Ballast Practice Exam Question Explanation

Site Zoning Vignette and Multiple Choice

Ballast Practice Exam Question Explanation

Postby drfmpower » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:26 pm

Question #4 reads:

The floor area ratio for a suburban property is 2.0. The lot is 50 ft wide (parallel to the street) by 100 ft deep (perpendicular to the street). The required front setback is 10 ft, and the back and side setbacks are 5 ft. Which of the following building configurations may be constructed?

A. a two-story building that is 50 ft wide by 100 ft deep
B. a three-story building that is 40 ft wide by 80 feet deep
C. a three-story building that is 40 ft wide by 85 ft deep
D. a four-story building that is 40 ft wide by 65 ft deep

I did the math and picked answer C.

100'x50' = 5,000 sf (site), 5,000 sf x 2.0 (FAR) = 10,000 (bldg. sf), 10,000 sf / 3,400 = 2.9 stories = 3 stories

I rounded the 2.9 stories to 3 stories. Should you not round? I am a bit confused.

Why is it B?
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Re: Ballast Practice Exam Question Explanation

Postby thd7t » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:08 pm

drfmpower wrote:Question #4 reads:

The floor area ratio for a suburban property is 2.0. The lot is 50 ft wide (parallel to the street) by 100 ft deep (perpendicular to the street). The required front setback is 10 ft, and the back and side setbacks are 5 ft. Which of the following building configurations may be constructed?

A. a two-story building that is 50 ft wide by 100 ft deep
B. a three-story building that is 40 ft wide by 80 feet deep
C. a three-story building that is 40 ft wide by 85 ft deep
D. a four-story building that is 40 ft wide by 65 ft deep

I did the math and picked answer C.

100'x50' = 5,000 sf (site), 5,000 sf x 2.0 (FAR) = 10,000 (bldg. sf), 10,000 sf / 3,400 = 2.9 stories = 3 stories

I rounded the 2.9 stories to 3 stories. Should you not round? I am a bit confused.

Why is it B?

It's a poorly worded question, but the answer doesn't allow partial floors, so answer C would be too large. Annoying, but not unrealistic for this exam.
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Re: Ballast Practice Exam Question Explanation

Postby drfmpower » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:26 pm

I get it now. I should have calculated the math for each answer to stay under 10,000sf. Thanks for the response.
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Re: Ballast Practice Exam Question Explanation

Postby hangryarch » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:46 pm

I'm sorry can someone (coach or anyone) explain this further?

Is the answer B because if we stuck with 2.9 rounded up to 3 stories would put you over 10,000 s, making answer C incorrect?


Is there a rule of thumb for rounding up FAR and when to do it?
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Re: Ballast Practice Exam Question Explanation

Postby Coach » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:19 pm

hangryarch wrote:Is the answer B because if we stuck with 2.9 rounded up to 3 stories would put you over 10,000 s, making answer C incorrect?

It's B because that's the only one that doesn't exceed allowable FAR and max footprint while maximizing bldg area.
C is incorrect because it does not allow for a partial floor.


Is there a rule of thumb for rounding up FAR and when to do it?

You have to use logic -- it depends on the scenario and the answer you're looking for. That's the only rule of thumb.
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