Project Development & Documentation (PDD) focuses on the integration and documentation of building systems, material selection, and material assemblies into a project. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in integration of civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and specialty systems into overall project design and documentation. 

Project Development & Documentation Details:

  • Number of items: 100
  • Test duration: 4 hr 5 min
  • Allowed break time: 45 min
  • Total appointment time: 5 hr

Preparing for Project Development & Documentation? NCARB has created a full-length, scored practice exam specific to Project Development & Documentation now available for free in the Practice Exam Dashboard in your NCARB Record if you have ARE eligibilities. You can also find more details and suggested references in our ARE 5.0 Guidelines and test prep video series.



PDD includes sections on the following content areas: 

  • Integration of Building Materials & Systems 
    • Analyze the integration of architectural systems and technologies to meet project goals 
    • Determine the size of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems and components to meet project goals 
    • Determine the size of structural systems to meet project goals 
    • Integrate specialty systems such as acoustics, lighting, fire suppression, conveying, security, and communications to meet project goals 
    • Determine how to detail the integration of multiple building systems and technologies 
    • Coordinate mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and specialty systems and technologies
  • Construction Documentation 
    • Determine appropriate documentation of building design 
    • Determine appropriate documentation of site features 
    • Determine appropriate documentation of detailed building drawings within individual architectural systems 
    • Apply standards required to assemble a set of clear and coordinated construction documentation 
    • Determine impact of project changes on documentation requirements and methods to communicate those changes to owner and design team
  • Project Manual & Specifications 
    • Identify and prioritize components required to write, maintain, and refine project manual 
    • Identify and prioritize components required to write, maintain, and refine project specifications 
    • Coordinate specifications with construction documentation
  • Codes & Regulations 
    • Determine adherence to building regulatory requirements (IBC) at detail level 
    • Determine adherence with specialty regulatory requirements at the detail level 
  • Construction Cost Estimates 
    • Analyze construction cost estimates to confirm alignment with project design