Structural Resources for 5.0

Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby vlsalgado » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:47 pm

I've been reading about how there is a lot less Structural material in 5.0. For those that have taken PPD and/or PDD do you think the content in the typical guides AEP, Ballast and Brightwood is sufficient to cover the structural questions or would you still recommend studying additional material such as the Thaddeus lectures? Just wondering if, now that there is no longer a specific Structures exam, is the money and time on the Thaddeus lectures still worth it for 5.0?
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby Zanno » Fri May 05, 2017 12:31 pm

I've read some posts on this forum where it sounded like the tester got hit pretty hard with a lot of structural questions. I've only taken PDD (taking PPD in a few weeks) and I had a handful of structures questions, maybe one that required a calculation (which was a simple one). So, it seems like a gamble as far as how much structures content can show up on either of these 5.0 exams. That being said, I am using Ballast 4.0 to study, as well as other sources like Building Construction Illustrated (what a great book!). My sense is that it isn't necessary to buy additional study material if you've already got something in the Ballast line to work with...free youtube videos are good!
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby jroessner » Mon May 08, 2017 8:01 am

I'm also wondering how much structures to study. I've been studying non stop for 4 weeks and have gone halfway through Thaddeus. I'm just not sure where to go from here.
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby vrcat25 » Mon May 08, 2017 8:10 am

Zanno wrote:I've only taken PDD (taking PPD in a few weeks) and I had a handful of structures questions, maybe one that required a calculation (which was a simple one).


How did you do? I also have the same question. Before i transitioned, I was dead set on buying the Thaddeus lectures, but now i'm wondering if it would be a waste of many if there's only a handful of structures questions and the 5.0 tests are nearly as in depth with SS or BS type questions...I've also heard that "building codes illustrated" is a great source...I also plan on supplementing my studying with some old structures notes along with the ARE sample problems for SS and BS.. HOPEFULLY, this will be enough and I'll have a much better idea once i take the tests in a few weeks for the first time.
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby Zanno » Mon May 08, 2017 10:20 am

How did you do?


Welp, I passed! I really think it will take some time before we have a bigger 'sample pool' of testers to get a better sense of the quantity and range of structural questions that one might encounter on PDD or PPD. I am relying on posts I've read here and on the NCARB 5.0 community forum, so personally I can't add much to this conversation beyond what's already been stated -- focus on the concepts, read up on lateral (wind+seismic) for PPD even though the new Ballast materials put this content under PDD, and don't spend too much time over-studying structures, especially calculations.

My local AIA chapter offers an ARE lecture series, you might check to see what resources your local AIA office has. Hit up your library? Free is good.
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby lingo » Wed May 10, 2017 7:41 pm

Very little Structural problems is correct. But study and know the concepts and principals: seismic, wind, bending, retaining wall design, etc.
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby boohboomagoo » Tue May 16, 2017 9:17 pm

Ive found they're focusing more on how architecture coordinates with structure. studying basic concepts is also important like shape consideration for seismic but these are reviewed quickly and are quite straight forward. Also I wish that I would have studied ALL chapters of Chings code illustrated, because short questions about foundation design and things that I generally don't focus on in the office crept in there, and had I done a page though of Ching's diagrams I would have known the correct answers that follow up pretty basic foundation design requirements. Although the a few loading questions still were asked, generally the math was very simple. It was nothing like school. So. I think this is much has been cleaned up. I found myself caught up more so with math questions about budgeting for materials and finishes- things like;

Will this change order add cost? Stuff I do everyday- But that takes time to read, review and answer- The structural calculation stuff was small in comparison.

Important Concepts- YES

Study why the architecture failed in Kansas City on the "bridge" connection design. Actually I recently saw a youtube video of "major architecture fails" and found it ironic how "crafted" the exam integrated these concepts into questions. Expect these concepts cleverly placed into questions- connection design and details need to be considered. Usually logically thinking though the diagram resolves the problem.

There is other easy concepts to always remember like; when structural puts K bracing in a wall. You shouldn't' propose a window there. or even a door in some cases. Questions focus on testing these concepts in a broader sense so don't expect a true false style write up about this. It's usually in a series of 4 or 5 related questions at the end of the exam where they're testing you on coordination concepts.

I think the best thing to study is offer to help with a Code Sheet at the office, review occupancy and life safety review and be active in these conversations at the office. I do this all the time and found that honestly about 40% of the "this is tough" questions were based around your familiarity with IBC chapters 2 - 7. Some chapter 10 Exiting, but really not as much as previous versions of the exam. I felt like 4.0 was practically a memorization game for IBC chapter 10... which... memorizing these things (although people do it) isn't as good as just knowing where to look and what chapter IBC covers it when you're reviewing work.
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby vrcat25 » Tue May 16, 2017 9:36 pm

boohboomagoo wrote:Ive found they're focusing more on how architecture coordinates with structure. studying basic concepts is also important like shape consideration for seismic but these are reviewed quickly and are quite straight forward. Also I wish that I would have studied ALL chapters of Chings code illustrated, because short questions about foundation design and things that I generally don't focus on in the office crept in there, and had I done a page though of Ching's diagrams I would have known the correct answers that follow up pretty basic foundation design requirements. Although the a few loading questions still were asked, generally the math was very simple. It was nothing like school. So. I think this is much has been cleaned up. I found myself caught up more so with math questions about budgeting for materials and finishes- things like;

Will this change order add cost? Stuff I do everyday- But that takes time to read, review and answer- The structural calculation stuff was small in comparison.

Important Concepts- YES

Study why the architecture failed in Kansas City on the "bridge" connection design. Actually I recently saw a youtube video of "major architecture fails" and found it ironic how "crafted" the exam integrated these concepts into questions. Expect these concepts cleverly placed into questions- connection design and details need to be considered. Usually logically thinking though the diagram resolves the problem.

There is other easy concepts to always remember like; when structural puts K bracing in a wall. You shouldn't' propose a window there. or even a door in some cases. Questions focus on testing these concepts in a broader sense so don't expect a true false style write up about this. It's usually in a series of 4 or 5 related questions at the end of the exam where they're testing you on coordination concepts.

I think the best thing to study is offer to help with a Code Sheet at the office, review occupancy and life safety review and be active in these conversations at the office. I do this all the time and found that honestly about 40% of the "this is tough" questions were based around your familiarity with IBC chapters 2 - 7. Some chapter 10 Exiting, but really not as much as previous versions of the exam. I felt like 4.0 was practically a memorization game for IBC chapter 10... which... memorizing these things (although people do it) isn't as good as just knowing where to look and what chapter IBC covers it when you're reviewing work.


thanks for sharing boohboomagoo...You had mentioned that you wish you had studied Building codes illustrated. How about Building Construction Illustrated. Somebody in another thread had mentioned is was equally if not more important...Ching also has a Structures book "building structures illustrated, but it's impossible to read/study all of these thousand page books so i'm wondering of the 3 which would be the most valuable or at least 2 of 3. I just got done flipping thru Building Structures Illustrated in it seems to be way to general with hardly any formulas. It also seems to have a lot of overlapping information that's in Building Construction Illustrated, so i'll probably not bother studying it in depth.
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Re: Structural Resources for 5.0

Postby vrcat25 » Wed May 17, 2017 11:49 am

BY FAR, the best and most comprehensive set of Structural sources that i've been able to find is "MIKES NOTES" right here in ARECOACH. He also has a link to "marty's notes" which are based on the Thaddeus Seminar. I've looked EVERYWHERE and i can't imagine that there's a better set of study guides for Structural Systems than Mike's notes.
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