AlA New York Chapter
ARE Building Systems Exam Prep Seminar
January 6 th , i h , and 8 th 2012
The seminar includes three days of prep, the ARE Building systems Study
Guide and Practice Exam (The "Amber Book'), and an in-class vignette group
The seminar is taught with the goal that participants will be prepared to take
the Building Systems exam within ten days (so consider signing up for the
exam when you sign up for the seminar).
Day 1: Thermal comfort, pyschrometrics, heat transfer, thermal resistance*,
infiltration and ventilation, climate, solar geometry, passive heating, active
heating, passive cooling, air conditioning*, air distribution*, HVAC concepts*,
overall strategies for studying, practice exam.
Day 2: plumbing*, power*, electric Iighting*, air quality, practice exam.
Day 3: Vignette group practice*, daylighting, electric lighting*, LEED, room
acoustics, noise control, practice exam.
* =in-depth coverage of a topic
Michael Ermann is a tenured associate professor at Virginia Tech's School of
Architecture + Design, where he teaches design studio, environmental
building systems, and architectural acoustics. He's taught the building
systems course sequence covering energy, passive thermal, mechanical
systems, lighting, acoustics, thermal comfort, air quality, electricity, and
plumbing for each of the last 20 semesters. Professor Ermann has authored
or co-authored eight journal papers in the field of acoustics, and presented
more than 20 papers on building systems. He currently is coauthoring the
third edition of Architectural Acoustics, which has been for decades the most
widely used textbook in the field. He's the former Undergraduate Program Cochairman
and has earned design, teaching, research, and outreach awards
for his work.
Prior to joining the VT faculty Professor Ermann was an acoustical consultant
at Artec in New York City and Siebein Associates in Gainesville, Florida. He
received a bachelor of science in mathematics from Tulane University and a
master of architecture degree from the University of Florida. He has passed
the (current) 4.0 version of the Building Systems exam, and loves hosting
ARE prep seminars for those in practice.
536 LaGuardia Place
New York, NY 10012
Comments from past participants
Michael - just found out that I passed my exam! Thank you so much for the
amazing class! The content in your course is spot-on and I can safely say I
would not have passed without the direction you gave.-Zach Rose, CEO,
Green Education Services
After a couple of failed attempts at passing the ARE Building Systems exam, I
took Michael Ermann's seminar and passed the exam a week later. There
were several questions that I know I got correct because of the
seminar. Michael was very thorough and made the material very
understandable. I highly recommend Professor Ermann's course.-Ross
Just wanted to let you know I'm taking the Building Systems test Thursday; I
feel prepared, especially with the seminar Michael taught (it would have taken
me waaayyyy longer to get through study material had i needed to re-Iearn
everything again!)-Rachellslin (before taking the exam) .... .1can attest to
Michael's class directly helping me pass the exam.-Rachellslin (after
passing the exam)
Search for "Ermann" on the forum to read other comments.
Air Conditioning Animation
See professor Ermann's animation sequence, aimed at those studying to
pass the Building Systems exam. It dynamically demonstrates air conditioning
(with some content on active heating, air distribution, chiller operation,
ground-source-coupled heat pumps, and economizer cycles).
"How Air Conditioning Works" (parts 1, 2, and 3)
Good luck on the AR.E.