Project Planning & Design (PPD) focuses on the preliminary design of sites and buildings. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in design concepts, sustainability/environmental design, universal design, and other forms of governing codes and regulations.

Project Planning & Design Details
Items Test Duration Appointment Time
120 4 hr 15 min 5 hr

Preparing for Project Planning & Design? You can find more details, sample questions, and suggested references in our ARE 5.0 Handbook, and prep series video

PPD includes sections on the following content areas: 

  • Environmental Conditions & Context 
    • Determine location of building and site improvements based on site analysis 
    • Determine sustainable principles to apply to design 
    • Determine impact of neighborhood context on the project design
  • Codes & Regulations 
    • Apply zoning and environmental regulations to site and building design 
    • Apply building codes to building design 
    • Integrate multiple codes to a project design 
  • Building Systems, Materials, & Assemblies 
    • Determine mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems 
    • Determine structural systems 
    • Determine special systems such as acoustics, communications, lighting, security, conveying, and fire suppression 
    • Determine materials and assemblies to meet programmatic, budgetary, and regulatory requirements 
  • Project Integration of Program & Systems
    • Determine building configuration 
    • Integrate building systems in the project design 
    • Integrate program requirements into a project design 
    • Integrate environmental and contextual conditions in the project design
  • Project Costs & Budgeting 
    • Evaluate design alternatives based on the program 
    • Perform cost evaluation 
    • Evaluate cost considerations during the design process