hmmm..that was almost easy…

I’m trying really hard to stay humble about this…because I know if I start getting too sure of myself then it will bite me in ass and I’ll fail… but I think I realize why others have said this is the cake-walk exam.

It’s pretty easy.  Not ARCH101 easy of course, but let’s just say it feels like a treat after preparing for Structural Systems.

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This is my second complete and timed attempt at the building layout.  I posted my first attempt over at the forum and got some really helpful feedback.  This time it took me about 1-1/2 hours to do, and I’m comfortable with that.   The forms that I’m coming up with are pretty simple and I’ve heard that square rooms with double loaded corridors are the best way to go.  That being said, I’d like to try some configurations with corridors that turn corners and result in building layouts that are a bit more square.  I think I finally have a handle on the doors and existing, and I learned that you do need a door into and out of  your stair on the first floor, even if it’s adjacent to a lobby space with an exterior door.   I’m still struggling with the concept of near (perhaps I should brush up on some classic Sesame Street) and how best to locate multiple rooms that need to be close, but not adjacent.  According to the feedback I got on the forum, that means they should be at most 10-20% of the corridor distance apart.   In the case of the example above  on the second floor the Small Meeting Room (SM), Large Meeting Room (LM), and Secretary Office (SO) should all be near to one another…in each attempt I can get two, but never all three.  Guess that’s something to work on!

As others have said, the program chart that Dorf first introduced was incredibly useful, and I’ve been using a slightly modified version to help me work through the layouts.  Here it is as a PDF.  The “fill in the blank” items at the bottom are key program components that I found got lost in the table.  They can run, but they can’t hide!

Now that I’ve worked through each of the vignettes a couple of times, I think my biggest weakness is the Interior Layout.  I can get a decent solution, but it’s down to the wire every time.  With a bit of practice I hope to be able to increase my efficiency by a fifteen minutes or so.  On exam day I’d like to make sure I can take a breath and review my solution, not be laying something out as the timer ticks down to zero, as much fun as that way on Site Planning + Design…not.  Tonight I’m breaking out the alternatives and aiming to get through one building layout and at least two interior layouts.

Tomorrow is my grandma’s 94th birthday, so there’s a big family dinner and celebration (as there should be!) so there won’t be much time to dedicate to working.   Here’s hoping tonight will go smoothly so I can enjoy the festivities.   If the past week has been any indication, it should be fine.  I just keep telling myself that solving tricky layouts is waaaay better than calculating the forces in truss members.

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4 thoughts on “hmmm..that was almost easy…

  1. Coop says:

    We are almost on the same schedule for these. Luckily for me you come out with your study guide just as I start to prepare for the next one. Thanks so much! So far, this is the one I failed. This is the one we’ve done out of sync so far. Perhaps I got a trick alt test, I don’t know. Contrary to the popular reports from areforum, the interior was super easy….every room was a freeking ballroom, done in maybe 20min… . Then came the building layout. Complex program, nearly twice as many space requirements as the practice, many more adjacencies…. came down down to the wire and thought it was solved. Boom. Not this time.

    • jennypdx says:

      Thanks for the thoughts on the exam, Coop. Sorry to hear it didn’t go your way on your first attempt! Glad to hear the notes are handy to you, good luck on the rest of your exams!

  2. steph.rinehart@yahoo.com says:

    Hey Jenny, look up Dottie’s method on the ARE Forum for the interior layout. I practiced her method a few times and I was able to finish the interior layout in 30 minutes on test day! And I just found out that I passed. Success. Check it out.

    Also, we went to grad school together. I graduated 2010. I sent you a Facebook request. Anyways, I am studying for Site Planning now. Thanks for sharing the notes!

    • jennypdx says:

      Hi Steph, nice to hear from you!! I practiced with the method you suggested and it helped me shave off a few minutes from my time, so thanks for the tip! Best of luck on Site Planning, it’s not too bad.

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