ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam Prep

Jen Park

9h 38m

In this ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam Prep course you will learn about the topics covered in the ARE 5.0 PA exam division. A complete and comprehensive curriculum, this course will touch on each of the NCARB objectives for the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam.

Registered architect Jen Park will discuss assessing project needs, limitations, and opportunities through a series of lecture videos, as well as 2D and 3D models. Throughout this course, you will learn how to exhibit proficiency in evaluating project categories, defining project requirements both qualitatively and quantitatively, examining the project's site and surroundings, and appraising economic considerations. These lecture videos will be interspersed with a series of scenario videos featuring OTJ Architects and their new mixed-use project in Chicago as it relates to programming and analysis.

When you are done with this course, you will have a thorough understanding of the content covered in the ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis Exam.

Introduction (16m 58s)

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After failing, actually though, I think it was really good for me to kind of learn that just, you know, put in equal effort into all the study materials, put in equal time, you know, give it your all. The moment that I passed all my exams obviously was just a huge sigh of relief. In the moment, I just felt like it was such an accomplishment.

We'll cover how to perform building code analysis, review legal documents related to the site to determine project constraints, and how to determine environmental, zoning, and other regulations on site. Topics from Section 2 make up about 20% of the exam. Section 3 of the exam focuses on evaluating a site and presenting your analysis.

The Bronzeville Gateway Project concept was derived directly from historic cultural figures from the neighborhood, specific to the building form and the way the building was articulated. There was a inspirational term "chromatic," which refers to a style of jazz that pioneered in the neighborhood, and that concept informed a number of different solutions to how the building was articulated, including sustainable solutions, like overhangs on certain portions of the building, setbacks that created community space throughout the vertical height of the building. The Gateway Project's concept connected directly to some of the vision that the client had shared in the RFP process.

Objective 1.1: Evaluate site-specific environmental and socio-cultural opportunities (32m 55s)

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Objective 1.1, which makes up about 3% of the exam, covers analyzing a project site for environmental, social, and cultural conditions. You'll learn to identify opportunities for alternative energy resources as well as gain an understanding of microclimates and natural elements through the use of tools such as the sun path diagram. A classic question for this objective might provide you with a site's zoning information and ask you to drag and place the elements into their appropriate location in order to comply with the zoning ordinance.

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As a first step in the design process, you'll use your site analysis documentation to design a building that fits within the site's context, responds to the natural features present, and is in harmony with the site's environmental realities. By integrating constraints and identifying opportunities at the beginning, architects can design efficiently and effectively.

Understanding microclimates, solar heat gain, and daylighting is essential for architects. While climate is relatively constant, microclimates can be influenced by design decisions. In some climates, you may want to harness solar heat gain, while in others, you'll need to mitigate it.

Understanding how to read sun path diagrams is fundamental for architects and designers, as they come in various types, including the horizon line, solar path lines, and solar azimuth and altitude. Through sun path analysis, we unlock greater energy efficiency, minimizing our reliance on artificial lighting and paving the way for renewable energy solutions. With shadow calculations, we gain precision in design adjustments.

Prevailing wind analysis also assists in structural design of tall buildings, as the wind rose helps determine the leeward and wayward wind directions to be used in the design of lateral bracing. Wind roses are also vital in the renewable energy sector. They assist in the placement of wind turbines and the design of wind farms for maximum energy capture.

Access to Lake Shore Drive is quite easy, which is the main thoroughfare, both north and south, out of the site. The main boulevard running east-west is a far cry from the expressway, but it's a straight shot west. As we understand from conversations with the client and the neighborhood, parking in the adjacent area of the neighborhood is quite limited, especially during the weekends.

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Objective 1.2: Evaluate site-specific environmental constraints (19m 10s)

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These constraints encompass factors like air quality, hazardous materials, site classifications, policies, regulations, and noise. Your responsibility includes encouraging property owners to involve third party consultants for hazardous materials, adapting to the unique regulations of site classifications, staying updated on evolving policies, and implementing strategies to mitigate noise pollution and create comfortable spaces.

Common adverse site conditions include floodplains, adverse topography, protected sites, existing buildings, and unstable soil. Innovative drainage systems, customized foundations, and adaptive design are employed to address these issues. Adverse topography, especially on steep sites, requires careful placement and drainage considerations.

The Bronzeville Gateway is really looking to add some density to this corner, and so working with our client to understand the size and shape of the building that would meet with their financial goals, as well as those sort of physical and visual goals of the project. We worked pretty significantly to make sure that this fit in with the neighborhood concept, but also was a size and shape that would follow that proforma. Overall, the site conditions begin to dictate the size and shape of the building.

Objective 1.3: Optimize use of on-site resources by incorporating sustainability principles (15m 41s)

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The existing topography of a potential site can be both a positive and a negative when it comes to sustainable design of a specific project. With any property, it is important to have a topographical survey completed before beginning the layout of the site. The information will help you make informed decisions about the layout of the site and provide environmentally sensitive design.

Early on in the project, we bring up questions with the client about sustainability in terms of their initial thoughts, long-term goals, and how they might interface and dovetail with their business. A lot of organizations today have environmental, social, and governance goals in place, but they don't know exactly how to execute that when it comes to design. And so, we try to serve as the translators of that and be good stewards of their investments in the design work that we are partnering with them on.

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Objective 2.1: Identify relevant code requirements for building and site (39m 16s)

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You'll learn how to identify relevant code requirements for building and site types, zoning and land use requirements, and local and site-specific requirements. We'll cover how to perform building code analysis, review legal documents related to the site to determine project constraints, and how to determine environmental, zoning, and other regulations on site. Topics from Section 2 make up about 20% of the exam and are fairly evenly distributed between three objectives.

Different construction types outlined in the International Building Code, or IBC, impact allowable building areas, focusing on fire resistance requirements and potential classifications as unlimited area buildings for Type I and Type II structures. Understanding these distinctions is fundamental in making informed decisions during the architectural design process and ensuring that your project complies with the relevant building codes. So, we oftentimes perform a code analysis at the onset of a project, and that's done by our project architect who's really in charge of the project.

Just like building area, maximum height and the number of stories are determined by factors such as occupancy, construction type, and the presence of sprinkler systems. When it comes to building height, architects must consider several factors. For instance, any building exceeding 75 feet above grade is classified as a high-rise building.

Accessible Type A and Type B Dwelling Units represent different levels of accessibility. Accessible units are designed to be the most accessible of all facilities. These can also be referred to as Universal Design.

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Various compliance methods can be used, including the prescriptive and tabular methods for straightforward compliance and energy modeling for detailed assessments, to demonstrate compliance with energy codes, with energy modeling being essential for achieving high-energy efficiency standards. Incorporating these approaches ensures you can contribute to energy-efficient and environmentally friendly buildings, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

At any stage in the project, even at the beginning, we're always doing a series of QA checks to understand where we fall within our code compliance, and this is the same whether it's accessibility, building code, energy code, we wanna make sure that we're tracking continuously so that when we get to the end, we're not having to go back and redo it. Like any office, our office has a QA/QC team of which I'm a part of, and we'll do a comprehensive review of the drawings at every stage. Our code analysis review really is, well, the earlier the stage, the sort of wider that view is, and as we get further along into documentation, we take a narrower and narrower purview.

Objective 2.2: Identify relevant zoning and land use requirements (24m 31s)

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Floor area ratio, or FAR, is the relationship between the total amount of usable floor area that a building has and the total area of the lot in which the building stands. The FAR is a primary tool for controlling density. It is often expressed as a factor, such as 4.0, which is multiplied by the site area to determine the maximum allowable buildable area.

The nuances of zoning ordinances, including non-conforming use variances, overlay districts, incentive zoning, and building alteration based on zoning provide architects with the flexibility to design creatively when dealing with buildings that deviate from strict zoning regulations. Proficiency in overlay districts and incentive zoning equips you to address unique requirements, advance sustainability, and incorporate innovative design elements. In-depth knowledge of zoning ordinances helps to ensure compliance, navigate changing regulations, evaluate project feasibility, manage budgets effectively, and seamlessly integrate your designs into the existing urban fabric.

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Understanding legal descriptions, easements, eminent domain, and water body-related property rights is crucial for architects. Legal descriptions, including metes and bounds, lot and block, and the rectangular survey system, provide precise property boundaries and dimensions. Easements grant usage rights and must be considered in project planning.

The shape of the proposed project is significantly larger, and so going through a step like a planned development will allow us to essentially develop and define the new zoning for that site with the Department of Planning and Design. The request for planned development is twofold. One, the project that's being proposed needs to meet a certain level of criteria, whether that's a total gross area or a density of apartments, or a few other items.

Objective 2.3: Identify relevant local and site-specific requirements (20m 21s)

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Aside from gathering input from the local community, architects have to comply with specialty regulations above and beyond zoning ordinances and building codes, if they apply to the project site. We have a project that is a museum that will be located in a historic building along Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Because it's located in a historically landmarked building, it does have certain requirements that that particular landmark commission would like us to follow.

For the Bronzeville Gateway Project, we were even more sensitive because of some of the development that's happened throughout the City of Chicago where engagement with the local community was not undertaken. So even though there are a lot of processes in place, we try to extend beyond that to make sure that what we're investing our time in for our client will yield the best results. At the outset of this project, we understood that there was a number of community groups that had created spaces for conversation and input for anything that might be coming online with respect to new buildings, new businesses, et cetera.

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Objective 3.1: Evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative attributes of a site (41m 57s)

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You'll also learn how to assess the socio-cultural context of a proposed site and analyze existing site conditions to determine the impact on facility layout. A classic question in this objective might provide you with a geotechnical report and ask you to determine which foundation type the architect should select for that particular project. In Objective 3.3, which makes up about 6% of the exam.

Having a thorough understanding of the requirements of a program is essential to selecting the most appropriate site for the project. Elements to consider include climate, topography, drainage, soil, built and natural features, utilities, access points, traffic patterns, and easements. These considerations are all important to the successful selection of a site.

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Site utilities include various services and systems that are necessary for the proper functioning of a building, such as electrical and gas connections, wastewater management, water supply, and stormwater management. During early phases of the design process, architects need to investigate what types of services are available at the site, where they're located, and if their capacities are sufficient for the project. These pieces of information can influence design decisions, such as where to locate the building or where to locate certain mechanical or electrical rooms in the project.

The development of that site plan will really ramp up in later stages in the project, but it needs to be there as part of schematic design. The site plan is relatively set as far as property lines, sidewalks, and streets, but the building can flex here and there based on the design of the project. The site plan really is prepared by everyone.

Architects conduct thorough evaluations of bike lanes and transit stops, assessing their current alignment with site requirements, understanding their functionality and connectivity aids in identifying potential improvements for integration within the architectural layout. Adapting facility layouts is key to accommodating and enhancing bike and transit integration. This involves optimizing space and access to facilitate smooth interactions between these modes of transportation and the architectural design.

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Objective 3.2: Synthesize site reports with other documentation and analysis (0s)

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All comprehensive plans should include information on land use, transportation, community facilities, utilities, parks, open space, housing, economic development, critical and sensitive areas, natural hazards, and agricultural lands. Any additional topics are optional and can include urban design, public safety, and cultural resources. In addition to the required information, every comprehensive plan should begin with an "issues and opportunities" section to identify the values and needs of the community.

Understanding different planning tools such as urban design plans, regional plans and neighborhood plans, each tailored to specific scales and aspects of planning within the comprehensive planning scope, enable architects to design the appropriate plan for the project. Community engagement plays a role in neighborhood planning due to its direct impact on a smaller population. Community involvement is vital to ensure the plan reflects the diverse needs and is easily understandable for residents.

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They encompass various types such as environmental, fiscal, and traffic impact studies, focusing on different aspects from environmental effects to financial implications and traffic patterns. These studies empower architects to make informed decisions, balancing project requirements with minimizing negative impacts. Additionally, they aid in site selection by comparing multiple locations, ensuring alignment with community needs and regulations.

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The Atterberg Limits, liquid limit, plastic limit, and plasticity index, determine the behavior of fine-grained soils, transitioning between liquid, plastic, semi-solid, and solid states based on moisture content. The Consistency Index, or CI, helps gauge a soil's firmness and shear strength. Understanding these parameters assists geotechnical engineers in evaluating soil stability and proposing appropriate construction measures.

After providing recommendations, the geotechnical report will include any maps and images relevant to the report including a site plan with all soil boring locations marked. If relevant and appropriate, typical site details may be included. After the images, a series of appendices will close out the report.

To get the best use out of the geotechnical report, ideally, the geotechnical engineer has some understanding of what the project overall intent will be so that they can base their equipment and their soil borings appropriately. They'll work typically to provide this report to the client, which we'll share with the architect and structural engineer, and anybody else necessary. And ultimately, this report is used to generate some of that structural design.

Some of the most important aspects that you might read from a site survey would be your property lines as well as the grade elevations of the site. For one of our projects, when we assessed the site survey, it told us that the elevations or the grade elevations of the site were significantly different from the front to the house to the back of the house. This also was relative to the neighboring context and elevations to the side of the house, right side of the house, left side of the house.

Objective 3.3: Analyze graphical representations regarding site analysis and site programming (21m 23s)

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On a site plan, you will see the proposed topography for a site, site access, setbacks, the location of the building, roads and walkways, parking, landscaping, and utilities. Site plans also include dimensions from the building to the property lines, and widths of roads, walkways, and parking. When drawing a site plan, always begin with the provided site survey.

Site two, similarly, we understood we had to get traffic away from the intersection and so we had the automobile entry a little bit more dedicated and located next to the residential entry point for pedestrians and then capitalized on an alleyway for all the service access for the second site. Diagramming is an integral part to our process. A lot of times we will hand sketch ideas trying to better understand the way that the sites would work, so we will run scenarios with various potential building users and try to understand where they would come from as a pedestrian, as someone who's driving to the site, how does the service end up being set up in such a way that the buildings are highly functional, first and foremost?

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Objective 4.1: Evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative attributes of a new or existing building as they relate to a program (29m 26s)

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In Objective 4.2, which also makes up about 5% of the exam, we'll dive into evaluating documentation, reports, assessments, and analysis in order to inform a building program. This will focus primarily on the effects of specific findings on existing conditions as well as the engineering properties of building foundations. A classic question for this objective might provide you with a master plan for an area and ask you to choose in which neighborhood local design guidelines would be the most appropriate to introduce.

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There are four primary treatment options: preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, and reconstruction, each with distinct approaches and guidelines for handling historic structures. Incentives such as tax credits, façade easements, grants, and loans promote investment in historical preservation, offering financial backing for the conservation of historic properties and related activities. By honoring our past, architects shape a future where heritage and innovation coalesce, nurturing thriving communities built on the foundations of identity and progress.

Recognizing the significant factors affecting human comfort extends beyond physical dimensions to encompass environmental elements, such as thermal balance, mean radiant temperature, air quality, air motion, and personal and psychological considerations. Implementing effective strategies such as source control, ventilation, and filtration, to manage indoor air quality, or IAQ, stands as a vital approach within architectural design, along with considerations for reducing glare to enhance visual comfort in built environments. By integrating these insights and strategies, architects can curate immersive environments that prioritize human wellbeing, comfort, and sustainability for the generations to come.

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Objective 4.2: Evaluate documentation, reports, assessments, and analyses to inform a building program (39m 42s)

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Foundation walls bear on concrete wall footings, sometimes referred to as strip footings. These are a continuous strip of concrete supporting the foundation wall above. Footings are wider and thicker than the wall above, so that they can transfer the load onto a larger area of soil.

Horizontal steel members called wales span across the sheet piles or soldier piles and lagging to receive the cross-bracing. Rakers extend at an angle from the floor of the excavation to the sheet piles or soldier piles and lagging. They bear on a concrete heel at the foot of the raker and rest on a wale spanning across the sheet piles or soldier piles and lagging.

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Similarly, if a new building's construction site is adjacent to an existing building and the new foundation's risk undermining the adjacent foundation, underpinning of the existing building's foundation is required. This is especially relevant when the new foundation is deeper than the existing neighbor's foundation. It's important to note that underpinning is typically designed by geotechnical and structural engineers.

Understanding of the friction piles is a little bit difficult at this point, but belled caissons typically go down around 80 feet. That seems to be relatively standard in Chicago. Depending on the size of the columns above, the size of the caissons will probably be twice that total width.

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Objective 4.3: Identify and prioritize components of a building program (0s)

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Type IV, Low Heat Portland Cement, is suitable for massive concrete structure. Type IV cement produces less heat than other cement types. Type V, Sulfate-Resisting Portland Cement, is suitable for construction jobs where severe sulfate action is expected.

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Wood, stone, and glass play pivotal roles in construction. Wood, encompassing softwoods and hardwoods, requires understanding of grain direction and cutting methods. Stone, categorized by geologic qualities, is known for its strength, hardness, and durability.

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Different measurement tools categorize areas like gross building area, net assignable area, unassigned area, usable area, and rentable area each playing a specific role in determining a building's composition and functionality. Efficiency factors are used to determine the ratio between different spaces in a building. Diverse methods such as overall building efficiency, interior layout efficiency, base building efficiency, and loss factors are used during the programming phase to optimize space utilization, estimate costs, and calculate gross building area based on specific project requirements.

We've delved into the programming process in architecture, where every step involves exploring the client's goals, spatial needs, and finding the right balance between function, form, economy, and time. In the programming phase, it's all about asking the right questions, collecting essential information, and establishing a framework for the subsequent design. As we transition from establishing goals to stating the problem, remember that programming is about seeking problems, and design is about solving them.

Questionnaires are tools architects use to gather information from their client and end users during the programming phase. Questionnaires can take a number of forms, but here are some guidelines to follow when preparing them. When thinking about what questions to ask, step back and determine what information is needed, who most likely has that information, and what is the best way to ask the question.

And the reason we studied that was we knew that combining the uses on the site, which combined food and beverage, retail, parking, private office use and private residences, we'd incur more vertical transportation requirements, not only to separate those users for safety reasons, but also incurred a lot more service conditions to each of those. So when we studied that upfront, if we were able to place all the residential on a site and all the office on the site, each of those vertical conditions could have been more efficient. As we had those questions answered and they wanted to have each sets of program equally distributed, we incurred those infrastructural planning components on each and made it work.

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Objective 4.4: Assess spatial and functional relationships for a building program (28m 48s)

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There are two general types of elevators; traction elevators and hydraulic elevators. When taking the ARE, you may be asked to select the most appropriate elevator for the given parameters. Generally, traction elevators are appropriate for all building types from low-rise to high-rise.

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Since this will most likely be a new concept for the end users involved, it is up to the programming team to explain the scale of the pieces, what symbols mean, and the meaning of any color coding used. Begin the process by stating the objective of the activity. For example, "Our objective is to develop a viable layout for the offices of the accounting department." Follow it up by explaining any planning schemes that have already been developed and encouraging the users to play with them.

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During schematic programming, the information contained in a room data sheet is primarily about its use and the type of space. During the development programming phase, however, room data sheets are detailed specifications for each room in a project. They will include a floor plan with key equipment and furniture labeled, plus list desired interior finishes, and engineering and mechanical requirements.

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Objective 4.5: Recommend a preliminary project budget and schedule (16m 40s)

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The architect also needs to keep the construction budget in mind throughout the project by preparing estimates of the cost of work at the end of each design phase. Creating a clear project schedule in line with the work plan and cost estimates, is crucial for efficient resource use, timely task completion, and staying within budget constraints. This will ensure overall project success.

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Life cycle cost analysis offers a comprehensive overview of project costs over its life cycle, and is a simplified way of comparing the cost of alternatives. The payback method provides a straightforward measure by determining the time required for the initial investment to be recovered. Discounted cash flow analysis considers the time value of money, which aids architects in prioritizing project scenarios by calculating present values of future payments.

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Objective 4.6: Identify alternatives for building and structural systems for given programmatic requirements, preliminary budget, and schedule (1h 31m 17s)

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Latent heat flow, on the other hand, occurs primarily by flowing through the envelope assembly by way of air gaps, allowing water vapor to migrate between the exterior and interior. If that vapor condenses at some point in the journey, condensation can occur in an enclosed space, creating a water intrusion issue. This is why air sealing of the envelope is important.

The increased thickness of the wood members means that heavy timber construction has a greater fire-resistance rating than light wood frame construction because larger pieces of wood inherently take longer to burn and lose structural capacity. The placement of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems also requires more thought as there are no hollow cavities with this type of construction. Heavy timber construction is partially fabricated off site.

When soil conditions are unstable and the goal is to minimize stress on the building, avoid structural systems with rigid connections such as those found in welded steel framing systems, masonry systems and site-cast systems. Consider instead a structural system with relatively flexible connections. This includes any wood framing system, steel framing with sheer connections, and precast concrete systems.

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We'll discuss water supply, piping materials, water heaters, drainage systems, and electrical services for small and large buildings. Understanding these basics is vital for creating safe and functional living and working spaces. It will help you grasp the essentials for maintaining a building's infrastructure effectively.

There are three primary central systems to deliver heating and cooling to the spaces in a building: all-air systems, air and water systems, and all-water systems. All-air systems, as the name implies, only supply heated or cooled air to a space. The air is heated or cooled in the central unit, and ductwork carries it to the spaces calling for heat or air conditioning.

Central all-water systems include fan-coil terminals, closed-loop heat pumps, hydronic convectors, and hydronic radiant heat and cooling. Fan-coil terminals, also known as fan-coil units, use a boiler and chilled water plant to pipe hot and cold water to fan-coil terminals. A fan inside the terminal units mixes fresh outdoor air with air from the space and passes it over the coils to heat or cool the air before releasing it into the space.

These could be packaged evaporative coolers, packaged heating and cooling units, electric fan-forced heaters, electric radiant heat, wall furnace, and direct-vent space heaters. To minimize maintenance, choose a system with few moving parts. Consider forced air, hydronic heat, electric convectors, and electric radiant heat.

Considering the different uses at Bronzeville Gateway, we actually have a separate elevator bank for each, not for retail or ground level, but we'd have a separate elevator bank for parking, a separate elevator bank for office, and a separate elevator bank for residential. This is mainly done for security concerns to make sure that people aren't going to the wrong location.

Objective 4.7: Analyze graphical representations regarding building analysis and building programming (10m 54s)

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Schematic design drawings should include information on the full scope of work of the project, including work completed by consultants. Just like the architectural drawings, the drawings provided by your consultants should be at a broader scale than DD or CD level drawings. It's important that the consultant's drawings and your drawings are at a similar level of detail and are coordinated throughout the project.

As we move forward, all consultants we will be engaging with on a week to week basis, coordinating their area of expertise, and at the end of the schematic design process, a cartoon like these will turn into a drawing set, more resembling something that captures the entire building scope. The schematic design deliverable does not need to have an extensive amount of detail, but it does need to capture all of the scope and the intent that which we will be developing over the course of the next two design phases.

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Recap (2m 57s)

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At this point, you should have a thorough understanding of programming and analysis, including evaluating environmental and contextual conditions on a site, identifying relevant code and zoning requirements, and analyzing a site and buildings relevant to the program and project requirements. With this knowledge under your belt, we're confident that you'll pass the Programming and Analysis division of the ARE.

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