I Passed Construction and Evaluation!

My challenges with the Construction & Evaluation Exam.

I got the official score report from NCARB last night, so excited to share that I passed CE this Tuesday! I was really nervous about this exam, since it had been my only fail so far, and I did NOT want to pay that $235 again. My major challenges for this test were:

  • A definite lack of clarity from NCARB’s side on the inclusion of the construction & detail sections of this exam, for examples, details, sections, etc, that they showed in the Handbook practice questions, but not in their reference lists.
  • Struggling to read these contracts all over again. When I feel like I know something already, my brain starts to shut it out, because it feels like I already know this information. But rereading and rewriting the contracts was definitely helpful for me.
  • A lack of practice questions that dealt with those construction sections that I mentioned above, but I’ll be sharing some resources I found in my normal detailed blog post that I do after every passed exam.
  • Figuring out what was or was not important in terms of contracts. Do I need to memorize all the contract times and time limits, or is that going too deep? I know there’s no such thing as over-studying for this exam, but I felt like sometimes I was focusing on the wrong things. At some point my study group found a video on deciphering welding symbols, and we were like, you never know, this might come up!
  • Worrying about any distractions and the effect it will have on my exam result. I decided to pursue my LEED Green Associate credential (which I got) as an additional certification that I can use for work. I’m already a Green Star accredited professional in Namibia and South Africa, but I felt like I needed the certification in the U.S. as well. But I was really worried that the two weeks I took off to study for the LEED Green Associate exams would make or break me for CE.
  • Do I need more experience in residential construction? A lot of the projects that I’ve worked on have been institutional, educational, healthcare, and I’ve never worked on a building that used wood structure before. I was worried that the lack of experience in this specific area would hurt me in the exam, but my study group made sure to look at examples of actual construction sets, so i was at least familiar with how things would actually look, and of course, there are the textbooks that cover those things as well.
  • What will my timeline be like if I fail? I’m currently trying to take and pass all of my exams before NCARB transitions into the new testing provider PSI. If I failed CE, would I have to further delay taking my PPD and PDD? Luckily it didn’t come to that, but it was a genuine worry that I had.
  • Do you know this famous quote from Muhammad Ali?

This is me right now. I hate studying so much! I feel like I watched summer pass me by through the window by my desk. This test takes so much out of you in terms of time and mental load, and it bothers me that I feel like I can’t be fully present for my family and friends. But I think that the end result is definitely worth it.

Overall, I would say that I’m super happy and relieved that I have this exam under my belt, and ecstatic that I am halfway through this process. I am trying to make sure that this time I intentionally celebrate my win, and properly rest before I dive into PA. Stay tuned for my detailed blog post, and I wish you guys all the best in your ARE journey’s as well. If you have any specific questions about CE, make sure to ask me in the comments, and I may be able to address them in my upcoming blog post.

Study With Us: 2 Hour Study Session on Sept. 8th

RMSM Studio and @arch_exam_study will be hosting a Live ARE 5.0 Study Session on Wednesday, September 8th.

Thank you to everyone who joined our live ARE 5.0 Study Session on the 1st of September 2020 with RMSM Studio and @arch_exam_study! We really appreciate everyone who tuned in to this brand new experience, and we wanted to host another #studywithme session as soon as possible, to help bring a community and social atmosphere to those studying for the ARE exams while social distancing. Our past session was hosted on Instagram Live, but we felt limited by the one hour time limit, so the next virtual study session will be held via Zoom!

View this post on Instagram

Live #studywithme session with @arch_exam_study

A post shared by RMSM Studio (@rmsmstudio) on

The Event

Together with @arch_exam_study, we will be hosting a Live ARE 5.0 Study Session on Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 at 6:00 pm EST. The session will take place over 2 hours, and will be hosted via Zoom, so make sure to register in advance to get a notification when the event starts.

The Format

A quick intro, then silent study for two hours using the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes study, 5 minutes break). I can answer any comments or questions about study techniques or materials during the 5-minute breaks. I will be studying for the CE exam, but you can feel free to join in and study for any exam you choose.

What is a #Studywithme Session?

A #studywithme session is a video, either live or prerecorded of someone studying for an exam. The videos show people engaged in focused styuding activities, which can encourage you to stay focused as well, and helps replicate a coffee shop or library environment, where you can be both social and productive.

For an example of one of the previous #studywithme sessions, you can check out my 2-hour Late Night Pomodoro Study Session, or the 1-hour Instagram Live session with @arch_exam_study on September 1st.

If you have additional questions, feel free to message me on the RMSM Studio Facebook page, on my Instagram at @rmsmstudio, or send me an email at rmsmstudio@gmail.com.

Study With Us: Live Study Session

A live ARE 5.0 virtual study session on Instagram, in collaboration with @arch_exam_study

Collaboration time! If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have seen my recent #studywithme video (see below), which I got inspiration for from following @arch_exam_study.

With over a hundred views on the first day, we thought it would be a good idea to collaborate on a study session together. So we will be hosting an Instagram Live Study Session on September 1st, 2020. If you want to participate in our session, you can join by following me on Instagram at @rmsmstudio. I’ve also created a Facebook event for this live session, if you want to keep it in your Facebook calendar.

Study With Us! Instagram Live ARE 5.0 Study Session

Date: Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Time: 8:30pm EST – 9:30pm EST

Location: RMSM Studio Instagram

Prerequisites: None! Just bring yourself and your current study materials and join in the session! Make sure to check out my study guides for PcM and PjM for material recommendations.

The format will be a quick intro, then silent study for an hour using the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes study, 5 minutes break). You can even follow along with your own Pomodoro timer if you want. I can answer any comments or questions during the 5-minute break. I will be studying for the CE exam, but you can feel free to join in and study for your current exam.

For an example of one of the previous #studywithme sessions, you can check out my 2-hour Late Night Pomodoro Study Session here.

If you have additional questions, feel free to message me on the Facebook event page, on my Instagram at @rmsmstudio, or send me an email at rmsmstudio@gmail.com.

PjM Pass ARE 5.0 – Study Materials and Methods

Learn what study materials and methods I used to pass ARE 5.0 PjM exam from NCARB on my first try.

If want a condensed form of this very detailed post, you can pre-order my one page ARE 5.0 PjM Study Guide for free here. The study guide will be released on Sunday, August 30th, 2020.


I’m very excited to share that I passed my PjM exam a few weeks ago. I am releasing it late due to a hectic project, however, I still know exactly what I studied and for how long due to my continued use of Clockify, (which I go more in depth with below).

I worked full time (and then some), met up with my study group to study for this exam once a week, and listened to audio/video lectures while working, and got most of my studying done at night. Separate from my study group, I also had an accountability partner at work through our Iron Buddy program. I aimed to study at least three hours a day except for days when I had site visits, when I studied for one hour or less.

My major motivator in looking for study materials was to continue being very cost effective. I wanted to continue taking advantage of the resources I had used for PcM, while making sure that I didn’t have any knowledge gaps. I’m really trying to make sure I invest the money necessary up front, because no textbook I buy will be as expensive as retaking these exams lol.

I would like to send a big shout out to my study group, who were instrumental in supporting me and keeping me focused. I highly recommend you join one specific to your exam, so you can all learn and grow together.

Books

The Architects Handbook of Professional Practice (AHPP) a critical resource which was very helpful for my PcM pass. The would say that this document is an essential reference for the 3 ARE 5 Practice exams. There are AHPP reading guides provided by Wiley publishing and Pluralsight were very helpful. It goes over the roles and responsibilities very well for project management. This is a very thick book, and to be honest it is required reading, you really shouldn’t skip it. It’s like eating your vegetables. I was able to get a copy of the AHPP for free from my office, so check if your office has a copy.

Price: AHPP – Free for me.

ARE 5 Review Manual (Ballast) Ballast’s Project management section is very detailed and illustrative. I don’t have a specific reading guide to recommend, but you should definitely check out the specific Project management Chapters. Some people use this as a standalone reference for the PjM exam, but I would definitely recommend that you cross train with other materials.

Price: Ballast Review Manual – $190

Contracts 

NCARB covers a lot of contracts for the PjM exam as you can see below.

My method for the contracts was:

  1. Reading through the all actual contracts above at least once
  2. Rewriting the contracts in shorthand as described in Christopher Richardson’s NCARB forum post
  3. The Young Architect Contracts course was an essential reference for me. One of the biggest advantages of the Young Architects course over similar audio such as Schiff Hardin is that it goes through all of the contracts that are listed in the NCARB matrix, not just the B101 and A201. Since so much of this exam is based on the contracts, they don’t actually let you purchase the Young Architects Project Management course without the Contracts course.

Price:

  1. Contracts: free on AIA website
  2. Contract shorthand: free
  3. Study Guide: free
  4. Young Architects Contracts Course individually ($85)

Digital Resources

Quizlet – Full disclosure, I am not a big fan of physical flashcard decks. They’re a hassle to write and organize. I greatly prefer using digital flash cards for easy portability, I can save my spot in learning and test myself all within one app. One functionality that I recently started enjoying, since I joined a study group, is the ability to host live games using Quizlet to compete with other group members.

  1. AIA Contracts Deck – Also very critical for ensuring you KNOW the contract numbers, and you’re not just guessing.
  2. AIA Contracts Diagram Deck – This deck comes with pictures that allow you to define the contract parties relationships.

Price for all decks: Free

NCARB Forum Whenever I have a new exam scheduled, the NCARB Forum is the first place I go to learn how other people have passed the exam. Here are some of the helpful posts that I found for the PjM exam.

PjM Pass by Clarissa Hoskinson

PjM Pass by Klara Tully

PjM Pass – 3rd Try by Kelly Duignan

Price for ARE Forum: Free

Young Architect Project Management Course – this was a crucial resource for me. The great thing about this course is that it breaks everything down by the specific exam objectives. The Young Architect courses are a great value in that they are a one-time payment, after which you always have access to the course instead of a one-time. Out of all the guided programs for this exam, this one had some of the highest reviews and was the most cost-effective.

Price: It must be purchased along with the Contracts course. For both courses together it is $169.

Schiff Hardin Lectures – These are a great resource, especially for people who can’t afford to get the Pluralsight or Young Architect Contract courses to explain the A201 and B101 contracts, which are key contracts for this exam. These audio lectures are great to listen to during work or during long commutes, and they come with PDF slides so you can follow along.

Price for Audio Lectures: Free

Practice Exams

Designer Hacks PjM Exam – My office allows us to purchase one textbook for our professional exams. So I asked them to purchase the full Designer Hacks practice questions for all 6 exams, since they were the same price as one physical textbook. Designer Hacks is super portable, with its mobile version, along with multiple levels from pop quizzes to full length timed exams. You can find my one-minute review for this resource here.

Price: This item was free for me as described above, but for this course alone it is $39.

Ballast Practice Exam – These practice problems were at a level of difficulty on par with the actual exams. This practice exam book includes all 6 ARE divisions, so you’ll only have to buy the book once for all of your exams. They are split up into the different exam sections, and allow you to answer them as one long practice exam, or break it down into the separate exam sections.

Time Tracking Software

Clockify Website – I now use this website for all of my exams, to keep track of the materials I’ve studied and time spent for each resource. I can even check my progress on a daily basis, and see how many hours I study per day. This can be even better if you have specific study goals for each resource. You can use my study material tracker to list your hourly study goals for each.

Price: Free


Resources I Did Not Use

Black Spectacles – Not a lot of positive reviews and extremely expensive. I wish they broke their program into the individual parts as it would be useful to try their demo exam independent of their other offerings.

Pluralsight – since Pluralsight’s PjM course is mostly contracts, I didn’t want to purchase both this and the YA Contracts course.

Brightwood – The reviews for these materials weren’t very positive, and I felt like I have enough textbooks between AHPP and Ballast.

AEP – expensive, and not enough positive reviews to purchase

Amberbooks – I didn’t get Amberbooks for this exam, but I may use it if I don’t pass my upcoming CE exam.

Young Architect Bootcamp – If I am thinking of possibly investing in this for the final 3 technical exams, if I pass Construction Administration.

In Conclusion, I’m super glad I passed this exam on the first try, and I hope you get some good out of my methods or recommended materials. If you have any questions, feel free to message me in the chat. Wanna study along with me? I’ve created a #studywithme video so you can join me for a 2 hour Pomodoro session, and not have to study alone.

Study with me in a 2 hour long Pomodoro study session – 25 minutes studying, 5 minutes rest.

ARE 5.0 PjM Study Guide

Free Pre-order released on August 30, 2020

I’ve created a one-page PDF guide to the Project Management Exam, capturing the main ideas of this very detailed blog post in one place. This one-page document efficient and easy for you to strategize how to approach this exam using my study method. You can pre-order your copy here.

I Passed PJM!

So excited to announce that I passed my project management exam just last week. This is another great step forward in my ARE journey, and thank you for following me this far. I’m still getting over my post-exam jitters. I will be sharing my detailed study list and study methods in a few days, but in the meantime, please sign up for my one page ARE 5.0 PjM Study Guide, which I will be releasing for free on August 30th, 2020.

You can pre-order it now, and it will be delivered to your inbox on the release date. Keep your eyes peeled for my detailed study materials blog post, try out some of my PjM practice questions, and happy studying!

What I Learned From My First ARE Exam Fail

After my recent ARE exam fail, I had a solid pity party for a few hours, then decided it would be more productive to write down what I have learned from my first failure.

Never Assume You Have Time Just Because You’re Moving Quickly

In the first half of the exam I was moving fast and doing good, I completed all of my multiple choice exams, and hit pause before going off to my break. I thought I had plenty of time. Fast forward to the end of the exam, with seconds left and still a few unanswered case study questions which I eventually just had to guess at. Time management is KEY to this exam. Don’t make my mistakes, make sure that getting through the test as a whole is your main priority and never think that you have it under control just because you made it through the multiple choice questions quickly.

Don’t Cram What You Don’t Know

Again, in studying for the exams, it is the same as taking the exams, time management is KEY. In the days before your exams, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of emotions and anxiety, don’t make this worse by trying to cram in a bunch of material you have never even looked at before. It will make you feel worse because:

  1. You’ll feel like you don’t know anything, even if you’re really strong on other topics
  2. You will get frustrated at your inability to retain this brand new information
  3. You’re dealing with exam nerves, and if you do badly on practice tests on the new material, your confidence will be shot

Make sure, well before you’re scheduled to take your exams, you’re making sure that all the topics that are going to be included in the test are a part of your study plan. Be intentional about what you’re reading, not just trying to read as much as possible. This guide on test-taking skills has a lot of helpful tips on getting prepared in advance.

Reinforce Your Weaknesses

While I wouldn’t recommend cramming new material right before an exam, I would recommend checking the information that you know that you are not performing well on. There’s a difference between trying to learn all the details of ADA clearances in one day, and having a look at your previous notes on contract documents. One involves completely learning new concepts, the other is just brushing up on what you already know.

I would say working on your weaknesses is especially important AFTER you’ve failed the exam as well. The study materials that got you a poor result may not give you success the next time around, so make sure that you are making changes to your methods or resources based off of what your previous exam was aksing you. This is part of the reason why the ARE’s are called “the most expensive practice exam you’ll ever take”. Failing is part of the process, and learning from the fails is part of the process too.

One thing I’ve done is to look at multiple posts of people who have passed each specific exam, and tried to change my method based on the different content that they used. You can find passing stories on the ARE Facebook group or in the NCARB ARE 5.0 Community.

Don’t be afraid to write your own questions

In my recent exam failure, I was very frustrated with some of the practice question providers, since I felt like they failed to cover some of the very technical and graphic aspects of that exam. I was also mad at NCARB for failing to properly specify the resources that were needed to pass that exam. However, being mad at external forces won’t bring me any closer to passing the ARE.

So my recommendation is, if you feel like the questions you’re seeing on the exam are not matching the materials you are studying, feel free to write your own questions. There is literally nothing stopping you, as long as you are not copying the questions that you’ve seen in your previous ARE exams. These questions can be at whatever level of difficulty you feel comfortable with, but I have the following tips:

  1. Use the source material. If you’re writing a question on contracts, use the actual contract to write the question based on what you’ve literally read in the contract, not what Ballast, Pluralsight or Hyperfine wrote about it. This is because a lot of study resources summarize instead of writing the actual articles, which may cause you to remember the phrasing or intent clearly later on.
  2. Write why the answers are correct and why they’re wrong. This will force you to explain exactly why you’ve chosen that answer, and helps cement the concept, not just the specific answer.
  3. Share your questions! Not only does this help other people who are studying, but this also allows them to let you know if your answers are wrong and why. If people have further questions. You can share in your personal study group, which you can join through the NCARB ARE Community, in the ARE Facebook group, or with your architecture mentor, and see if they can work through the correct answer based on their professional experience.

Event Wish List Roundup: August 2020

The events I would be going to if I wasn’t busy studying for the ARE 5.0.

If you don’t want to read the whole post and skip to the events, go here.

I’m a big fan of Dave Ramsey, and one of his favorite quotes is,

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

Dave Ramsey

He has his own explanation for what that means, but for myself, it means that to achieve results that no one else is seeing, you have to do what no one else is doing.

Michael Riscica of Young Architect mentioned in his “How to Pass the ARE 5.0” presentation in Washington, D.C. (which he is hosting again virtually, you should check it out) that passing these exams requires sacrifices. One of the biggest challenges for me in terms of making time to study is social engagements and architecture events.

For social engagements, I feel like it’s definitely normal to want to spend time with your family and friends, even virtually, especially in these lonely times with COVID. I also use my time with friends to unwind and vent about my week and be less in my own mind. But I’ve found that even when I go, at the end of the day, I’m wracked with guilt when I think about all the time that I’ve lost from studying for what is supposed to be my main focus.

In terms of architecture events, I have a variety of reasons for why they’ve taken up a huge part of my free time:

  • Networking and connecting with like-minded professional
  • Being able to support other architects in their journey
  • Getting additional experience hours to complete my AXP
  • Learning new skills that will make me more competitive in the marketplace
  • A lot of events are being hosted virtually now, giving me greater access to events, such as building tours and local forums, that I never would have been able to attend in person, pre-COVID
  • I want to remain connected in the industry when so many people are becoming disengaged due to distance and canceled events
  • I want to be supportive of social and racial justice events within the industry
  • I want to learn more about the history of architecture and preservation from regional experts who I would not have had the chance to see in person
  • Since events are virtual, I can easily attend during lunch hours without having to worry about the commute time back and forth

Whew, that list was longer than I thought it would be. Clearly I have a lot of solid reasons. However, as good as many of these reasons are, it still misses the point. Not matter how many events I attend, or forums I’m on, or tours I go to, none of these will make me a fully-fledged, licensed, registered, legal architect. But passing the ARE 5.0 definitely will. Even if I took a 100 construction tours for AXP CE experience, NCARB only accepts 20 hours obtained that way, so the impact would be very limited.

So let’s talk about strategy. My new aim is to not attend any more architecture industry events (unless I’m presenting) until I pass my AREs. My main challenge with this is that my social media feeds are curated to specifically send me information about news and interesting events on a regular basis. So what can I do with this information?

I turn it into an event roundup that the readers of my blog can use, obviously!

So I’ll be trying to create lists of architecture, design, historic preservation, racial justice and equity events I wish I could be attending, but I can’t because I’m studying for my ARE’s. They’re not in chronological order, just listed as I find them. I’ll be updating these lists throughout the month, so make sure to check back for any updates.

Event Wish List Roundup: August 2020

Architecture in Turbulent Times: Equity, Environment, Health, & Economy

Date: August 12, 2020

Time: 12:00 pm -5:00 pm EST

Price: $49

The last few months have catapulted the world into uncharted territory. The simultaneous crises of climate change, COVID-19, a looming economic depression, and systemic racial injustice have exposed structural failings that architecture, and society, must address. It’s a perfect storm that has created an unprecedented call for change. Where do we go from here?

This one-day virtual learning event is centered around change. It’s designed to help you confront these challenges and change your practice and the architecture profession for the better. Twenty sessions dive into the important, intersecting issues of equity, the economy, the environment, and public health. You’ll learn from a diverse range of experts in architecture and beyond—architects, climate champions, civic leaders, leading academics, and more. Don’t miss this event, packed with the brave ideas and honest dialogue that architecture needs now.

Your $49 ticket includes all day-of live programming, access to on-demand sessions for 60 days, and access to recordings of the live sessions for 60 days.

Earns up to 14.5 AIA LUs / RIBA and 6.25 AIA LUs / HSW.

You can find a link to the schedule here, and the link to register is here.

*There is also a scholarship for this event, available to NOMA members. Visit this link for further details.

THE MEMORIAL TO THE ENSLAVED LABORERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Date: August 12, 2020

Time: 4:00pm EST

Price: Free

The design of a new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers (MEL) on the grounds of the University of Virginia marks a critical moment to address the complex history of the University – and of the country. It directly responds to a deep need to address an untold and uncomfortable history – one that is still very much a difficult, though necessary, national conversation on race. The goal of the Memorial is to create a physical place of remembrance and a symbolic acknowledgement of a difficult past and offers a place of learning and a place of healing.

The Memorial was designed as part of a collaboration between Howeler + Yoon Architects, Studio&, Gregg Bleam Landscape Architect, Eto Otitigbe, and had thoughtful input from many more. During this program, Alice Raucher and Mary Hughes (UVA Office of the Architect), Mabel Wilson (Studio&), and J. Meejin Yoon (Höweler + Yoon Architects) will discuss the unique process that made this project possible.

The session will describe the momentum of the project, beginning with student-led initiatives as early as 2010, the ideas competition, final design resolution, and the guiding work of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University (PCSU). Participants will also learn of the robust community engagement process, including descendants of the enslaved and how the shared vision informed each element of the Memorial’s design.

Earn 1 AIA LU | HSW

You can register for the Zoom webinar here.

PROFS & PINTS ONLINE: THE WICKEDNESS OF THE THREE-FIFTHS CLAUSE

Date: August 4, 2020

Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm EST

Price: $12

Profs and Pints Online presents: “The Wickedness of the Three-Fifths Clause,” a deep dive into the troubling hidden history of the 1787 federal Constitution, with Rick Bell, professor of history at the University of Maryland.

The original United States Constitution looked both ways. Its preamble announces its purpose to secure “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” an important acknowledgement that liberty is the goal and right of all citizens. Yet, most constitutional scholars regard the 1787 Constitution as being vigorously pro-slavery, something that becomes apparent when we take a long hard look at its infamous Three-Fifths Clause.

Be on hand as Rick Bell, a history professor who has given thrilling Profs and Pints talks on the Hamilton musical and on Benjamin Franklin, returns to the virtual stage to explore how the Three-Fifths Clause came into being. He’ll look at how the Constitutional delegates did their work, reconstruct all of the contemporary opposition that their work generated, and consider the legacy of clauses like Three-Fifths in our post-slavery world.

Far more insidious than is commonly understood, the Three-Fifths Clause wove slaveholder power into the fabric of each of all three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—shaping every aspect of federal policy regarding slavery for decades to come. And it turns out that Three-Fifths clause was just one of almost a dozen clauses in the original Constitution that affected the relationships of the government of the United States to slavery and the slave trade. Through the chemistry of those other clauses, the many delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention who were slaveholders themselves, or who were slavery-dependent or slavery-adjacent, worked to prop up and protect that institution.

“Considering all circumstances,” one slave-owning delegate later boasted, “we have made the best terms for the security of this species of property it was in our power to make.”

The Bill of Rights, a list of ten amendments added to the Constitution in 1791, recognized freedom of speech, of the press, of religion, and of petition. Those freedoms would come to serve as major channels for antislavery action and expression in the decades before the Civil War, helping give rise to the forces that eventually would bring an end to slavery and the Three-Fifths Clause. Yet the damage done by that clause haunts us today. (Ticket: $12. A recorded version of this talk will remain available online at the link given here.)

This talk will be held online via Crowdcast. You can purchase your tickets here.

FAIRFAX COUNTY NAACP: TOWNHALL ON SYSTEMIC RACISM WITH DR. SCOTT BRABAND

Date: August 5, 2020

Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm EST

Price: Free

Join us for our rescheduled townhall on systemic racism with Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Brabrand. We’re excited to have Dr. Brabrand engage in this crucial discussion on systemic racism and equity issues within our public schools.

From academic achievement, enrollment at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, to the School Resource Officer program and the school-to-prison pipeline, systemic racism effects our children’s lives every day. This will be a civil discourse where we can openly talk about our and our kids’ experiences, ask questions, and talk about what change looks like.

Please RSVP at: fairfaxnaacp.org/upcoming-events or watch on FB Live: facebook.com/fairfaxnaacp/live

AIA NY: VOICES OF EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION: CHAMPIONING CHANGE

Date: August 20, 2020

Time: 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Price:

AIANY Member: Free
AIA Long Island Member: Free
AIA Member (not AIANY or AIA LI): $5
Student with Valid .edu Email Address: Free
General Public: $10

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement, and in support of the ongoing effort to improve our profession to achieve Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in our workplace and our industry, WIA is hosting a panel with four extraordinary women who are leading and championing change through their various meaningful and impactful organizations.

Please join the AIA New York and the AIA Long Island Women in Architecture Committees in this important panel discussion with three prominent voices of EDI: Bolanle Williams-Olley, Danei Cesario AIA, RIBA, NCARB, NOMA, and Pascale Sablan AIA, NOMA, LEED AP. They will share their initiatives in promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and offer suggestions, ideas, and actions on how each one of us can contribute to building an equitable profession. Julia Gamolina will be moderating the discussion, and will also highlight her work and dedication in making women in our industry more visible through her online platform Madame Architect.

Register here: https://calendar.aiany.org/2020/07/22/voices-of-equity-diversity-and-inclusion-championing-change/

Panelists:
Bolanle Williams-Olley, Chief Financial Officer, Mancini Duffy; Founder, SheBuildsWaves, SheBuildLives & REACH Nigeria
Danei Cesario AIA, RIBA, NCARB, NOMA, Project Manager, SOM; Founder, WALLEN + daub
Pascale Sablan AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Senior Associate, S9ARCHITECTURE

Moderator:
Julia Gamolina, Associate AIA, Director of Strategy, Trahan Architects; Founder & Editorial Director, Madame Architect

1,5 LU Credits.

TEXAS FREEDOM COLONIES PROJECT COFFEE TALK: HONORING OUR ANCESTORS – BURIAL GROUNDS, CEMETERIES AND FINAL RESTING PLACES

Date: August 21, 2020

Time: 11:00am EST

Price: Free

For this month’s Coffee Talk, our guests will be discussing the status of African American burial grounds, cemeteries and final resting places of our ancestors. Preservation work is often fueled by the veneration of our ancestors work.

Guests will include:
Dr. Antoinette Harrell
Genealogist/Local Historian/Peonage Researcher

Dr. Tara Dudley
Architectural Historian & Lecturer (University of Texas – Austin)

Diana Hernandez
University of Texas Master’s Candidate

Jennifer Blanks, MS
TAMU Doctoral Student & Founder of The Cemetery Sista.

Real Life. Real Issues. Real People.

You can participate in this talk via Live Video by The Texas Freedom Colonies Project.

STRONG TOWNS: INNOVATIONS IN NATURALLY AFFORDABLE HOUSING VIRTUAL SUMMIT

Date: August 11 – 12, 2020

Time: 8:00am – 11:00PM

Price: Free

Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn will deliver his lecture Breaking out of the Housing Trap at the Innovations in Naturally Affordable Housing, Virtual Summit.

Talk of a “housing crisis” pervades American cities—whether off-the-charts rents in coastal cities or hyper-vacancy in the Rust Belt. These problems are symptoms of a deeper dysfunction. Over nearly a century, through often well-intended top-down policy interventions, we’ve turned a complex system that should be adaptive and self-correcting into one prone to a never-ending cycle of boom and bust, crises and overcorrections.

To address the dysfunction at the root of our housing problems, we need to shift our approach. We must move away from a model in which large developers and centralized financial institutions have unprecedented sway over what is built and where, to a more antifragile housing ecosystem in which the bar to entry is low, and every neighborhood can undergo incremental change over time.

The Breaking Out of the Housing Trap presentation will help you understand the root causes of America’s interrelated housing crises, and identify some rational responses that your city (and every city) can take.

ABOUT THE INNOVATIONS IN NATURALLY AFFORDABLE HOUSING, VIRTUAL SUMMIT

This two day, online experience allows you learn from the nation’s leading innovators and experts about many different parts of a comprehensive strategy to tackle the housing crisis. This virtual summit is not targeting the traditional affordable housing developers who live in a world of complex tax credits, regulations, and housing finance—although they are welcome to attend. This is the summit for everyone else who cares about rapidly addressing your community’s affordable housing crisis.

Free Access and All-Access registration subscriptions available.

This conference is organized and hosted by the Population Health Learning Collaborative: https://improvepophealth.org/


I hope you liked this roundup, feel free to post any events I’ve forgotten in the comments. As I mentioned before, I’ll be updating this roundup regularly as I discover new events throughout the month. Make sure to follow the blog on Facebook and Instagram to get more content like this. Happy studying!

NOMA BRAVE Breakdown

NOMA BRAVE Action Steps

For those that don’t know, the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) has released some action steps for architects of all backgrounds to support their colleagues in the fight for racial justice and equity.

This initiative is called BRAVE, and NOMA challenges all large architecture firms to become dues paying members of the organization, as well adopting NOMA’s steps for an inclusive atmosphere, which include:

NOMA BRAVE Breakdown

I think this initiative is a great opportunity for those who may just be joining the fight for social injustice, but I believe that it needs a bit more detail to help with implementation. To help those who want to make a difference in the profession, but aren’t sure where to start, I’ve create the NOMA BRAVE Breakdown. This breakdown takes the action steps provided by NOMA and provides tangible next steps and goals for architecture & design professionals. Here is an image of the breakdown.

Keep in mind that the links will only work if you download the actual PDF, which is available here.

NOMA BRAVE Breakdown Image. Don’t forget that the links will only work if you download the PDF.

Disclaimer: This guide is a recommendation made by me based on the framework provided by NOMA. This breakdown was not created by or sponsored by NOMA. All thoughts and opinions contained within it are my own.

Anti-Racism Design Resources

I would also highly recommend that you check out this comprehensive list of Anti-Racism Design Resources, which cover:

Black architects, designers, planners, activists’ recent responses, reflections, statements

Firms/practices currently offering pro bono services

Firms/practices currently taking actions (e.g. matching donations)

Resources about offering pro bono services

Examples of pro bono services you and/or your firm/practice/collective can offer

Examples of fellowships/internships your firm can offer to Black students

Support Black designers, especially our colleagues, with opportunities like these!

For non-Black and white folks organizing within our firms/practices/collectives

Additional resources to share both internally and in a public statement

List of Black organizers/leadership

List of Black-led firms/practices/collectives

List of architecture/design organizations doing anti-racism work in academic institutions

List of architecture/design organizations doing anti-racism work in the field at large

List of organizations to follow on social media

Past Events

If you have any additional resources or events on this topic, feel free to share them in the comments!

Mini Quiz: A201

A 4 question quiz on the General Conditions of the Contract for Construction. The answers are provided after the questions. The A201 contract is available as a free download from the AIA website, and I’m currently studying it in preparation for my upcoming Project Management (PjM) and Construction & Evaluation (CE) Exam. It is listed within the ARE 5.0 Reference Matrix as a study material for PjM. Good luck studying, and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Question 01

When does the Owner not have to share information about their financial arrangements for the Work?

  • Prior to the commencement of the work
  • When the Owner fails to make payments as per the contract documents
  • When a change in the work materially changes the contract sum
  • When the Architect issues a Certificate for Payment

Question 02

A Modification is all of the following, except for a: (Choose 1)

  • Construction Change Directive
  • Written Order for a minor change in work issued by the Owner
  • Change Order
  • Written Amendment to the Contract signed by both parties

Question 03

The Contractor shall immediately suspend any operations if they encounter the following conditions, except for:

(Choose 1)

  • Wetlands
  • Archaeological Sites
  • Burial Markers
  • Contract Documents in violation of applicable laws

Question 04

Select all items provided and paid for by the Contractor:

  • Sales Tax
  • Approvals for Occupancy
  • Temporary facilities not incorporated in the work
  • Utilities
  • Equipment and Machinery
  • Transportation

Question 01

When does the Owner not have to share information about their financial arrangements for the Work?

Correct Answers

  • When the Architect issues a Certificate for Payment

Incorrect Answers

Prior to the commencement of the work – Article 2.2.1 Prior to commencement of work and upon written request of the contractor, the owner shall furnish to the contractor evidence that the owner has made financial arrangements

When the Owner fails to make payments as per the contract documents & When a change in the work materially changes the contract sum – See Article 2.2.2

Question 02

A Modification is all of the following, except for a: (Choose 1)

Correct Answer

  • Written Order for a minor change in work issued by the Owner – Owners do not issue minor changes in work, those are issue by the Architect

Incorrect Answers

Construction Change Directive, Change Order, and a Written Amendment to the Contract signed by both parties: are all listed under Article 1.1.1 as Modifications.

Question 03

The Contractor shall immediately suspend any operations if they encounter the following conditions, except for:

Correct Answer

  • contract documents in violation of applicable laws – Article 3.2.3 The Contractor is not required to suspend work upon discovery of a nonconformity of the Contract Documents, only required to promptly report to the Architect

Incorrect Answers

According to Article 3.7.5 if the COntractor discovers any of these conditions, they shall immediately suspend operations:

  • Wetlands
  • Archaeological sites
  • Burial markers

Question 04

Select all items provided and paid for by the Contractor:

Correct Answer

  • Sales Tax – Article 3.6 Taxes
  • Temporary facilities not incorporated in the work – Article 3.4.1
  • Utilities – Article 3.4.1
  • Equipment and Machinery – Article 3.4.1
  • Transportation – Article 3.4.1

Incorrect Answers

All other items are to be provided by the Contractor.

  • Approvals for Occupancy – Provided by the owner as per Article 2.3.1

Thanks for taking part in my quiz, let me know how you did in the comments! You can also check out my mini quiz for C401 or check out my reviews for other practice exam providers.

Mini Quiz: C401

A 4 question quiz on the Agreement between the Architect and Consultant. The answers are provided after the questions. The C401 contract is available as a free download from the AIA website, and I’m currently studying it in preparation for my upcoming Project Management (PjM) Exam. It is listed within the ARE 5.0 Reference Matrix as a study material for PjM. Good luck studying, and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Question 01

Select all four parties identified in the C401:

  • Architect
  • Owner
  • Contractor
  • Sub-consultants
  • Architect’s Other Consultants
  • Surety
  • Consultant
  • Subcontractors

Question 02

Which statements are true of consultant’s services?

  • COnsultant has the ability to reject work under their scope
  • Architect ascertains requirements for the Consultant’s portion of the work
  • Consultants shall render written decisions on claims and disputes relating to the execution of their portion of the scope
  • Consultant shall notify the architect of the need for additional services

Question 03

The Architect must provide the following information except for:

(Choose 1)

  • detailed layouts showing locations of connections
  • tabulations giving equipment sizes
  • the architect’s compensation within the prime agreement
  • investigations of other consultants not within the scope of the consultants services

Question 04

Select all methods of binding dispute resolution between an Architect and their Consultant:

(Choose 2)

  • Arbitration
  • Mediation
  • Professional Ethics Council
  • Litigation

Question 01

Select all four parties identified in the C401:

Correct Answers

  • Architect – Identified on the first page of the Agreement
  • Owner – Identified on the first page of the Agreement
  • Sub-consultants- Identified in Article 1.9
  • Consultant – Identified on the first page of the Agreement

Incorrect Answers

None of the other parties are specifically identified and named within this agreement.

Question 02

Which statements are true of consultant’s services?

Correct Answer

  • Consultant shall notify the architect of the need for additional services (Article 4.1)

Incorrect Answers

Article 3.1.5 Consultant does not have the ability to reject any work on the project, they can assist the architect in determining if work should be rejected

Article 3.1.1 Consultant shall ascertain the requirements for this portion of the work and shall confirm such requirements with the architect.

Article 3.1.4 Consultants don’t have the power to render decisions on disputes, they can however issue written recommendations on claims, disputes, and other matters in question relating to the execution or progress of their portions of the work.

Question 03

The Architect must provide the following information except for:

Correct Answer

  • the architect’s compensation within the prime agreement – Article 1.1, a copy of the prime agreement(from which compensation amounts maybe deleted) is attached as Exhibit A and is made a part of this Agreement

Incorrect Answers

Article 5.3 The Architect shall furnish to the Consultant detailed layouts showing locations of connections, tabulations giving equipment sizes, loads and other information on equipment designed.

Article 5.7 If the Consultant reasonably requests information from investigations, survey,s, tests, analyses or reports, or the services of other consultants not within the scope of the consultant’s services, the Architect shall request that the Owner furnish the information or services.

Question 04

Select all methods of binding dispute resolution between an Architect and their Consultant:

Correct Answers

  • Arbitration – Article 8.2
  • Litigation – Article 8.2

Incorrect Answers

  • Mediation – Not a method of binding dispute resolution
  • Ethics Council – Only related to ethics disputes against architects

Thanks for taking part in my quiz, let me know how you did in the comments!