The Programming, Planning and Practice exam, part of Architect Registration Exam has only one vignette to solve – the Site Zoning vignette.  There is one key thing to remember when going in to this exam… this vignette has only ONE correct solution, so pay attention!

5 tips zoning

In the Site Zoning Vignette, you will be required to develop a diagram showing the zoning requirements as well as provide a section through the entire site.

This top 5 list for the Site Zoning vignette will help keep you focused as you prepare for the Programming, Planning and Practice division. Be sure to practice a lot with the NCARB software. You’ll want to be completely familiar with the software tools prior to taking the exam.

5 Important Tips For the Site Zoning Vignette

1.  Follow the program.  Don’t get caught up trying to create a design or make the site pretty.  This vignette only has one correct answer so follow the directions carefully to be successful.

2.  Use sketch circles to maintain setbacks.  Easements, side and rear yards as well as any areas that need to be protected can easily be maintained using sketch circles to stay clear of the setback.

3.  Maximize the area for both site improvements and the buildable area.  These areas should not cross over setbacks however they should get as close to them as allowed by the program in order to show the total area where site improvements and built improvements are allowed.

4.  Use sketch circles to mark the grade points on the section.  Trace the contour points that cross the section cut line down to the section grid and mark the elevation using small sketch circles.  You can then connect these circles using the Grade Plane tool to accurately set the grade plane.

5.  Follow the maximum building envelope instructions carefully.  There will be specific requirements for the overall maximum building height for both lots as well individual requirements for each lot.  Carefully sketch out these height requirements using sketch lines then trace over them using the Building Envelope tool.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and since there is only one correct answer, perfection is essential here!  Stay alert and be careful to follow all program requirements precisely.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer, keep going and you’ll be there before you know it!