Approved Seminar Topics
  
    The Louisiana State Board of Architectural Examiners will review and approve seminar topics based on the description of the knowledge and skills required to pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE). The following nine divisions of the ARE with their division statements and tasks are reprinted from documents published by NCARB.

    The following nine divisions of the ARE with their division statements and tasks are reprinted from documents published by NCARB.

    PRE-DESIGN DIVISION Division Statement

    Environmental Analysis
    Application of principles of land use planning. Determination of the interrelationship of intended land use with the natural and built environment in which it exists. Evaluation of existing structures.

    Architectural Programming
    Application of the principles of architectural programming to meet client requirements including spatial, functional and building system considerations. Methods of establishing project budget and schedule. Applications of history and theory, psychology and symbolism.

    Architectural Practice
    Knowledge and application of the methods of establishing and managing an architectural practice, including relationships with staff, consultants and clients. Organizing and managing a project team.

    Tasks

      1. Existing Structures
      Survey, evaluate and document existing buildings.

      2. Existing Community Facilities, Sociological Relationships, Utilities and Transportation. Evaluate and document the impact of sociological influences, existing community facilities and utilities and transportation on site selection and land use; the consequences of proposed project on surrounding community.

      3. Physiographic and subsurface characteristics, ecological issues and climate.
      Evaluate and document the effect of physiographic and subsurface characteristics and climate on the planned use of land area. Determine the impact of the planned use on the ecology of the land area.

      4. Economics and Cost Estimating
      Develop construction cost estimates and budgets for building site and development. Understand the impact of economic factors in project development.

      5. Programming
      Establish design objectives, constraints and criteria for a project, including space requirements and functional relationships; building systems and special equipment; and site requirements.

      6. Principles of History and Theory, Psychology, Symbolism
      Consider human behavior, symbolism and the principles of history and theory in the development of a building program.

      7. Project Schedule
      Develop schedule for project programming design and construction.

      8. Land Use Restrictions and Building Codes and Regulations
      Interpret land surveys and the impact of legal restrictions upon land development. Identify the impact of codes, ordinances and governmental regulations on the architectural program, including consultation with and presentations to, regulatory agencies, commissions and/or boards.

      9. Architectural Practice and Services
      Establish and manage an architectural practice, to identify, quantify, budget, schedule and manage the architectural services appropriate for a project.

      10. Consultant Coordination
      Organize the responsibilities of consultants.

    SITE PLANNING DIVISION

    Division Statement

    Determination of the interrelationship of intended site use with the environment. Consideration of topography, vegetation, climate, geography aspects and legal aspects of site development. The synthesis of programmatic and environmental requirements into a coherent concept for the placement of buildings and/or other improvements on a site.

    Site Design Vignette

    The Site Design Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of general site planning principles.

    The candidate is given a program, a site plan and conceptual building footprints for two buildings and is required to prepare a schematic site plan that is responsive to the various programmatic, functional, orientation and setback requirements provided in the program.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for completeness and compliance with program requirements, including the accommodation of pedestrian and vehicular circulation, land utilization, views and other design considerations.

    Site Zoning Vignette

    The Site Zoning Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of cross-sectional building area limitations imposed by zoning and other setback restrictions.

    The candidate is given a program, a site plan and a cross-sectional grid and is required to draw a profile line that includes the existing site grade and the maximum buildable envelope above grade.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for completeness and compliance with program requirements and regulatory restrictions as well as technical accuracy.

    Parking Vignette

    The Parking Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of site-related requirements and limitations which influence the design and layout of vehicular parking spaces and the attendant area required for circulation and maneuvering.

    The candidate is given a program and a site plan indicating existing surface features and including any buildings to be served. The candidate is required to layout the required parking spaces and access drives to satisfy the program requirements.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for compliance with program requirements, completeness and technical accuracy.

    Site Analysis Vignette

    The Site Analysis Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of site-related requirements and limitations which influence the subdivision of land and the delineation of areas suitable for the construction of buildings or of other surface improvements.

    The candidate is given a program and an existing site plan and is required to divide an existing lot into two lots and to indicate areas suitable for the construction of buildings and of other surface improvements based on the requirements of the program.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for compliance with the program requirements and regulatory restrictions as well as technical accuracy.

    Site Section Vignette

    The Site Section Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of how site sections or profiles are affected by site design requirements. Included in these requirements are constraints imposed by site features, grading and building placement restrictions as well as solar, wind or view restrictions.

    The candidate is given a program and an existing site profile or cross-section and is required to manipulate the profile and place three elements-two structures and one other site element-to achieve the stated objectives.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for conformance with an ideal profile/shape and for proper placement of program elements.

    BUILDING PLANNING DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The synthesis of programmatic and environmental requirements into a coherent and aesthetic concept through the process of schematic design. The further development of plan and section features through the process of design development.

    Block Diagram Vignette

    The Block Diagram Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of the development of a diagrammatic floor plan from a bubble diagram and related programmatic constraints.

    The candidate is given a program, a bubble diagram and an existing site plan and is required to arrange and place each programmed space on the site plan and to indicate required access connections.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for compliance with program requirements, functional relationships and other design considerations.

    Interior Layout Vignette

    The Interior Layout Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of principles of design and accessibility that govern basic interior space planning.

    The candidate is given a background floor plan showing the boundaries of the space to be developed along with the program and code requirements.

    The candidate is required to layout the required spaces and furniture and to show access to those spaces, in a manner which satisfies the requirements of the program and the code.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for completeness and compliance with program and code requirements.

    Schematic Design Vignette

    The Schematic Design Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of the planning processes involved at the schematic design phase of the architectural development cycle.

    The candidate is given a program, a code and a site plan and is required to produce a two-story floor plan for the building that fulfills the requirements of the program and the code while addressing salient features and limitations of the site.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for compliance with program and code requirements as well as other design considerations.

    BUILDING TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The synthesis of programmatic and environmental requirements into a coherent and aesthetic concept through the process of schematic design. The further development of plan and section features through the process of design development.

    Building Section Vignette

    The Building Section Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of basic building form and of the impact of structural, mechanical and lighting components, as well as other constraints, on the vertical form of a building.

    The candidate is given a program along with a background floor plan indicating architectural, structural and mechanical components and a section cut line and is required to compose the building section from an indicated datum with the supplied building components (i.e. footing/foundation, floors, walls, ceilings, joists, decks).

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for accuracy and completeness based on the program requirements and plans.

    Structural Layout Vignette

    The structural Layout Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of basic structural framing concepts through the development of a conceptual framing plan for a simple, single-story roof structure.

    The candidate is given a background floor plan along with the program requirements for the development of the framing and is required to complete the roof framing by locating and arranging basic structural elements-including beams, joists, columns and bearing walls-to satisfy the requirements and constraints of the program.

    The candidate's solutions are analyzed for completeness and compliance with the program requirements in addition to the general efficiency of the layout.

    Accessibility-Ramp Vignette

    The Accessibility-Ramp Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of accessibility requirements as they relate to the design of ramp and stair systems.

    The candidate is given a program, a code and a base plan and is required to design a stair and ramp system connecting the two floor elevations shown on the base plan.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for completeness, accuracy and compliance with code and program requirements.

    Mechanical & Electrical Plan Vignette

    The Mechanical & Electrical Plan Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of the integration of mechanical, lighting and ceiling systems with structural and other building components.

    The candidate is given a program, a code, a lighting diagram and a background drawing for a reflected ceiling plan and is required to complete the reflected ceiling plan by placing the ceiling tile grid and arranging the mechanical and lighting system components within it.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for completeness, conformance to the program, efficiency and adequacy of layout as well as compliance with specified light intensity levels and code and air distribution requirements. Solutions are also scored on the extent to which the placement of fixtures complements the layout of the ceiling grid and the form of the space(s).

    Stair Design Vignette

    The Stair Design Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of the three-dimensional nature of stair design and of the basic functional and code issues involved.

    The candidate is given a program, code requirements, two background floor plans and a reference building section and is required to complete the floor plans with a stair system that satisfies the program and code requirements.

    The candidate's solution is analyzed for completeness and compliance with the given program and code requirements.

    Roof Plan Vignette

    The Roof Plan Vignette tests the candidate's understanding of basic concepts related to roof design through the development of a roof plan for a small, relatively simple structure.

    The candidate is given a base plan indicating the boundaries of roof edges, a background floor plan and a program and is required to complete the roof plan by indicating roof slopes, directions and elevations and by locating roof accessories and equipment to satisfy the requirements of the program.

    The canidate's solution is analyzed for completeness and compliance with the given program requirements.

    GENERAL STRUCTURES DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The identification, resolution and incorporation of structural systems and long-span design on the technical aspects of the design of buildings and the process of construction.

    Tasks

      1. Basic Structural Analysis and Design
      Analyze and design basic structural elements and systems.

      2. Appropriate Structural Components
      Select the appropriate structural components for various building types.

      3. Complex Structural Systems
      Select the appropriate building system based on proposed building function and the structural properties of the system.

      4. Load Calculations
      Identify and calculate the loads on buildings and determine their impact on the integrity of the structural system.

      5. Code Requirements
      Incorporate the requirements of building code standards in the selection of structural systems.

      6. Connections
      Identify and select devices for connection of various structural elements used in the assembly of the various elements of the building.

      7. Soils Reports
      Analyze soil reports and relate the soil properties to foundation and retaining wall design.

      8. Economics
      Relate the cost of structural systems, their materials and methods of installation to the design of the building.

    LATERAL FORCES DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The identification and resolution of the effects of lateral forces on the design of buildings and additions/renovations to existing buildings.

    Tasks

      1. Lateral Loads-General Concepts
      Identify and calculate general lateral loads on buildings and assess their effects on structural system selection, detailing and building design.

      2. Wind Forces
      Identify and calculate the wind loads on buildings and assess their effects on structural system selection and building design.

      3. Seismic Forces
      Identify and calculate the seismic loads on buildings and assess their effects on structural system selection and building design.

      4. Non-Structural Building Components
      Identify and assess the requirements for non-structural building components as they relate to requirements to resist lateral forces.

      5. Costs
      Assess the impact of lateral forces on the cost of structural systems and buildings.

      6. Wind Codes
      Incorporate the requirements of building codes and standards as related to design of buildings and building appurtenances for resistance to wind forces.

      7. Seismic Codes
      Incorporate the requirements of building codes and standards as related to design of buildings and building appurtenances for resistance to seismic forces.

      8. Building Additions and Renovations
      Assess requirements and considerations to renovate, add to, or modify existing structures to resist lateral forces.

    MECHANICAL & ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The evaluation and selection of mechanical, plumbing, electrical and acoustical systems and their incorporation into building design.

    Tasks

      1. Codes
      Incorporate the requirements of building, life-safety and barrier-free codes in mechanical, plumbing, electrical and acoustical systems.
      Identify hazardous materials in building systems; understand methods for proper handling and disposal.

      2. Plumbing
      Evaluate, select, design and incorporate appropriate plumbing systems.

      3. HVAC
      Evaluate, select, design and incorporate appropriate HVAC systems.

      4. Electrical
      Evaluate, select, design and incorporated appropriate electrical systems.

      5. Acoustics
      Evaluate, select, design, and incorporate appropriate systems for the control of sound.

      6. Heating/Cooling Loads
      Determine the general magnitudes, relationships and design implications of external and internal building loads that affect human comfort.

      7. Building Envelope
      Evaluate, select and incorporate elements of the building envelope in relation to environmental control systems.

      8. Costs
      Relate the cost of mechanical, plumbing, electrical and acoustical systems, materials and methods to the design of buildings.

    MATERIALS & METHODS DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The evaluation and selection of materials and methods of installation and the development of details as related to the technical aspects of construction and their incorporation into the design of buildings through the construction document phase of services.

    Tasks

      1. Site Work
      Evaluate soils reports and site conditions. Establish the underground and above ground parameters for the building erection process.

      2. Environmental and Human Context
      Incorporate in the selection and detailing of building systems the principles of architectural design and the social, cultural, psychological, and environmental issues related to buildings.

      3. Concrete
      Select and detail materials and installation systems for concrete building construction.

      4. Masonry
      Identify the properties and characteristics of various masonry materials and detail the methods of their installation, including mortar, accessories, and finishes.

      5. Metals
      Identify the properties, processes of manufacture, and conventional uses of structural and miscellaneous metals used in construction.

      6. Wood
      Identify the properties and characteristics of wood used for structural and rough carpentry, finish carpentry, and millwork; select or detail various elements.

      7. Thermal and Moisture Protection
      Analyze, select, specify, and detail moisture protection and thermal insulation systems.

      8. Doors and Windows
      Prepare or reveiw documents for the addition to, deletion from or changes to the scope of the work and/or the contract sum and/or the contract time.

      9. Finishes
      Evaluate, select, specify, and detail appropriate finish materials and their systems of installation.

      10. Specialties
      Analyze and select specialties, accessories, equipment, and fittings for buildings.

      11. Conveying Systems
      Analyze and select conveying systems for buildings.

      12. Costs
      Evaluate the cost of engineered and architectural systems, materials, and methods.

      13. Codes
      Incorporate the requirements of building life-safety and barrier-free codes into the engineered and architectural systems and detailing of specific buildings.

    CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS & SERVICES DIVISION

    Division Statement

    The conduct of architectural practice as it relates to the preparation and use of the contract documents, to the bidding/negotiating process and to the contract administration, with special emphasis on the AIA [CCAC/CCDC] documents.

    Tasks

      1. Working Drawings, Specifications
      Prepare and review working drawings and specifications.

      2. Coordination
      Coordinate all contract documents, including those of all consultants. Incorporate consultants' studies, code requirements, etc. Solve respective conflicts.

      3. Bidding/Negotiations
      Prepare instruments for use in bidding/negotiating and evaluate bids.

      4. Substitutions, Cost
      Evaluate substitutions and prepare estimates of probable construction cost.

      5. General Conditions-Miscellaneous
      Interpret the general conditions of the contract for construction.

      6. Agreements [Contracts]
      Review standard agreements [contracts] between Owner and Contractor; Owner and Architect; and Architect and consultant.

      7. Construction Observation, Material Testing
      Observe the progress of the work and determine its compliance with the intent of the construction drawings and specifications. Observe the taking of field samples and tests for compliance with specifications and review analysis of results.

      8. Changes
      Prepare or review documents for the addition to, deletion from or changes to the scope of the work and/or the contract sum and/or the contract time.

      9. Progress Payments
      Receive requests for progress payments from Contractor, review for accuracy and conformance with cost of work executed to date and make appropriate recommendations to the Owner.


    Close-Out

    Prepare final inspection lists; process documents for project close-out; assess the responsibility for and corrections required relating to failures during the warranty period.