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Architectural Registration Exam Version 4.0 is Being Retired

With the retirement of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE®) 4.0 around the corner, thousands of licensure candidates have already switched to the latest version, ARE 5.0—and many are finding success with the new exam.

Since the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) launched ARE 5.0 in 2016, candidates have had the option to take ARE 4.0, ARE 5.0, or a combination of both versions to complete the examination requirement. But time is running out for candidates looking to complete the exam in ARE 4.0, which is why NCARB is encouraging test takers to plan their transition strategy or switch to ARE 5.0 now.

Exam Candidates Prefer ARE 5.0’s Content and Interface

ARE 4.0, which retires June 30, 2018, features seven divisions organized around different content areas. In comparison, ARE 5.0 features six divisions organized around the phases of a typical architecture project. These divisions also align with the Architectural Experience Program’s™ (AXP™) practice areas, an improvement test takers find both refreshing and beneficial.

“The ARE 5.0 tests align very closely with the various phases of project development,” said Austen Conrad, Assoc. AIA, who passed all six divisions in just three months. “As long as candidates have had a chance to work in every phase of a project, they should feel comfortable taking the exams.”

ARE 5.0 also incorporates the latest testing methods, replacing ARE 4.0’s vignettes with case studies, hotspots, and drag-and-place questions. The exam will continue to use multiple choice, check-all-that-apply, and quantitative fill-in-the-blank questions.

“While ARE 4.0 divisions are relatively known and predictable after so many years, ARE 5.0 divisions are much better exams—they really test your ability to think and make decisions like an architect,” said recently licensed architect Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, NCARB, who took a combination of both versions and passed in just five tests.

Making the Switch to ARE 5.0

NCARB first announced the retirement of ARE 4.0 in 2014, providing candidates with ample time to design a personalized testing strategy. Anyone who has not completed the exam by June 30, 2018, will need to transition to ARE 5.0 to complete the ARE.

To help make the upcoming change as smooth as possible, NCARB has developed a number of free resources, including an interactive Transition Calculator that shows how ARE 4.0 credits will transfer to the new exam. Candidates can also get real-time help from NCARB experts through the ARE 4.0 and ARE 5.0 communities.

Developed by NCARB, the ARE is used to test a candidate’s knowledge and skills, and is required for initial licensure in all U.S. jurisdictions.

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Minneapolis Posts One of the Lowest Jobless Rates Among Large Cities

The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area in Minnesota and the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metropolitan area in Tennessee posted the lowest unemployment rates among all large, US metropolitan areas at 2.3% each in October, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.

The highest jobless rate among large metropolitan areas in October was posted by the Cleveland-Elyria area in Ohio, at 5.2%, followed closely by Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise area in Nevada at 5.1%.

The lowest unemployment rates among metropolitan areas of all sizes was in Ames, Iowa., at 1.4%, followed by Columbia, Mo., at 1.5%. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., had the highest unemployment rates at 20.9% and 18.0% respectively.

The response rate for the October survey was below average in Puerto Rico, in part as a result of difficulties accessing some remote areas that were significantly affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Bureau reported. The US Virgin Islands was not able to administer its establishment survey in September or October 2017.


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In the 20+ years since the U.S. Green Building Council first developed its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the nation’s LEED-certified construction volume has grown to comprise about 40% of green construction’s contribution to the economy, according to the USGBC’s Leticia McCadden. By 2018, LEED-certified construction is expected to contribute nearly $30 million to the nation’s GDP – a number that may only grow with time, as the USGBC certifies over 2.2 million new square feet of LEED space each day.

LEED is far from the only green building practice or certification out there, either – and according to a 2016 study by Dodge Data & Analytics, green building practices double across the globe every three years.

Out of 5.77 billion completed square feet across 165 countries, over 1.3 billion completed square feet of LEED-certified space exists in the US across 38,353 projects, commercial and residential alike. That’s enough space to cover almost all of Staten Island, or about 23,000 football fields.

According to ABODO’s analysis of the nation’s LEED-certified spaces and projects, Texas has the most LEED-certified residential projects out of any state – 6,945. Almost half of this number are in Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, which also leads the nation for LEED-certified products at the city level with 3,797. California is close behind with 5,255 residential projects, including 2,251 in Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim.

At 2,675, Washington D.C. falls short of having the highest number of residential LEED projects in the nation, but its high LEED-certified square footage across all construction types grants it the title of “LEED Capital of the US”, according to ABODO. The metro area holds over 183 million residential and almost 311 million commercial LEED-certified square feet, or over one-third of the nation’s entire LEED-certified space.

"On a national level, it's not a surprise to see some of the largest U.S. cities leading the charge in green construction,” says Sam Radbil, Senior Communications Director at ABODO. “Cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and San Jose are all at the forefront of innovation when it comes to city growth and expansion. These large cites, which are home to millions of people, have continued to progress and innovate as their population grows each year. In order to maintain a sustainable environment for all residents, cities of this size must find a way to implement eco-friendly developments for both residential and commercial construction projects."

The Greater Chicago leads the nation in the average size of its residential LEED-certified construction projects at 131,689 square feet. Greater Boston is close behind at 131,109, followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward at 122,096 and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara at 107,198.

For the most part, the metropolitan areas with the largest LEED-certified projects are also some of the nation’s most densely-populated cities, and their average square footage usually exceeds the state’s average. Illinois leads the nation in average LEED square footage for residential projects at 109,052, coming in just below Chicago’s average, while California’s average, 45,091, falls short of San Francisco by almost 77,000 square feet. Out of the top ten cities, only the Seattle metro area has an average LEED residential square footage that falls short of the state average.

While dense urban areas tend to have larger residential projects overall, comparing the number of green construction projects to an area’s population may serve as a greater indication of a given area’s green construction density.

Jacksonville, N.C. has the most residential LEED projects per capita, at 4.6 for every 1,000 people. Santa Fe, New Mexico is close behind at 3.7 projects per 1,000 people, followed by Fairbanks, Alaska at 2 per 1,000. Nine out of the top ten urban areas for residential LEED projects per capita are in the South, Southwest, or West, with the exception of the Martha’s Vineyard community of Vineyard Haven, Mass at 1.4 per 1,000.

On the state level, Alaska leads the nation with 0.88 LEED-certified residential projects for every 1,000 people, followed by New Mexico at 0.87 per 1,000 people and Hawaii with 0.5 per thousand.

Source: Builder

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Five College Programs Added to NCARB's IPAL Initiative

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) recently announced that architecture programs at five schools in the United States have been accepted into the Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative, which allows students to pursue an architecture license while in school. Launched in 2015, IPAL allows accredited programs to incorporate the Architectural Experience Program and the Architect Registration Examination into curricula. Part of the reason for the creation of this path was to shorten the time to licensure, which is now down to an average of 12.5 years as of last year.

"IPAL programs embrace the reality that today’s candidates are pursuing the education, experience, and examination requirements for licensure concurrently,” said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong in a press release. “Students who choose to enroll in an IPAL program will have a more enriching and holistic experience, and be able to establish themselves in the marketplace fairly quickly after graduation.”

Newly accepted programs—reviewed by NCARB's education committee—include the Boston Architectural College's B.Arch. program in Boston, Florida International University's M.Arch. program in Miami, the New York Institute of Technology's M.Arch. program in New York, Southern Illinois University's M.Arch. program in Carbondale, Ill., and the University of Massachusetts Amherst's M.Arch. program in Amherst, Mass.

For a complete list of IPAL programs visit

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NCARB: Average Time to Licensure is 12.5 Years

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced today that the time to licensure has dropped to an average of 12.5 years in 2016—that's 9.6 months less than in 2015. The organization counts time to licensure from the moment that an individual enrolls as a student at school until they are fully licensed. Additionally, the latest report shows that newly licensed architects are eight months younger than the year prior, now averaging 32 years old.

“By updating our programs to reflect the realities of modern practice, candidates can now pursue licensure in a way that fits their lifestyle,” said NCARB president Kristine Harding, AIA, in a press release. “With guidance from our licensing boards, NCARB has been able to open doors to a new pool of candidates while maintaining the rigor needed to protect the public’s safety.”

The reduction in time needed to achieve licensure can likely be attributed to changes in NCARB's Architectural Experience Program and Architect Registration Examination, which have been implemented over the last decade. Also, "This trend is driven by candidates completing the experience and examination programs concurrently and more quickly," said the organization in its press release.

Courtesy NCARB 
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