividing the lumens by the watts.
17,070 lumens / 169 watts = 101 lumens per watt

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

Question 47
12/7/20

The noise level of a fan is 40 decibels on the lowest setting and 50 decibels on the highest setting.

How is this change of sound perceived by the listener?

A. The lowest setting is 1/2 as loud as the highest setting
B. The lowest setting is 1/4 as loud as the highest setting
C. The lowest setting is 4/5 as loud as the highest setting
D. The lowest setting is 1/10 as loud as the highest setting

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. The lowest setting is 1/2 as loud as the highest setting

As a rule of thumb, a 10 decibel reduction in sound intensity is perceived as half as loud. Similarly, a 10 decibel increase is sound is perceived as twice as loud.

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

Question 48
12/14/20

A client would like to use photovoltaic panels on their roof.

With current technology, what is the approximate efficiency of photovoltaic panels?

A. 15-20%
B. 35-40%
C. 70-75%
D. 90-95%

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The efficiency of the solar cells used in a typical photovoltaic system are currently around 15%-20. Panels with greater efficiencies are possible but are much more costly.

Ref: Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects; The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design

Question 49
12/21/20

A combined heat and power system (CHP) is proposed for a new building.

What is the main advantage of this type of system?

A. The power generated by the system is of high quality
B. Stores energy for use at times when demand is highest
C. Allows for simultaneous heating and cooling of the building
D. Uses excess waste energy to produce electricity for use in the building

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Uses excess waste energy to produce electricity for use in the building

Combined heat and power systems are also described as “cogeneration” and “total energy systems”. CHP systems simultaneously produce heat and electricity from the same fuel source. CHP systems are efficient because they use what would otherwise be wasted heat energy to produce electricity. These systems provide on-site electricity and are popular for institutions like universities.

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

Question 50
12/28/20

The schematic design for a proposed building shows an eggcrate sun control device.

This configuration is ideal for the climate of what US city?

A. Phoenix
B. Anchorage
D. San Francisco

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Eggcrate type shade devices are ideal for hot climates because they block sun from all directions, combining the sun control advantages of both horizontal and vertical louvers.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated

Question 51
1/4/21

Sound travels fastest through which medium?

A. Air
B. Steel
C. Water
D. Wood

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Structure-bourne sounds travel fast and far. At sea level, sound travels through through steel at approximately 18,000 feet per second, through air at approximately 1,087 feet per second, through water at approximately 4,500 feet per second, and through wood at approximately 11,700 feet per second.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated

Question 52
1/10/21

A room is 14 feet wide, 18 feet long, and 12 feet high. The sound absorption of the room is 210 sabins.

What is the reverberation time of the room?
____ seconds

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Reverberation time describes how reflected sound propagates in a room. This question uses one of the formulas that will be available on test day. The equation is T = 0.05 (V/A) where T is reverberation time in seconds, V is the volume of the space in cubic feet, and A is the total sound absorption of the room in sabins.

First find the volume of the room by multiplying the length times the width times the height.
18 feet x 14 feet x 12 feet = 3,024 cubic feet

Solve for the answer using the equation given.
T = 0.05 (3,024 / 210)
T = 0.72 seconds

Ref: Architectural Acoustics, pages 62-65

Question 53
1/18/21

Consider the beam conditions provided in the answer choices.

What beam condition results in only positive moment?

A. Continuous
B. Cantilevered
C. Overhanging
D. Simply supported

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Simply supported

Whether a beam is positive or negative is a convention used to describe whether the load results in a concave up or concave down shape. Positive moment in a beam results in sagging (concave up) and negative moment results in hogging (concave down). A simply supported beam under a load results in sagging and is therefore positive moment.

Continuous beams result in both positive and negative moment. Cantilevered beams result in negative moment.

Ref: A Visual Dictionary of Architecture; Building Structures

Question 54
1/25/21

A new building is planned for a temperate climate.

What best describes a temperate climate such as that found in the midwestern United States?

A. Hot summers and cold winters
B. Warm summers and cool winters
C. Warm summers and cold winters
D. Moderate year-round temperatures

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Hot summers and cold winters

Temperate means mild or moderate but the reality is that temperate climates have the two extremes of hot summers and cold winters. Because of these opposing demands, they are more difficult to design for. Much of the continental US is in the temperate climate.

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

Question 55
2/1/21

An architect is reviewing elevators for inclusion in a new 50 story hotel building. The selected elevator should be fast, quiet, and smooth.

What type of elevator should the architect select?

A. Geared traction
B. Holed hydraulic
C. Gearless traction
D. Holeless hydraulic

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Gearless traction

Gearless traction elevators are fast, smooth, and quiet and are designed for use in high-rise applications.

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

Question 56
2/8/21

The program for a new conference room requires an average daylight factor (DF) of 2.5%. The floor area of the room is 410 square feet.

What size window should the architect design?

A. 4’-0" high by 10’-6" wide
B. 4’-0" high by 12’-3" wide
C. 5’-0" high by 10’-6" wide
D. 5’-0" high by 12’-3" wide

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. 5’-0" high by 10’-6" wide

This question uses one of the formulas given to you in the exam.
DFav = 0.2 x window area / floor area

Rearrange the equation to solve for unknown window area, shown as Aw in the equation below.
Aw = (DFav)(Af) / 0.2

Plug in the numbers to solve.
Aw = (0.025)(410 sf) / 0.2
Aw = 51.25 sf

A window that is 5’-0" x 10’-6" is 52.5 sf which means it will work. The other choices are either too small or too large.

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

Question 57
2/15/21

An architect is designing an office employee break room.

What is the missing dimension in the graphic?

A. 42" max
B. 44" max
C. 46" max
D. 48" max

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. 46" max

The maximum vertical dimension for an obstructed side reach over base cabinets as shown is 46 inches.

Ref: 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design figure 308.3.2

Question 58
2/23/21

An architect is laying out the tables and chairs against the side wall of a cafe as shown.

What is the minimum clearance for the dimension indicated?

A. 18 inches
B. 24 inches
C. 30 inches
D. 36 inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. 18 inches

The minimum clearance for limited passage between the chairs is 18 inches.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards

Question 59
3/1/21

A proposed suburban library will be two stories. Most of the books will be on the upper level and the lower level will have community meeting rooms, restrooms, offices, and storage.

The floor structure must be designed to minimize floor thickness, offer inherent fire resistance, and must be erected with minimal site disturbance.

What should the architect select for the structure to support the second floor?

A. Post-tensioned slab
B. Heavy timber framing
C. Lightweight steel framing
D. Hollow core concrete slab

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Hollow core concrete slab

A hollow core concrete slab meets all of the criteria.

Choice A, post-tensioned slab, does not meet the criteria to minimize site disturbance. Choice B, heavy timber framing, does not allow for minimal floor thickness. Choice C, lightweight steel framing, does not offer inherent fire resistance.

Ref: The Architect’s Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design

Question 60
3/8/21

Photometric information for a strobe light fire alarm device shows candela values.

A candela is the unit of what?

A. Luminance
B. Illuminance
C. Luminous flux
D. Luminous intensity

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Luminous intensity

The SI unit of luminous intensity is the candela. It is the light emitted from a source in a particular direction, that is, per steradian.

Candelas are a characteristic of the light source and represent the force that generates visible light. Candelas are analogous to pressure in a hydraulic system and voltage in an electrical system. An ordinary wax candle produces a luminous intensity of roughly 1 candela.

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 11th edition, page 473

Question 61
3/15/21

The civil engineering drawings for a college campus show a value for the invert of a sloped sewer pipe.

The invert indicates the elevation of what part of the pipe?

A. Top of the pipe inside
B. Top of the pipe outside
C. Bottom of the pipe inside
D. Bottom of the pipe outside

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Bottom of the pipe inside

The invert of a pipe indicates the “floor” of the pipe which is located at the bottom of the pipe on the inside.

Ref: Architectural Graphic Standards

Question 62
3/22/21

The water supply at a rural building site has excessive calcium and magnesium. This is often called hard water.

What process is commonly used to treat the water?

A. Filtration
B. Chlorination
C. Flocculation
D. Ion exchange

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Ion exchange

Softening water is a process that removes the ions that make water hard (usually calcium and magnesium ions) and replaces them with sodium ions.

Ref: Architectural Acoustics; Plumbing, Electricity, Acoustics: Sustainable Design Methods for Architecture, Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 63
3/29/21

One of the goals for a large planned unit development on a greenfield site is to encourage healthy, active lifestyles.

What sustainable design strategy should the architect use to meet the goal?

A. Cluster the developed areas together
B. Provide green roofs on large buildings
C. Detain stormwater onsite in a dry pond
D. Specify porous concrete for the sidewalks

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is A. Cluster the developed areas together

Cllustering developments leaves open space that can be used for recreation which leads to active and healthy lifestyles.

Ref: Site Planning and Design Handbook

Question 64
4/5/21

The following are in the design development phase at an architecture firm.

According to IBC, which buildings will have panic hardware? Select the four that apply.

A. 15,000 sf museum
B. 5,000 sf restaurant
C. 100 bed nursing home
D. 300 student high school
E. 250 person movie theater
F. 6 bay auto repair shop (low hazard)

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A. 15,000 sf museum
B. 5,000 sf restaurant
D. 300 student high school
E. 250 person movie theater

Panic hardware is required on all H occupancies and E or A occupancies with 50 or more occupants. The museum, theater, and restaurant are all A occupancies and would have an occupant load over 50. The high school is an E occupancy with at least 50 occupants.

Ref: IBC 2018 1010.1.10, Building Codes Illustrated

Question 65
4/12/21

An architect is designing a large, multistory office building that will have exit stairs in each of the building’s four corners.

What is the required minimum width of one of the typical exit stairs?
___inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The width of an exit (egress) stair is determined by occupant load but shall not be less than 44 inches. There is an exception for occupant loads less than 50 where the minimum width may be 36 inches.

Note: The minimum width of an accessible egress stair is 48 inches and this minimum must be between the handrails. There are exceptions to this minimum. The 48 inches for an accessible egress stair is not required in a sprinklered building or a stairway accessed from an area of refuge in conjunction with a horizontal exit.

Ref: International Building Code (2018) section 1011.2

Question 66
4/19/21

Refer to the diagram.

How would these forces be classified during a structural investigation?
A. Parallel
B. Coplanar
C. Concurrent

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Forces that have all their lines of action intersect at a common point are said to be concurrent.

Ref: Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders

Question 67
4/25/21

Several exterior entry door thresholds are described in the answer choices.

What thresholds are compliant with commercial building accessibility regulations? Select all that apply.

A. 1/4" vertical change
B. 1/4" vertical change plus 1/4" rise with a 1:2 bevel
C. 1/2" vertical change
D. 1/2" vertical change plus 1/4" rise with a 1:2 bevel
E. 3/4" vertical change
F. 1/4" vertical change plus 3/4" rise with a 1:2 bevel

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

A. 1/4" vertical change
B. 1/4" vertical change plus 1/4" rise with a 1:2 bevel

Changes in level of 1/4 inch high maximum shall be permitted to be vertical. Changes in level between 1/4 inch high minimum and 1/2 inch high maximum shall be beveled with a slope not steeper than 1:2. A change in level of 1/2 inch is permitted to be 1/4 inch vertical plus 1/4 inch beveled. However, in no case may the combined change in level exceed 1/2 inch. Changes in level exceeding 1/2 inch must comply with regulations for ramps or curb ramps.

Ref: 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design

Question 68
5/3/21

A multi-story office building is 135 feet wide and 250 feet long. The architect must determine the width of the doors to the exit stairwells.

What total combined door width is required by code per floor? ____inches

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

First calculate the area of the building.

135 feet x 250 feet = 33,750 square feet

Then calculate the occupant load. The occupant load for an office building is one person per gross 150 sf per 2018 IBC table 1004.5.

33,750 / 150 = 225 occupants per floor.

Last, multiply the number of occupants times the factor of 0.2 as found in IBC 2018 1005.3.2.

225 x 0.2 = 45 inches

The Ref: IBC 2018 1005.3.2

Question 69
5/10/21

Consider a 2500‐lb, 200‐fpm hydraulic elevator. The elevator unit requires a 30 hp motor and is assumed to be in operation 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a regular 60% time‐in‐operation ratio. The cost of 1 kW is \$0.11.

What is the monthly cost of operating of this elevator? (Motor operation is only required in upper direction and 1 hp = 0.74 kW). \$_____

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

To find the answer, take the power required to lift times the time it is being lifted the elevator times the cost of the power.

First convert 30 hp to kW.

30 x 0.74 = 22.2 kW

Operation time can be found next.

7 days x 10 hours x 0.60 operation x 4.33 weeks / 2 = 90. 93 hours a month

Note: Dividing the above by two is done because energy is only used when the elevator is going up which is half the time.

The final step is to multiply the power times the cost times the operation time in hours.

22.2 kW x 0.11 cents per kWh x 90.93 hours = \$222.05

The Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Question 70
5/17/21

The site for a building is on the leeward side of a mountain range.

What climate characteristic can be expected of the site?
A. Dry
B. Cool
C. Windy
D. Humid

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

When water vapor in the air is forced up over a mountain by winds, the air cools and the moisture condenses into clouds, rain, or snow. The air on the far (leeward) side of the mountain is dry by comparison. An example of this is Washington state on the west coast of the US where the climate at the coast is moist but the eastern part of the state on the leeward side of the Cascade mountains is dry.

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

Question 71
5/24/21

An architect is designing a group home for a site in a temperate climate.

What design strategies should the architect consider for this site? Select all that apply.
A. Locate the building on a northern slope
B. Use storm windows, storm doors, and airlocks
C. Plan a sun space on the south side of the building
D. Place the garage on the northwest side of the building
E. Place evergreen trees on the south side of the building
F. Minimize area of glass on the south side of the building

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

B. Use storm windows, storm doors, and airlocks
C. Plan a sun space on the south side of the building
D. Place the garage on the northwest side of the building

Storm windows, storm doors, and air locks limit air infiltration, lowering energy consumption. The sun space on the south allows for passive solar heating as well as an amenity for building users. Placing the garage on the northwest side of the building helps to shelter the building from cold winds from the northwest.

Choice A is incorrect because northern slopes are cold, windier and icier than other slopes, making them less desireable for locating buildings in temperate climates. Choice E is incorrect because evergreen trees block sun year round and this is indesireable on the south side in winter when sun is wanted inside the building. Choice F is incorrect because south-facing glass allows warm winter sun to come into the building all day long.

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

Question 72
5/31/21

An architect is estimating energy costs at the beginning of a project.

A 95% efficient furnace will save how much in energy costs over an 80% efficient furnace?

A. 8%
B. 16%
C. 32%
D. 64%

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

0.80 / 0.95 = 0.8421

1 - 0.8421 = 0.157 or 16%

Ref: Green Building Illustrated, page 197

Question 73
6/7/21

A building is considered a super high-rise when it reaches a certain height.

What is this height threshold?

A. 75 feet
B. 150 feet
C. 250 feet
D. 420 feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. 420 feet

Buildings over 420 feet in height are subject to additional requirements in International Building Code. The requirements are mostly found in section 403 and chapter 10, Means of Egress.

Ref: Building Codes Illustrated; International Building Code 2018 section 403

Question 74
6/14/21

A topographic map has a contour interval of 1 foot. The map shows an embankment where the contours are spaced 18 inches apart.

What is the slope expressed as a percentage? Round your answer to the nearest whole number.____%

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Slope is calculated as rise over run. Since the contour interval is 1 foot and the horizontal distance is 1.5 feet, the slope equation is 1 / 1.5 which equals 0.67 or 67%.

Ref: Building Construction Illustrated; Planning and Urban Design Standards

Question 75
6/21/21

Two-way construction often occurs in what construction type?

A. Steel
B. Wood
C. Reinforced concrete

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. Reinforced concrete

Because of the monolithic nature of concrete, two-way construction often occurs, especially when the column bay proportions are square or close to square. Two-way construction in steel or wood is rare.

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

Question 76
7/1/21

What code section covers open mall buildings?

A. 303
B. 308
C. 402
D. 423

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Section 402 of IBC 2018 contains code provisions that specifically apply to mall buildings, whether open or closed.

Ref: IBC 2018 section 402

Question 77
7/26/21

A commercial building has a floor to floor height of 10 feet.

How many stair risers are there?
__ risers

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

By code, each riser can be a maximum of 7 inches. 10 feet is 120 inches. 120 / 7 = 17.14. Since you cannot have a fraction of a riser, you must round up to 18.

Ref: IBC 2018 section 1011.5.2

Question 78
8/03/21

The architect for a one-story medical office wishes to use sustainable, non-mechanical cooling strategies in the design of the building. The building will be located in an urban area in a hot, humid climate.

What combination of cooling strategies is most appropriate for this scenario? Select the two that apply.?
A. Courtyard
B. Wind scoops
C. Masonry walls
D. Louvered shutters
E. Large roof overhangs
F. Few and small windows

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is D. Louvered shutters and E. Large roof overhangs

The two best natural cooling strategies for a hot, humid client are shade and natural ventilation. Large overhangs and louvered shutters provide shading which is the most important strategy.

Choice A is incorrect because courtyards are ideal for hot, dry climates where cool air collects in shady courtyards, sheltered from hot winds but cross-ventilation is best for hot, humid climates. Choice B is incorrect because wind scoops cool through evaporation which makes them ideal for hot, dry climates, not hot and humid climates. Choice C is incorrect because masonry adds mass which stores heat and it is not cool enough at night to release this heat like in a hot, dry climate. Choice F is incorrect because the opposite is true, large openings are best for hot, humid climates in order to maximize ventilation.

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

Question 79
8/10/21

An architect is discussing HVAC systems for an office building with the mechanical engineer who suggests a VAV (variable air volume) system.

What is an advantage of a VAV system?
A. Easy zoning
B. Precise temperature control
C. Simultaneous heating and cooling
D. Takes up minimal space for equipment and distribution

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Precise temperature control

VAV systems offer precise temperature control because the air flow varies and is delivered as required by the temperature needs of the spaces served.

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

Question 80
8/18/21

A pre-engineered steel storage mezzanine is planned for an S-2 occupancy warehouse. The warehouse is 44,000 square feet and the mezzanine will be 13,400 square feet. The building is fully sprinklered.

In order to perform a code analysis, the architect must determine how the additional square footage is interpreted in the building code.

What statement about the design of the mezzanine is correct?
A. Since the building is sprinklered, the mezzanine area can be cut by 1/3
B. The area of the mezzanine counts towards both the fire area and building area
C. The area of the mezzanine counts towards the fire area but not the building area
D. Neither the building area nor the fire area increases because mezzanines don’t add to the overall area

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C. The project increases the fire area but not the building area

The area of mezzanines is not included in overall building area, but the area is included in calculating the fire area. Mezzanines are also not counted towards the overall number of stories.

Ref: International Building Code (IBC) section 505.2; Architect’s Studio Companion; Building Codes Illustrated

Question 81
8/24/21

Refer to the graphic showing a plan for a storage mezzanine in a warehouse. Heavy boxes will be stored on the mezzanine.

What column carries the greatest load?
A. A1
B. B3
C. C2
D. D2

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Column C2 carries the most tributary area and therefore carries the greatest load.

Ref: Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders

Question 82
9/13/21

The horizontal distance between the 72- and 84-foot contours is scaled as 80 feet on a portion of a driveway.

What is the slope of this section of the driveway?
A. 15%
B. 6.67%
C. 20%
D. 10%

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The slope of the driveway is found by dividing the vertical distance by the horizontal distance and then converting it to a percentage.

The vertical distance is 12 feet and the horizontal distance is 80 feet.
80 feet / 12 feet = 0.15

As a percentage, the slope is 15%.
0.15 x 100 = 15%

Ref: Planning and Urban Design Standards page 79

Question 83
10/11/21

An agricultural building is 40 feet by 80 feet with a pitched roof and gable ends on the 40 foot ends. The side walls are 10 feet tall. The pitch of the roof is 3:12.

What is the approximate total height of the building at the roof ridge?
___ feet

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Since the roof pitch is 3:12, the roof will rise 3 inches for every foot of horizontal run.

20 feet x 3 inches = 60 inches, or 5 feet .

The side wall is 10 feet tall, therefore:

5 feet + 10 feet = 15 feet

Ref: The Professional Practice of Architectural Working Drawings

Question 84
11/8/21

A client wants to build an office building on a site measuring 300 feet by 300 feet.

The program is as follows:
• 20,000 sf plaza on grade level that is open to the sky
• 100,000 sf underground parking garage
• 200,000 net sf of office space with an 80% building efficiency ratio

The site information is as follows:
• The site is virtually flat
• No structures, either above or below grade, may be located in the setback area
• Setbacks are 10 feet on all sides and the public sidewalks will occupy the entire 10’ setback on all four sides

What is the minimum total number of above and below grade levels needed?
___ levels

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Find the gross area of the office space required by dividing the net area by the efficiency rate.

200,000 sf / 0.8 = 250,000 gross sf

Then find the below grade buildable area of the site.

280 sf x 280 sf = 78,400 sf below grade buildable area

Next find the above grade buildable area of the site.

78,400 sf - 20,000 sf = 58,400 sf above grade buildable area

Find the number of levels of both parking and office space.

250,000 office sf / 58,400 sf = 4.28 levels (Round up to 5 levels as you can’t have a partial level)

100,000 sf / 78,400 sf = 1.28 levels (Round up to 2 as you can’t have a partial level)

5 + 2 = 7 minimum levels

Ref: Problem Seeking: An Architectural Programming Primer

Question 85
12/13/21

An architect is evaluating windows for use in a project.

What quality of the window is correctly matched with its function?
A. U-factor: Preventing solar heat gain
B. Daylight factor: Ratio of light level from inside to outside
C. Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC): Rate of heat transfer through the window

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Daylight factor: Ratio of light level from inside to outside

Daylight factor is the ratio of indoor to outdoor illumination by daylight and is expressed by the equation DF = (Ei / Eo) x 100%. An example is if there are 10,000 footcandles (fc) outside and the indoor illumination level is 100 fc, the daylight factor is 5%.

Choices A and C are incorrect. U-factor is the measure of heat transfer through the window. In other words. In other words, U-factor is how the well the window insulates. SHGC is a measure of solar radiation emitted through the window. The lower the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), the lower the solar heat gain and the greater the shading ability.

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

Question 86
1/18/22

A meeting room is 40 feet by 50 feet by 12 feet tall. The flooring is concrete, the walls are painted gypsum board, and the ceiling is 3/4" textured acoustic tile. Half of each 50 foot wall is floor to ceiling windows covered with heavy velour drapery.

Using the information in the chart provided, what is the sound absorptivity of the room at 1000 Hz?
___ sabins

Use the following 2 formulas:
a = SAC x S
A = ∑a

a = sound absorption of a material
SAC = coefficient given to that material found in the graphic
S = exposed surface area of the material in square feet
A = total sound absorption of the room in sabins

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

Sabins are units of sound absorption. To calculate the sound absorption of a room, multiply the area of each surface times the sound absorption coefficient (SAC) of the material. This question is answered by using two of the formulas given to you in the exam.

First find the sound absorption of each material using the first formula.
Concrete floor:
0.02 x 2,000 sf = 40 sabins
Gypsum board walls:
0.03 x 1,560 sf = 46.8 sabins
Acoustic tile ceiling:
0.80 x 2,000 sf = 1,600 sabins
Heavy velour drapes:
0.72 x 600 = 432 sabins

Then find the sum of the individual components.
40 sabins + 46.8 sabins + 1,600 sabins + 432 sabins = 2,118.8 sabins

Ref: Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 11th edition, pages 768-769

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Hello! Really liked these quiz questions.

I think the first question is backwards though and wanted to make sure I was understanding correctly, to convert feet to yards wouldn’t you divide by 27 rather than multiply, since 1 cu.yd. = 27 cu.ft.?

Thanks!
Rima

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Hi @rima.abous. Welcome to the ARE community! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the quizzes.

To answer your question, I’ve included a little graphic showing the mathematical way and the pictorial way to solve the concrete question.

You’ve got the numbers correct, but I think you might have switched them around. Remember that whatever is in the denominator of the question is the amount ‘per’. For example: 27 cubic feet per 1 cubic yard (27 cu. ft./1 cu. yd.).

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Why would you round down from 12.3 years to 12 years?

Hey @Vincent.Lee, good catch. The answer shouldn’t be rounded unless the question specifically asks, and in this case if you did need to round, you’d want to round up to ensure the cost was 100% recouped.

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Hi There,
I believe there is a typo in the math here. You stated 14,400 * 8.5= 1,224.00 >>> This should say \$122,400.

However, why wouldn’t you just multiply 8.5 cents/Kwh * 1200 KWH (monthly) = \$10,200/ month.

Then the pay off would be 1.5 months.

Question 10,

When do you use the .433 * lift versus height/2.33?

Hi @molls808,

I believe there is a typo in the math here. You stated 14,400 * 8.5= 1,224.00 >>> This should say \$122,400.

You are correct when you say 14,400 * 8.5 = 122,400 BUT we need it to be in dollars so we move the decimal point two places to the left to get \$1,224.

However, why wouldn’t you just multiply 8.5 cents/Kwh * 1200 KWH (monthly) = \$10,200/ month.

You can multiply 8.5 * 1200 and yes, you would get 10,200 but again that is cents, not dollars. Move the decimal place to get \$102.

When do you use the .433 * lift versus height/2.33?

It’s the same thing – taking the height times .433 is the same as dividing by 2.31. You don’t have to memorize this number because if you take a look at the references NCARB provides on the exam, they give you 1 psi = 2.31 feet of water.

Study tip: Do enough problems of each type over several days so that you can develop a feel for the answers, this will help you visualize the problem which helps with units and computations.

Q21. no matter how many times I do it, 3000 x 10 divided by 1000 equals 30, and 30 x 0.80 equals \$24, not \$2.40. And the same is true for the \$6 lamp. I get \$180 when I multiply it out as written, but shouldn’t we divide by 10,000 here instead of 1000? What’s wrong with my math? Also, Lamp B has a 10,000 hour life span, not 1000 hours. The math seems all screwy in your solution.

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You’re right, I’ll get this fixed. Thank you for pointing it out so we can improve these!

Q.57 might want to state how wide the floor object is because the range could be 48".

Q.10 we might want accept 20.4 psi because you can’t round up 19.48 to 19.5 psi?

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Q.59: Wouldn’t hollow core slabs be precast and require trucks and cranes to set them up? Meaning we would have more site disturbance?

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Hi @dennisp1992 and welcome to the ARE Community! Our expert architect will be able to help clarify! @beckypalmquist_sme do you mind helping Dennis

Hi dennisp1992, that’s a great question! The hollow-core slabs go up quickly and efficiently compared to other structural systems which is how it minimizes site disturbance. Did you spend some time studying the charts in the reference listed, The Architect’s Studio Companion? I highly recommend it. Lots of candidates find these charts extremely helpful for studying for this type of question. If you notice in the charts in this book, all of the precast concrete systems are shown to minimize site disturbance.

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Hey there @dennisp1992, thanks for the questions. For Q.57, I’m looking at ADA 2010 figure 308.3.2 and the 48" range would only be if the casework is 10" deep or less. There are two clues in the question that help you know that this casework is not 10" deep or less. First clue is scaling the drawing. I know in practice we are often told to not scale drawings if they aren’t dimensioned but in the absence of more information such as you might encounter on the exam, you can go ahead and do it. The second clue is that this is described as an office employee break room which makes me picture base cabinets and the person in the graphic is reaching for an electrical outlet or switch. I hope that helps! ~ Becky

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For Q.10, yes, good thought! I’ll see that it gets updated. Thanks!

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I’ve got a few nerdy qualms with Question 68.

Per IBC Chapter 2, gross floor area is the floor area within the inside perimeter of the exterior walls. It would seem more appropriate to give the floor plate size rather than the footprint of the building.

If we’re to reference the 2018 IBC, I believe the occupant load is one person per gross 150 sf.

If this is the case, the answer would change to the minimum required clear exit width of 32"

I think there is some unclear wording in the question regarding door width (vs. clear opening width). In some cases with standard door construction and hardware, a 36" door is the narrowest door that can be used while still providing the minimum clear opening width of 32" (1010.1.1, 2018 IBC Code Commentary).

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Hi @Smith.Marks that’s a great question. @beckypalmquist_sme do you mind helping with this question?

Hi @Smith.Marks thanks for your comment. You are correct that the occupant load has changed to 150 in 2018 IBC. We should update the question to reflect that so thank you for pointing that out.

As for using the area inside the walls, I see what you are saying and I agree, but since we don’t have that information I wouldn’t try to bring that into the question and I would just use what you have been given.

For your last comment, the question is asking for exit width per floor, not per exit, so I would answer with exactly what it asks for which is the result of the calculation of taking the occupant load times the factor of 0.2. I agree this question is a little ambiguous and could be clearer. I’d like to get another opinion on this. Let’s see if @coachchrishopstock can weigh in on this for us.

Hi @Smith.Marks thanks for the question, and thanks @beckypalmquist_sme for chatting with me about it!
I agree 100% that IBC 1010.1.1 needs to be taken into account when fully designing the egress system of this hypothetical building, but for the purpose of answering this question, I’d say the answer is correct as stands. The question is simply asking the total width required, and is not providing any information on how many doors are going to be on each floor. In general, if you find yourself making broad assumptions on a question on the ARE (in this case, assuming 2, 3, or 4 doors when the information isn’t provided) I’d take a step back and re-read the question, and try to answer just what the question is asking. It’s hard to do, because we as architects are used to continually taking the design to the next step, but it’s important to remember for the purposes of the ARE.
It sounds like you have a great grasp of the concepts being tested by this question, good job and good luck on your next exam!

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