Errors shown on NCARB Vignette "Sample Passing Solutions"
The following list encompasses known errors or disputed suggestions displayed in the NCARB Exam Guides and the "Sample Passing Solutions" for the vignettes. Note that NCARB provides these “passing” vignette solutions, not as perfect solutions, but as solutions which would provide a passing score. It is not known whether repeating the errors shown on the “passing” solutions will cause a failing vignette score, but we suggest that you avoid these mistakes on your vignette attempts. This list has been divided into two categories: “Errors” (items shown that violate the program or code and could be graded negatively) and “Suggestions” (items that are unnecessary or illogical based on the information provided by NCARB).

Errors on the "October 2014" set of exam guides...

Note: the following referenced NCARB Exam Guides were all downloaded on October 2, 2014.

Building Design & Construction Systems
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014”]

Accessibility/Ramp
Suggestions:
1) Passing Solution: There is an exception to the Handrail requirement, whereby a ramp with a rise of 6" or less does not require a handrail. Therefore, the ramp from 26" to 30" does not require a handrail on the wall, and the ramp from 0" to 3" does not require a handrail on the west side of the ramp.
2) Failing Solution: Handrails on the walls are not required for the upper ramps from 25" to 30".

Stair Design

Suggestion:
1) Passing Solution: Although it is acceptable to show the plan entirely on the 2nd level (if the entire solution can be seen from above), NCARB fails to indicate the proper use of the cut-stair. 

Roof Plan
Error:
1) Failing Solution uses an incorrect slope on the upper roof and does not call it out as an error (5:12 pitch is lower than the minimum per the program)

Suggestion:
1) Passing Solution: gutters should not be mounted to chimney.  Stop gutters on both sides of chimney and make sure there are properly located downspouts.


Building Systems
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014 ]

Mechanical and Electrical Plan
Errors:
1) 2x4 lights in Architect’s Office are not spaced correctly per lighting diagrams and therefore cause overlighting in between the fixtures
2) lights in Drafting Studio are not centered (if they were, they would line up horizontally with the Conference Room lights) and therefore do not provide even light distribution
3) lights in Reception are not centered in the East-West direction and do not provide even light distribution

Suggestions:
1) return grilles in Drafting Studio and Conference Room are not supported on three sides by the ceiling grid (lights do not count for support)
2) for efficiency’s sake, there is no need to jog the rigid duct to the west after it exits the south riser shaft wall (the only reason would be to leave room to properly show the flex duct from the Supply Closet diffuser connecting to the rigid duct)
3) it is possible to connect the rigid duct for the supply air to the long side of the Supply Riser
4) Failing solution does not call out the incorrect Accent light layout
5) Failing solution does not call out the error of bending the flex duct (Reception)


Construction Documents & Services
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014 ]

Building Section
Error:
1) slab should not be continuous through interior bearing foundation wall

Suggestions:
1) although it is passable to show t.o. foundation wall at b.o. slab, it is logical to show t.o. foundation wall in line with t.o. slab
2) Failing solution does not point that the interior footing does not need to extend down to the frost line


Programming, Planning & Practice
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014 ]

Site Zoning
Suggestions:
1) although passable based on an assumed 12” tolerance, the buildable area could be tighter to the sketch circles at the water line setback
2) due to the snap tolerance, you will probably find that your vertical building profile lines do not exactly touch the grade line as shown
3) due to the snap tolerance, you will probably find that your vertical building profile lines do not exactly touch your angled restriction sketch line as shown
4) when zoomed in on the pdf image, it appears that the section profiles are drawn higher than the sketch lines drawn for the height restrictions; be sure to keep your section profile lines as close to, but under, the height restrictions


Schematic Design
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014

Interior Layout
Errors:
1) the west chair of the T44 is blocked because the T44 is too close to the west wall in JO

Suggestions:
1) furniture can be placed against walls (sometimes inches count)… check overlaps with the Check tool
2) it is not necessary to rotate chairs 45 degrees when placing them in a corner
3) do not let the fronts of the lounge chairs in RBO overlap or block each other... the passing solution shows those chairs as being rather close
4) CR door is not noted as an error for swinging into the RBO; this is not an egress door, therefore it should swing into the CR

Building Layout
Suggestions:
1) double doors are not necessary; no occupant loads are given
2) due to egress provided through Stair, egress door at end of Corridor is not necessary (redundant)
3) although possibly passable, L-shapes for major spaces (i.e. Game Room and Large Meeting room) is not recommended
4) though not absolutely necessary, "sound design logic" would suggest that EE would be adjacent to E 
5) Failing solution:  room AO also has a "poor aspect ratio"; L-shape should also be avoided if possible

Note that interior windows are not visible in the PDF provided by NCARB. They do indicate with red arrows the view lines, so the windows are technically there...just not visible due to the resolution of the PDF.


Site Planning & Design
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014 ]

Note the written version of the SG program in the published study guide says the min slope required is 1%. This is a typo. The actual software says the min slope required is 2%. This error was in previous versions of the study guide for this vignette.

Site Grading
Error:
1) the min slope typo has been corrected; the exam guide and the software now agree that the min slope required is 2%

Suggestion:
1) better placement of Locomotive Display could reduce number of topography lines affected, this “passing” solution should be considered as the maximum for topography disturbance

Site Design
Suggestions:
1) many more coniferous trees added than necessary
2) extra coniferous trees limit view of Bentley Avenue from Office Tower


Structural Systems
[Note: “Copyright 2014” and “effective October 2014 ]

Structural Layout
Suggestions:
1) although bearing walls are shown in the solution, it is not necessary to use them… you can pass with an all-steel solution
2) bearing walls should go all the way to the edges of openings and building corners
3) lintels should bear 4” on the bearing walls on each side of the openings
4) bearing wall and lintel shown to the west of Shop 2 (Common Area exterior wall) are not necessary – could use single column in SW corner of Common Area (this would make the upper level column above Shop 2 wall better suited to be in NW corner of Shop 2)
5) upper level joists should be drawn to the centerline of the wall on the east side
6) NCARB drafting is inconsistent, though it makes the most logical sense to draw all joists, beams, lintels and bearing walls to centerline of walls

________________________________________________________________________________________________


Posted here for cross reference: Errors on the "2011" set of exam guides...

Note: the following referenced NCARB Exam Guides were all downloaded on August 10, 2011.

Building Design & Construction Systems
[Note: “Copyright 2011” and “effective July 2011”]

Accessibility/Ramp
Suggestions:
1) Passing Solution: There is an exception to the Handrail requirement, whereby a ramp with a rise of 6" or less does not require a handrail. Therefore, the western-most ramp from 26" to 30" does not require a handrail on the wall, and the ramp from 0" to 3" does not require a handrail.
2) Failing Solution: Handrails are not required for the upper ramps from 25" to 30".

Stair Design

Suggestion:
1) Passing Solution: Although it is acceptable to show the plan entirely on the 2nd level (if the entire solution can be seen from above), NCARB fails to indicate the proper use of the cut-stair. 

Roof Plan
Errors:
1) Passing Solution: gutters are missing on eastern edge of upper and lower roofs
2) Failing Solution uses an incorrect slope on the upper roof and does not call it out as an error (5:12 pitch is lower than the minimum per the program)


Building Systems
[Note: “Copyright 20119” and “effective July 2011”]

Mechanical and Electrical Plan
Errors:
1) 2x4 lights in Architect’s Office are not spaced correctly per lighting diagrams and therefore cause overlighting in between the fixtures
2) lights in Drafting Studio are not centered (if they were, they would line up horizontally with the Conference Room lights) and therefore do not provide even light distribution

Suggestions:
1) lights in Reception could be more centered in the East-West direction to provide even light distribution
2) return grilles in Drafting Studio and Conference Room are not supported on three sides by the ceiling grid (lights do not count for support)
3) for efficiency’s sake, there is no need to jog the rigid duct to the west after it exits the south riser shaft wall (the only reason would be to leave room to properly show the flex duct from the Supply Closet diffuser connecting to the rigid duct)
4) it is possible to connect the rigid duct for the supply air to the long side of the Supply Riser
5) Failing solution does not call out the incorrect Accent light layout
6) Failing solution does not call out the error of bending the flex duct


Construction Documents & Services
[Note: “Copyright 2011” and “effective July 2011”]

Building Section
Error:
1) slab should not be continuous through interior bearing foundation wall

Suggestions:
1) although it is passable to show t.o. foundation wall at b.o. slab, it is logical to show t.o. foundation wall in line with t.o. slab
2) Failing solution does not point that the interior footing does not need to extend down to the frost line


Programming, Planning & Practice
[Note: “Copyright 2011” and “effective July 2011”]

Site Zoning
Suggestions:
1) although passable based on an assumed 12” tolerance, the buildable area could be tighter to the sketch circles at the water line setback
2) due to the snap tolerance, you will probably find that your vertical building profile lines do not exactly touch the grade line as shown
2) due to the snap tolerance, you will probably find that your vertical building profile lines do not exactly touch your angled restriction sketch line as shown


Schematic Design
[Note: “Copyright 2011” and “effective July 2011”]

Interior Layout
Errors:
1) the west chair of the T44 is blocked because the T44 is too close to the west wall in JO

Suggestions:
1) furniture can be placed against walls (sometimes inches count)… check overlaps with the Check tool
2) it is not necessary to rotate chairs 45 degrees when placing them in a corner
3) do not let the fronts of the lounge chairs in RBO overlap or block each other... the passing solution shows those chairs as being rather close

Building Layout
Suggestions:
1) double doors are not necessary
2) due to egress provided through Stair, egress door at end of Corridor is not necessary (redundant)
3) although possibly passable, L-shapes for major spaces (i.e. Game Room and Large Meeting room) is not recommended
4) though not absolutely necessary, "sound design logic" would suggest that EE would be adjacent to E

Note that interior windows are not visible in the PDF provided by NCARB. They do indicate with red arrows the view lines, so the windows are there...just not visible due to the resolution of the PDF.


Site Planning & Design
[Note: “Copyright 2011” and “effective July 2011”]

Note the written version of the SG program in the published study guide says the min slope required is 1%. This is a typo. The actual software says the min slope required is 2%. This error was in previous versions of the study guide for this vignette.

Site Grading
Error:
1) March 2008 version error: min. slope requirement of 2% not met between 106 & 105. This should be a fatal error. Error corrected in the July 2010 & 2011 versions.
2) Note the written version of the SG program in the published study guide says the min slope required is 1%. This is a typo. The actual software says the min slope required is 2%.

Suggestion:
1) better placement of Locomotive Display could reduce number of topography lines affected, this “passing” solution should be considered as the maximum for topography disturbance

Site Design
Suggestions:
1) many more coniferous trees added than necessary
2) extra coniferous trees limit view of Bentley Avenue from Office Tower


Structural Systems
[Note: “Copyright 2011” and “effective July 2011”]

Structural Layout
Suggestions:
1) bearing walls should go all the way to the edges of openings
2) lintels should bear 4” on the bearing walls on each side of the openings
3) bearing wall and lintel shown to the west of Shop 2 are not necessary – could use single column in SW corner of Common Area (this would make the upper level column above Shop 2 wall better suited to be in NW corner of Shop 2)
4) although bearing walls are shown in the solution, it is not necessary to use them… you can pass with an all-steel solution
5) upper level joists should be drawn to the centerline of the wall on the east side
6) NCARB drafting is inconsistent, though it makes the most logical sense to draw all joists, beams, lintels and bearing walls to centerline of walls
7) this is a roof framing plan, and as such the walls above should not be considered as requiring support… the 2011 version includes an unnecessary beam along the west side of the Covered Entry on the Lower Level