PPD Practice quiz

Weekly PPD practice quiz

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


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)

The answer is 1 inch.

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)

The answer is 22 risers.

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)

The answer is 12 years.

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)

The answer is B. LU/LA.

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.

carpet pile

How is this type of carpet pile identified?

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

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is B. Cut.

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)

The answer is A. Scissor.

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)

The answer is 20.5 psi.

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

Refer to the diagram of a beam under loading.

moment diagram question

Which shows the corresponding moment diagram?

moment diagram answer choices

Answer: (Click blurred text to reveal)

The answer is C.

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)

The answer is B. 1:12.

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)

The answer is A. Open.

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 answer is C. 7/8".

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)

The answers are:
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)

The answer is $128.40

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)

The answer is D. Transformer.

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)

The answer is 48,400 pounds

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 answer is B.
grading plan Q

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


Access other quiz questions

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

1 Like

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.).

2 Likes

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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

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