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CPBD exam specifications under review by NCBDC.

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CPBD exam specifications under review by NCBDC.

The National Council of Building Designer Certification (NCBDC) Board of Examiners will be conducting a four-hour meeting this week to develop the Examinations Specifications of the Certified Professional Building Designer (CPBD) certification program. Acting as the Council’s “Scheme Committee,” the board will be using the results of the 2015 Job Analysis Survey to finalize the content weighting of the examination outline. The meeting will be facilitated by PSI Services, a certification industry leader providing test development, psychometric services, leadership consulting services and item (i.e. question) authoring and banking solutions.

With PSI’s oversight, the board of examiners will review the existing CPBD examination and consider any areas in which an adjustment to the content weighing may be needed to develop a relevant and valid sampling of the competencies required for the CPBD job/career role.

This task is step one of a three step plan for Spring 2016. NCBDC is looking for volunteers from the industry to help reclassify the existing exam content and another group of volunteers to undergo training to become item writers. Once the Exam Specifications are complete, some time in May, step two will include two six-hour online meetings with subject matter experts (SMEs) to evaluate existing examination content according to the newly created Exam Specs. Step three consists of three 90-minute item-writer sessions via webinar with SMEs. PSI will provide training regarding clear guidelines on procedures for writing effective test items, principles for writing good test items and item writing exercises. In addition, the training will introduce the us of PSI’s user-friendly portal for item authoring and banking. This secure method for SMEs to contribute items is a state-of-the-art online banking tool.

(originally posted: http://www.aibd.org/mondayminute/?p=3435)

ATTENTION !!!! - licensed / registered Architects specializing in residential and light commercial buildings as well as certified professional building designers.

I like to personally invite you to consider participating in Stage two and Three of the NCBDC certification exam 'redevelopment'. As it is the goal of AIBD/NCBDC for this exam to be ANSI accredited. It is also part of the process to involve subject matter experts into the process of making the exam in part necessarily rigorous, valid and covering the kind of work that building designers and architects work on. 

More information on this would be available and posted as I become aware of it. 

The exam should be necessarily rigorous in assessing the knowledge and skills a building designer would need to know for competent practice. As we know, building designers / home designers work on light commercial buildings and residential. We don't typically work on high rises as the licensing laws exemptions are. I'm probably not be involved in the item-writer phase as I intend to take the exam. I maybe involved in step two (maybe... maybe not), if I do, I'd probably have to wait until step three is completed and implemented into the NCBDC exam before going further. There is key parts I need to not be part of if I am to take the exam at some point. 

However, I am suggesting architects and existing CPBDs because they would not be required to take the exam or had already taken the exam. All answers to the questions in the exam will obviously need to be valid with verifiable answers. 

You will obviously be talking with the AIBD Director and the NCBDC director. I personally want the questions to be the kind of questions that simple-minded easy. Let it be comparably rigorous as the ARE but focused on the subject matters primarily related to residential and light commercial projects. The questions have depth to it. I'm not looking for what is the acronym for a department. While I may have fewer questions than there maybe in the ARE, I don't want to waste questions on simple-minded questions. Questions obviously needs to be objective and defensible and not just opinions. 

A little thing to keep in mind is building designers/residential designers can quite often work in many states and the exemptions ranges a bit so I would expect questions relevant in all ranges from residential & varying sizes of multi-family residential to various sizes of commercial, educational/institutional/assembly buildings typically under two or three stories. Since each state's exemption varies, we don't want to get state specific so much.

The construction systems typically of buildings under 5 stories in height is typically what would be used so exam should be focused to that end. 

I recommend architects who specializes in residential and light commercial because our practices overlaps significantly compared to large corporate firms designing skyscrapers, stadiums, and large scale commercial/institutional/etc. projects. 

 
Apr 25, 16 7:12 pm

Balkins,

I can't get more than a few lines into each paragraph of your invitation before I get tired of trying to figure out what you are saying. Try proofreading and correcting grammar mistakes if you want anyone to take this seriously.

Here's something to help you out and get you started.

Additionally, here's a good example of how you don't make any sense. You state this, "I personally want the questions to be the kind of questions that simple-minded easy." Then follow it up later in the paragraph with this "[...] I don't want to waste questions on simple-minded questions." Which is it? Do you want simple-minded questions or not? Are you even in a position where you should be telling the question writers how to do their job?

Further, you want architects who specialize in residential and light commercial because their practices overlap significantly with those of building designers. You're asking your biggest competition to write your questions. Tell me how this goes well.

Apr 25, 16 8:07 pm  · 
 · 

E_I, 

Okay. I don't want the questions to be simple minded. If I was taking the test as a certification, I want the questions to be a challenge.

I been involved in the prior steps. The whole point is that the exams are objective and correct answers are defensible. Just as it is for the ARE.

 

I've seen in the sample questions for the NCBDC that some of the questions were simple stuff like spelling out the acronyms of WWM or ASTM. Questions should be psychometric-wise more substantial. 

 

Further, you want architects who specialize in residential and light commercial because their practices overlap significantly with those of building designers. You're asking your biggest competition to write your questions. Tell me how this goes well.

Why not? If they are subject matter experts, why not? I don't see them so much as 'competition' as  colleagues. Part of the "family".

Apr 25, 16 8:23 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

"The whole point is that the exams are objective and correct answers are defensible. Just as it is for the ARE."

 

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

 

*gasp*

Apr 25, 16 8:52 pm  · 
1  · 

Are you arguing the ARE's exam questions are not objective and correct answers... defensible?

Apr 25, 16 9:20 pm  · 
 · 
awaiting_deletion

ARE is a reading exam and the longer you practice the harder it is to pass them because in short - you just do not agree.

Apr 25, 16 10:08 pm  · 
 · 
SpontaneousCombustion

What is an acceptable method to fasten OSB?  

A. Molly bolts

B. Egg whites and glitter

C. Finish nails 

D. All of the Above

Apr 25, 16 10:35 pm  · 
 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

It's obviously B is the answer

 · 
Non Sequitur
Wait, you should only use egg whites? That's what I've been doing wrong all these years. So many law suits could have been avoided if only I remembered to seperate the yolk.
Apr 25, 16 10:49 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

I thought yak semen was the correct answer?  

Apr 25, 16 11:16 pm  · 
 · 
SpontaneousCombustion

Hmm...  maybe the question isn't simple-minded easy enough.   It asked which is an acceptable method - it didn't ask for all methods or the best method. I can see how that might take too much reading comprehension.

Apr 25, 16 11:23 pm  · 
 · 
I love the feeling you get when you are one dat Molly bolts...

Oh wait.
Apr 25, 16 11:41 pm  · 
 · 
DeTwan

Molly bolts, who doest like a molly bolt?

Apr 25, 16 11:41 pm  · 
 · 
DeTwan

What is OSB btw, oriental siamese bondage? Sounds nice...

Apr 25, 16 11:43 pm  · 
 · 

ARE is a reading exam and the longer you practice the harder it is to pass them because in short - you just do not agree.

Interesting response.

While there is certainly more than one right way to do something, there are right ways to do things and certainly there are wrong ways to do things. Hence there can be multiple right solutions but there can be wrong answers. The point of these exams is assessing your knowledge of architectural or building design subject matters.

For example: I'm not interested in questions like What is WWM? ____________________ (welded wire mesh?) I think the point isn't how do you spell a common acronym. While it might not be many questions like it in the NCBDC's CPBD exams.

The kind of questions that would be viable or something that I find interesting might be the Case Studies questions model that is coming about in ARE 5.0. This would be a good item type questions for NCBDC exam as well. While the answers maybe check all that applies or multiple choice but if they are structured in a case study style model, it would assess examinee's ability to assimilate, synthesize multiple pieces of information to arrive at an answer. 

Since the CPBD exams would be electronically delivered through online proctoring, it should be effective under the item types that are delivered under that model. 

Apr 25, 16 11:53 pm  · 
 · 
no_form
Question 1. Does this exam matter at all?

Defensible answer: No.

Run along and go play with your toys Richard. Supper will be ready soon.
Apr 26, 16 12:15 am  · 
 · 
archanonymous

DeTwan - Oriented Strand Board.

I think it's called chipboard in the rest of the world.

Apr 26, 16 12:26 am  · 
 · 
Janosh

Is this a real thing?

Apr 26, 16 12:27 am  · 
 · 

Janosh,

Who are you replying to?

Apr 26, 16 12:30 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

In an exempt building there lived an urban, tattered legally named non-existant client. Not an urban charming, musky exempt building, filled with whiskey and a violent smell, nor yet a designy, backward, evil exempt building with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a legally-exempt building, and that means it creates the illusion of being an architect.

One day, after a troubling visit from the building designer Ricardo Balkarino, leaves his exempt building and sets out in search of three grubby trousers. A quest undertaken in the company of hobbits, youths and sunny Sparkly Vampires.

In the search for the building designer-guarded trousers, non-existant client surprises even himself with his useless "knowledge" and skill as a not an architect.

During his travels, non-existant client rescues a commodore 64, an heirloom belonging to Ricardo. But when Ricardo refuses to try hopping, their friendship is over.

However, Ricardo is wounded in WW2 and the two reconcile just before the non-existant client engages in some serious commissioning of sweet exempt building designs.

Apr 26, 16 7:35 am  · 
 · 
Stop bogarting the stash, NS.

But seriously I don't understand this thread. It's not like Rick will follow through. He hasn't followed through on anything in his life.

#osb4lyfe
Apr 26, 16 8:29 am  · 
 · 
shellarchitect

is detwan serious about the OSB?

Apr 26, 16 9:46 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

 +++non sequitur.  That was epic!

Apr 26, 16 11:12 am  · 
 · 

What's wrong with knowing what ASTM stands for? Let's be honest ... aren't you more upset that the exam question didn't ask for a 500 word essay explaining the history of ASTM in the building industry?

Apr 26, 16 11:22 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

Here is a question  

1. As a 180 lb man on a pool float approaches the scary edge of an infinity pool he will....

a. Fall off the edge and drop 300' to his death 

b. Fall off the edge into a pool of quicksand

c. Die before impact

d  Fall into a space time wormhole and end up in 1952 where he will be run over by a bus.

Apr 26, 16 11:23 am  · 
 · 
no_form
JLA the answer is D.

Balkins there can be only One exam to rule us all. The ARE.
Apr 26, 16 11:30 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

e  Realize there is no water and you're floating in space because the pool was built on a site exempt from the legal reach of gravity

Apr 26, 16 11:32 am  · 
 · 
Bloopox

The National Council of Building Designer Certification is a for-profit corporation (not to be confused with the nonprofit AIBD from which it spawned).  It's outrageous that NCBDC is asking for volunteer labor to develop the test that it uses to generate the profit that keeps it in existence.  I do understand that currently that test is taken by a literal handful of people per year, at most (some years no testing has happened due to lack of interest), so NCBDC can't afford to pay for professionals to spend their time generating content - but that seems to be an indication of the irrelevance of this exam in the first place, and that the real motive here is to get a bunch of professionals to help them redesign the test for free, so that they can exploit those professionals' reputations and credentials to try to inflate the perceived legitimacy and value of the test, to lure more people to take the redesigned test, so that NCBDC can continue to exist and its management can keep their jobs.

This certification is not recognized by AHJs except in a few locales in 3 or 4 states.  So unless you work in those very specific few locations, getting this certification doesn't help with any regulatory threshold.  There are only about 400 people with this certification worldwide, many of whom are retired or inactive in the profession - so there is very little public recognition, if any.  Somebody considering this exam would be better spending the money to get LEED accredited, Passive House accredited, or any CSI or PMI certification, or saving the money by getting no certification at all, than to waste it on a designation that nobody's heard of. 

A great indication of the inferiority of this certification is the fact that NCBDC can't use its own certified building designers to develop the test, and instead is reaching out to actually qualified and licensed professionals to do it for them.

Apr 26, 16 12:13 pm  · 
 · 
Bloopox

And the answer is D. the 1952 wormhole going back in time and run over so they never existed thing.  It's the only one that explains why we never hear anything on the news about all the people floating off buildings.

Apr 26, 16 12:15 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

^that makes sense.  

2.  A community theater requires an emergeny remodel to be ready for the opening night of a new play.  The local Home Depot is all out of lumber.  What would be an appropriate substitute.

a. Pizza boxes

b. Old commodore computers

c. midgets

d. Richard Balkins

Apr 26, 16 1:04 pm  · 
 · 
shellarchitect

makes about as much sense as the ballast practice exam questions.

btw - i thought most of the exam questions weren't too bad and could easily narrow down to 2 possible answers.  I thought ballast was just about impossible and never got much over 50%

Apr 26, 16 1:09 pm  · 
 · 
Volunteer

Jla-x, You laugh but someone won the Pritzker Prize for making paper buildings sick people could die in.

Apr 26, 16 1:19 pm  · 
 · 
no_form
Question: you're in the Australian outback. A local farmer wants your advice on building a 50 foot tall unpermited 500 gallon water tower. As a member of the AIBD are you authorized to provide consulting services?

A. No, kangaroos might drown in it.
B. Yes, I have my theodolite and drafting board
C. I already have done it but the photos and drawings were seized by customs and google earth has pixelated the site for privacy concerns
D. Yes, I have a copy of prescriptive structu calculations for type V structures located in Clatsop county Oregon.
Apr 26, 16 1:55 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

Thanks Bloopox for the actual information.

Apr 26, 16 2:02 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

No form, the answer is C. 

Apr 26, 16 2:32 pm  · 
 · 

Bloopox, 

They are reaching out to the existing certified building designers. They are reaching out to subject matter experts in the industry. This would also include architects. Would they not?

As for the NCBDC & the CPBD, the CPBD exam and the NCBDC began in the early 1990s. AIBD existed back in the 1950s and prior to the NCBDC and the CPBD exam, the exams were administered by their state societies. 

First off, the ARE isn't necessarily superior. It is simply that the exams were legislated as a requirement. The people who takes the CPBD certifications do not take the exams because they have to. They take the exam by choice. If the CPBD certification was required by legislation, there will probably be a significantly more people certified.

If the ARE wasn't legislated as a requirement to becoming a licensed architect, I'm confident that there would be far fewer people even taking the ARE. The number of people taking the ARE are fueled by being a legislated requirement to be licensed as an architect.

The PMI / CSI and even the PassiveHaus certifications are not building design oriented certification. Those certifications do not assess competence in architecture or building design.

Other than the ARE, the CPBD exams are the ONLY exams in the U.S. that assesses competence of a person as a building design professional. None of the other certifications are designed to assess a person's competence in building design. They are different. Not superior or inferior as they are different.

Comparing PSI or CSI or even PassiveHause exams to CPBD exams is like comparing PSI/CSI/PassiveHause to the ARE or comparing the ICC certification to the ARE?

They are different credential. They are just different.

Apr 26, 16 2:32 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

If the ARE wasn't legislated as a requirement to becoming a licensed architect, I'm confident that there would be far fewer people even taking the ARE.

Sounds like a good reason to never take the CPBD.

Apr 26, 16 2:43 pm  · 
 · 
Bloopox

Again Rick:  if NCBDC wants to "reach out" to professionals for help writing a test, they should be reaching out with cash in hand.  They're not a charity.  They shouldn't be reaching out to exploit the professionals they claim to be helping.  It's a mark of incompetence on their part, and a good hint that they'll be in bankruptcy any second now so aren't something into which I want to invest time, nor in which I'd advise wannabe professionals to sink money for useless credentials. 

Apr 26, 16 2:44 pm  · 
 · 
Bloopox

Rick are you sure that NCBDC wants your help in spreading the word about this?  Frankly if you're right that they're looking for unpaid volunteers to go through training, write test questions, evaluate the old test, etc., then this should be embarrassing for them - it makes them look incompetent.

By contrast NCARB, which unlike NCBDC is a non-profit, pays its test developers.  There are some focus groups who test questions, and these are volunteers in some cases, but the investment of time is far less than what's being described here.  This NCBDC thing, if it is as you describe it, is exploitation by a failing corporation and you should be ashamed to be associated with this.

Apr 26, 16 2:51 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

Another dumb organization looking for legal status from the state so that it can make money on fees and beurocratic leeching.  No different from The Interior design one that lobbies around with nonsense arguments about hsw...and the asla who crys about the dangers of important LAs being mistaken for gardeners.  

Apr 26, 16 2:51 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

where are we on the kangaroo drownings?

Apr 26, 16 2:53 pm  · 
 · 
tintt

The answer is E. The ARE is an AIA exam. 

Apr 26, 16 2:58 pm  · 
 · 
Bloopox

Non Sequitur:  D again, because the Australian outback is closer than Clatsop County to the equator, so gravity is stronger in Clatsop County, so any prescriptive structural calcs that work there are good for Australia.  In Ecuador this would result in serious overbuilding, but that's why they confiscate kangaroos at customs in Ecuador.  Plus AIBD doesn't have jurisdiction because "AIBD" starts with "American".  I know that because it was on the test.

It's easy to rule out C, because it starts with "I already have done it".  Proper Building Designer English is "I done it."

Apr 26, 16 3:12 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

A+

Apr 26, 16 3:15 pm  · 
 · 

Bloopox,

I'll add another correction for you. NCBDC is an independent council within the AIBD. AIBD is a non-profit organization. 

Apr 26, 16 3:17 pm  · 
 · 

NCARB is fueled by legislation invented by AIA back in the early 1900s.

Apr 26, 16 3:28 pm  · 
 · 
no_form
Gandalf on Balkins taking the ARE.

YOU SHALL NOT PASS!
Apr 26, 16 3:28 pm  · 
 · 
Bloopox

Rick NCBDC is a separate entity.  Look it up yourself: it's a for-profit corporation, and it is not owned by or overseen by AIBD.

Apr 26, 16 3:30 pm  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

Bloopox... brilliant answer.

Question: You're invited to a formal dinner reception and upon taking your prescribed seat you notice that the table's legs are not of even lengths. Do you:

a. Identify yourself immediately to the party host as a building designer and inform them (using the rolled-up charts you carry on your person at all times for such emergencies) that table leveling services are exempt for standard furniture making practice and that as such, by using an array of drones and hand-drafting you can remedy the situation by tilting the floor to suit the table's slant.

b. Make small talk with the nearest house plant about how you once saw a table for sale in a small shop in your hole-in-the-ground small town and you're surprised that not all tables in every part of the world are identical.

c.  Head for the nearest exit, preferably while swinging from a chandelier.

d. Set the nearest dumpster on fire.

Apr 26, 16 3:32 pm  · 
 · 
no_form
A. You have an ethical responsibility to ensure the HSW of all guests. Uneven tables can lead to food cross contamination between diners. Or spillage from food servers onto guests. Uneven tables also present structural deficiencies that can lead to total failure.
Apr 26, 16 3:40 pm  · 
 · 
x-jla

A. But, with the use of cable and hooks a drone could be used to elevate the lower side of the table so that its level per info from a theodite that will relay required altitude to a commodore and then to the drone. 

Apr 26, 16 3:51 pm  · 
 · 
Bloopox

I concur. 

It's tricky, but I don't think C can be the answer because I can't touch a chandelier - there might be a state engineering board member at the event and he'd just be looking for an excuse to say I was changing a light bulb without a license.

B can't be right because I haven't been in a brick and mortar store since I purchased my Members Only jacket, and besides I have extensive international table knowledge from Amazon and Pinterest, and one of my professors once sat at a table near the Mexican border, in San Diego.

I can't do D anymore while wearing my AIBD lapel pin.  I got sanctioned.

Apr 26, 16 3:57 pm  · 
 · 

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