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The Best Books to Help You Study for the ARE 5.0

There are countless resources that you can tap into when studying for the ARE. However, there are certain books that are undeniably more useful than others.

It is always best to spend time with the books that will give you the most bang for your buck while studying.

Here are our top twelve picks for the best ARE 5.0 Study Books: 

Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings

Best for: PPD, PDD
First up is “Mechanical & Electrical Equipment for Buildings” (you may see people refer to it as MEEB). 
This one is a must-have when studying for these two tests. It covers everything from electrical and plumbing, to HVAC and fire protection systems, and everything in between. 

Building Construction Illustrated, 5th Edition

Best for: PPD, PDD
Next up is “Building Construction Illustrated”, which most of you probably own from your architecture school days. This Ching favorite is a good resource to have around when reviewing assemblies and how certain construction systems work. 

Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods

Best for: PPD, PDD
Next we have “Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods”
(you may see people call this one FBC for short). This is another biggie that takes you through the steps of construction from foundation to framing to waterproofing to finishes- and it helps you understand each phase clearly.

The Architect's Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design

Best for: PPD, PDD
Next is “The Architect’s Studio Companion: Rules of Thumb for Preliminary Design”. This is a great one to have on hand in order to learn the reasoning behind selecting major structural and mechanical systems and the differences between them. 

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects

Best for: PPD, PDD
Then we have “Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects”, which is another good reference to have when you’re reviewing HVAC and lighting systems. 

Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies

Best for: PPD, PA
The book “Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies” discusses ways to create an energy efficient building that responds to the sun, wind, and light. 

Law for Architects: What You Need to Know

Best for: PcM
“Law for Architects: What You Need to Know” reviews the important legal concepts involved in the practice of architecture. 

The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice

Best for: PcM, PjM, PA, PPD, PDD, CA
“The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice” is another tried and true resource that will undoubtedly help you throughout all six exams. This one is a definite must-have. 

2017 AIA Contracts

Best for: PcM, PjM, PA, PPD, PDD, CA
The AIA Contracts play a part throughout the entire testing process. You can download samples of these online to read yourself. Keep in mind the exam is now using the 2017 AIA Documents.
(Follow our provided link to get there.) 

The American Institute of Architects Official Guide to the AIA Contract Documents

Best for: PcM, PjM, PA, PPD, PDD, CA
This book has been known to help ARE candidates break down and digest much of the contract lingo. **NOTE: many offices may have a copy of the “AIA Official Guide to the AIA Contract Documents”.
If you see this book, please be aware that it was written for the 2007 AIA Documents. The ARE 5.0 has since updated the exam to reference the 2017 AIA Documents. So pay careful attention to any differences between the two if you are reading through it.**

AIA Code of Ethics & The NCARB Rules of Conduct

Best for: PcM
Both the AIA Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and The NCARB Rules of Conduct contain valuable information you should review before the exam. Good news: you can get these two for free online! (Click our provided links to get there.)

So there you have it…some of our top favorite resources for studying. Of course, the list can go on and on. But we suggest that, at the very least, you invest in these to help you grasp the information completely and help you conquer the exams. 

*Disclosure: Note that some of the links above are affiliate links. If a purchase is made through these links, we may earn a small commission. 

Want more tips on conquering the ARE?

Download our free ARE Playbook:
a step-by-step guide to pass the ARE faster!

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