Site Planning & Design (SPD) focuses on the application of knowledge and skills of site planning and design, including environmental, social, and economic issues, and project and practice management.

Site Planning & Design Details
Intro Time    
Multiple-Choice Testing Time 1 hr 30 min 65 Items
Scheduled Break 15 min  
Intro Time    
Graphic Vignette Testing Time 2 hr Site Grading, Site Design
Exit Questionnaire    
Scheduled Appointment Time 4 hr 30 min  

Study Resources

Preparing for Site Planning & Design? You can find sample questions, examples of passing and failing solutions for two sample vignettes, and suggested references in our exam guide. Plus, use our SPD practice program to solve sample vignettes, and our prep video series to learn more about the multiple-choice and the site design and site grading vignette sections. You can also access the cloud-based version of the vignette practice program through My NCARB.

SPD includes sections on the following content areas:

  • Principles
    • Review and assess sites. Incorporate the implication of human behavior, historic precedent, and design theory in the selection of systems, materials, and methods related to site design and construction.
  • Environmental Issues
    • Interpret site and environmental conditions. Assess and apply systems, materials, and construction methods. Incorporate principles of sustainability. Assess design impact on human behavior.
  • Codes & Regulations
    • Incorporate building codes, specialty codes, zoning, and other regulatory requirements in site design and construction.
  • Materials & Technology
    • Analyze the implication of design decisions in the selection of systems, materials, and methods incorporated in site design and construction.
  • Project & Practice Management
    • Assess and administer site design, including construction sequencing, scheduling, cost, and risk management.
  • Vignettes
    • ​Site Grading: Modify a site's topographical characteristics responding to programmatic and regulatory requirements.
    • Site Design: Design a site, including building placement, parking, and vehicular and pedestrian circulation, responding to programmatic, functional, environmental, and setback requirements utilizing general site planning principles.