ARE 5.0 Construction and Evaluation (CE) Study Notes

ARE 5.0 Construction and Evaluation (CE) Study Notes


The following is an overview of what may appear on the CE exam based on reviewing NCARB’s ARE 5.0 Handbook (Oct 2019 version…it was recently updated) and ARE related discussion boards. NCARB updates the handbook on occasion, so it is best to always check the most current copy from their website. They also have example problems that you should review to have a better understanding of what may show up on the exam. There is going to be overlap with the contracts with PcM and PjM.  You may benefit from reading over my notes from PjM.

95 questions in 3 hours 15 min


  • Interpret the architect’s roles and responsibilities during preconstruction based on delivery method 
  • Analyze criteria for selecting contractors
  • Analyze aspects of the contract or design to adjust project costs 


  • Evaluate the architect’s role during construction activities 
  • Evaluate construction conformance with contract documents, codes, regulations, and sustainability requirements
  • Determine construction progress


  • Determine appropriate additional information to supplement contract documents 
  • Evaluate submittals including shop drawings, samples, mock-ups, product data, and test results
  • Evaluate the contractor’s application for payment
  • Evaluate responses to non-conformance with contract documents 


  • Apply procedural concepts to complete close-out activities
  • Evaluate building design and performance


These notes are a brief overview and should not be considered to fully cover all topics or information required to pass CE. The content is roughly arranged per the NCARB ARE handbook sections. The arrangement of the information does not matter for the exams. The exam questions are not going to tell you which section is being tested and much of the information overlaps multiple sections.


  1. Architect’s role during preconstruction
  2. Criteria for selecting contractors
  3. Analyze contract/design to adjust project costs

  • Rectified photography
  • Convergent photography
  • OrthophotographyPhotogrammetry
  • Design Bid Award (traditional delivery method)
    • Advantages:
      • Competitive bidding to select the lowest bid
      • Value Based Selection (VBS) considers cost, quality, schedule—not always the lowest bid.
    • Disadvantages:
      • May make for a hostile environment—contractor has a financial stake in the process and will take advantage of architect’s omissions
      • Price increases during the life of the project
    • Bid Adverts – usually required for public projects
    • Addenda – changes to bid documents prior to signing owner-contractor agreement.
    • Open Bid:
      • Do not make the lowest bids known to other bidders
      • let bidders know that a decision of award will be made within 7-10 days
    • Bid Documents
      • Invitation to bid/advert
      • Instruction to Bidders
      • Supplementary instructions (if any)
      • Bid Forms
      • Bid Security Info – (Ensures bidder will enter into contract w/ owner)
        • security can be retained to pay for the difference between this bidder and the next choice. 
        • Usually about 5% of the estimated cost of construction. 
      • Performance Bond (if required)
        • Ensure completion of the project in the event that the contractor is unable.
        • Usually mandatory on public works/advisable on private work
        • Cost is paid for by the owner and is included in the amount of the bid
        • Important to verify surety company is located in the same state—otherwise bond is invalid.
      • Materials Payment Bond (if required) – pays subs if GC fails to do so
      • Labor and Material Payment Bond (if required)
    • Substitutions/Alternates – submitted within 10 days prior to bid closing. 
    • RFIs – at least 7 days prior to bid closing
    • Addenda – issued no later than 4 days prior to bid closing
    • Post-Bid information
      • bidders under consideration must submit to the architect A305 “Contractor Qualification Statement”
      • Bidders under considerations can within 14 days prior to the withdrawal date request that the owner provide reasonable evidence that he can pay the contractor. Owner mus provide 7 days prior to expiration time for withdrawal of bids. 
    • Post-Award Submittals:
      • The bidder selected for award also needs to provide:
        • Summary of the work to be performed under contractor’s own forces 
        • Names of manufacturers, products, suppliers of the principal items of the project
        • Names of companies/builders carrying out the principal portions of work
    • Performance Bond/Payment Bond – cost of bonds are included in bid price
    • D-B-B Cost Control
      • Architect provides cost estimates throughout life of project 
      • Unit Prices—help to compare bids amongst contractors
      • Allowances—amount set by architect to cover material/equipment when the cost is unknown. Adjust contract prices accordingly. 
      • Value Engineering—may hire a VE analyst B204 (best used early)
  • Construction Manager as Advisor (CMa)
    • B132 “Owner/Architect CM as Advisor”
    • A132 “Owner/Contractor-CM as Advisor”
    • A232 “ General Conditions, CM as Advisor”
    • Role of Architect is similar to Traditional delivery except:
      • Architect works w/ CMa during design SD/DD to make prelim cost estimate
      • Architect submits design schedule to both CMa and Owner
      • If budget is high, architect to work w/ CMa to reduce (or Owner can approve change in budget/scope)
    • competitive bidding or negotiated w/ one contractor
    • multiple prime contracts can be used, no GMP and bidding/negotiation are done to award.
  • Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc)
    • B133 “ Owner/Architect CMc”
    • A201 “ General Conditions of the contract”
    • Role of architect is similar to Traditional delivery except:
      • Architect works w/ CMc during design phases as CMc provides cost, schedule, construction feasibility..etc.
      • Architect submits design schedule to CMc & Owner
    • Work Plus Fee with or without a GMP 
  • Design Build
    • B 143 “ Design Builder/Architect”
    • design-builder, architect and owner select services from a list that architect will provide. 
  • Integrated Project Delivery
    • Delivery organization
      • B195 “ Owner/Architect IPD”
      • A295 “ General Conditions IPD”
      • multi-party agreement
      • single-purpose entity agreement
    • architect’s responsibilities during pre-construction are limited (agency review/buyout)
      • Agency Review – Architect Building Code check with AHJ (Authority having jurisdiction)
      • Buyout – Process of selecting suppliers and finalizing prices.
      • There is no major bidding/negotiation by main players in IPD
  • Conformance w/ Sustainability Requirements
    • B101 SP, A201 SP: Contracts should include:
      • Owner’s goals for sustainability
      • Objective to achieve a green-building rating system
      • Desired benefits to the environment/health
      • Guidelines for improving energy efficiency
      • Sustainability Plan 


  1. Architect’s role during construction
  2. Evaluate construction conformance 
  3. Determine construction progress
  • Misc Architect CA Responsibilities:
    • Verifying required performance bonds and labor/material bonds
    • Verifies contractor has acceptable insurance 
    • Verifies issuance of cofO by building official
    • Monitors conformance to sustainability requirements
  • Construction Manager as Advisor (CMa)
    • B132, A132, A232
    • Architect and CMa provide joint CA services
    • Owner and contractor communicate through CMa w/ copies to architect
    • CMa and architect both review submittals and may request inspections/ reject work.
    • CMa receives requests for information (RFIs) from contractor and forwards to architect w/ personal recommendation. 
    • CMa prepares change orders (not architect, like traditional method)
      • Change Orders must be signed by CMa, architect, owner and contractor
    • Architect remains initial decision maker on claims b/w owner and contractor.
  • Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc)
    • B133, A201
    • Architects roles similar to design-bid-build
    • Architect is required to consult w/ owner and CMc
    • Applications for payment still submitted to architect
    • CMc issues cert of payment to owner.
    • A133 describes progress payment calculation
  • Design-Build
    • B143- architect as a consultant to design builder
    • Architect’s scope depends on services selected when contract signed but the potentials are similar to D-B-B services.
  • Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
    • A201 
    • Focus on quality control and cost monitoring
  • Sustainability:
    • Notify of any known changes/deviations that might impact sustainability measures.
    • Architect must register project w/ certifying authority. Fees are deemed reimbursable expenses. 
    • Collect sustainability documentation from owner/contractors 
    • Must appeal a ruling that denies sustainability certification
  • Construction Observation
    • The architect’s site visits/observations should be used for:
      • To become familiar with progress/quality of work
      • To keep owner informed
      • Guard the owner against defect/deficiencies in work
      • To determine if work is progressing as scheduled/in accordance to CD’s
    • The number of site visits is up to the architect and may be determined by the size, complexity, type of construction and schedule of a specific project
    • Field Reports (G711) Typically Include:
      • Project Number (In architect office and in contractors office)
      • Field Report Number
      • Date/Time of Observation
      • Weather Conditions
      • Work currently in progress
      • Number of workers present
      • Observations made (problems, photos)
      • Assessment of conformance to schedule
      • Percentage Complete
      • List of items to verify
      • Action Items
      • Any attachments
      • Name of person making the report. 


  1. Evaluate the extent of supplemental information 
  2. Evaluate submittals
  3. Evaluate application for payment
  4. Addressing non-conforming items

  • Project Meetings
    • Typically organized by architectArchitect must attend these meetings (owner-architect agreement requirement)
  • Field Tests
    • Contractor is responsible for paying for and scheduling field tests. If additional testing (beyond norm) is required, architect should instruct contractor to make arrangements but only after written authorization from Owner. Owner pays for these testsIf any special inspections, architect needs to make a Statement of Special Inspections and submit AHJ for review. Architect/owner must then engage a special inspections firm to conduct the work. Owner pays for costs. Results of inspection submitted to AHJ for eval/approval. 
  • Submittals:
    • Submittals (shop drawings, cutsheets etc) are NOT contract documents. Architect must keep a log of submittals as specified by owner-architect agreement
  • Minor Changes in the Work
    • When it does not conflict with contract sum/timeArchitect issues G710 “Architects Supplemental Instructions”  directing the change—does not need approval of the owner/contractor
  • Change Orders
    • Document that authorizes variation from original CD’s that will include a change in price, time or both.Prepared by architect and approved by owner, architect and contractor
  • Construction Change Directives
    • G714 Used when an issue is discovered and the cost/time is unknowable or the cost/time cannot be agreed fast enough.Needs to be signed by architect and owner onlyIf directive causes an increase in sum:
      • Lump sum, itemized and mutually acceptedUnit prices previously agreed upon in the specsCosts TBD by mutual agreement on a fixed or percentage feeAs needed by a subsequent clauseIf contractor agrees w/ proposal the change is recorded as a change orderIf contractor disagrees w/ proposal they may make a Claim.While decision is being made, the contractors submittal for payment can include a request for payment for work completed under the directive. Architect to ensure costs are justified. 
  • Uncovering and Correction of Work
    • Under 201, the architect has the authority to reject non conforming workIf architect asks for work to be uncovered and it is found to be correct, owner pays for work required to uncover and recover.  If a test reveals non-conforming work, contractor must pay to fix and re-inspect. Contractor may pay architect if any additional work arises from this test. Architect can approved non-conforming work w/ the approval of the owner.Owner has the right to carry out the work correctly through the use of another contractor and charge the original contractor for the expenses. If owner is accepting of a deviation and an architect isn’t, the owner has the final authority. Architect notes deviation on certificate of substantial completion as “non-conforming exception”. Contractor must document this on as-built drawings (required by 201)
  • Disputes and Claims
    • A claim is a demand for more money/time/any other adjustment to contractMust be initiated within 21 days of discovery (not more than 10 years after substantial completion)Claims are first deferred to initial decision maker (IDM)—usually the architect unless outlined differently in the owner-contractor agreementIDM must make a decision within 10 days of claim received or
      • Request additional data Suggest a compromiseAccept/Reject claimState that the IDM can’t arrive at a decision based on the lack of evidenceAdvice parties that it would be inappropriate for IDM to resolve the claimIDM can request the owner to hire experts on the matter, as an expense to the ownerApproval/rejection of the claim by the IDM is final and binding but subject to mediation and binding dispute resolution
  • Mediation and Arbitration
    • American Arbitration Association in conformance with Construction Industry Mediation Procedures contemporary to the contract signing.General Process:  IDM > Mediation >Arbitration > LitigationIn arbitration, parties submit claim to a panel and agree to abide by the final decision
  • Applications for Payment
    • Contractor to submit a notarized application to architect at least 10 days prior to payment date established in owner-contractor agreement.Application needs to include value of work (labor + materials) completed up to the date of application as well as value of materials bought/stored but not yet used.Architect needs to confirm application for payment. This confirmation admits that the work is being done to the contract documents to the architect’s best knowledge. Confirmation is NOT:
      • Confirmation that the architect has made exhaustive on site inspectionsThat the architect has reviewed construction methods, techniques or proceduresReviewed requisition copies received from subcontractors and suppliersDetermined how and for what the contractor used the money that was previously paid.AIA G702 Application and Certificate for Payment is signed by the Architect and ContractorIf a subcontractor wants to know if contractor has been paid, under the general conditions of the contract for construction, the architect is allowed to provide the percentage of completion or amounts applied for by the contractor at a written request. Amount due to the contractor is based on schedule of values. 
      • A schedule of values breaks up contract sum into various areas of work; foundation, framing..etcSchedule of values are determined by “earned value management”
        • Predicts time and money  that is required to complete certain tasks. Actual time/money can be compared to the schedule of values to see how project is progressing. An Amount, a “retainage”, is withheld from each application until the project is complete. Typically 10% or whatever has been agreed to.Public projects will usually require the use of “prevailing wages”: proof of payroll records
  • Final Payment
    • Punch List is completeContractor submits a final application for payment and notifies architect that the work is ready for final inspection. Before the certificate of payment is issued, the contractor must submit to the architect:
      • G706 Affidavit stating that payrolls, materials, debts have been paid.a certificate showing that the required insurance will remain in effect for the agreed-upon durationa written statement that the Contractor is unaware of any reason an insurance company would not renew it’s coverageG707 The contest of surety for final payment. if required by Owner, additional proof of satisfying project obligations (receipts, waivers of liens, etc.)Final portion of construction admin phase; work complete, occupancy ready, documentation from contractor finalized


  1. Close-out activities
  2. Building evaluation

  • Project Closeout
    • Substantial Completion: Majority of work done, owner can occupy
      • basis for statute of limitations on errors/omissions in many state laws 
      • Contractor’s schedule ends w/ substantial completion
      • This date also establishes responsibilities for the owner/contractor for security, maintenance, utilities, warranties, damage to work and insurance. 
      • Includes list of minor items to be completed 
        • The additional items list made by the architect is referred to as the punch list
    • G704 “ Cert of Substantial Completion”
      • Punch List done then Final Inspection
      • Cert is signed by owner/contractor accepting their responsibilities
      • Contractor is also responsible for final cleaning, explanation of system operation/equipment, locks, restoring any damaged items or any attic stock.
      • B101 terminates architects responsibilities when final cert for payment is issued. Anything beyond this is an “additional service”
  • Building Commissioning
    • This is the quality control process of planning, designing, installing, inspecting, testing, and adjusting building systems to ensure they operate and meet the design criteria of the CD’s
    • Process varies based on project size,function, and budget
    • Determining Performance Requirements:
      • This process begins at design/pre-design phase
      • During this early phase, a decision is made of which systems will be used and what criteria will be accepted
      • The Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) is created, providing a summary of the critical planning requirements and owner expectations
      • The document should be updated as the project progresses, especially if the project is complex or high value
      • The OPR is developed further into a Basis of Design (BOD) document during the design phase. 
    • Testing
      • It is the contractor’s responsibility to correct all issues w/ equipment
      • The commissioning agent is responsible for making the commissioning report which includes final test results, manuals and explains how to use systems.
      • Re-testing should occur one year after occupancy (follow up post construction)
      • Contractor’s warranty should be coordinated w/ this activity
    • Items that may be evaluated: Mechanical systems, Electrical Systems, Plumbing, Fire Suppression, Fire Management and Life Safety Systems, Energy and Water Efficiency, Vertical transport (elevators/escalators), Telecommunication and computer networks, Exterior Envelope, Accessibility, Security/Safety, Survivability, Space Functionality, Maintainability
    • The Commissioning Provider (CxP) or Commissioning Agent (CxA) and Team
      • CxP or CxA is ideally a third party responsible for coordinating commissioning efforts, can be CMa
      • If Architect:  AIA B211 “Architects Services: Commissioning”
    • commissioning team:
      • Commissioning Provider
      • Architect
      • Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineers
      • General Contractor
      • Various Subcontractors involved w/ commissioning systems (fire suppression)
      • Owner and his personnel
      • Others directly involved w/ construction projects
  • Post Occupancy Evaluation
    • POE is usually conducted after occupancy at 3 or 6 months
    • Not a standard part of services
    • G802 “Amendment to professional service agreement” 
    • Typically used by clients planning a similar project in the future
  • Project Follow-Up
    • Advantageous for architectural firms( at 6months and 1 year post CofO):
      • Creates a lasting good impression w/ owner. Provides for references.
      • Issues will generally pop-up when the owner is moved in—architect can help guide resolution w/ appropriate parties without having it fall back on the firm
    • Possible follow up Additional Services :
      • Verifying all operating instructions
      • Verifying owner has received all lien waivers
      • Photographing the project
      • Holding in house review
      • Evaluating performance of consultants
      • Compiling info about the project to serve as a learning experience
      • Completing job history to use later
      • Filing all project related documents for a specific retention period


  • Bid Bond: assure contractor will honor bid amount
  • Construction Bond: a type of surety bond; a financial guarantee; aka contract or contractor bond.
  • License Bond: guarantees contractor will follow laws to maintain license. Will perform work in accordance with applicable laws.
  • Payment Bond: assures subs and suppliers will be paid
  • Performance Bond: assures owner will be compensated if the contractor fails to perform
  • Subdivision Bond: guarantees work on public property within a subdivision; roads, sidewalks, sewers etc
  • Supply Bond: guarantees materials will be provided as agreed.
  • Surety Bond: a financial guarantee. Federal projects require a performance bond for $100k+ projects and payment Bond for $2.5mil+ per Miller Act.
  • Warranty Bond: guarantees work quality for a period of time after completion; aka maintenance bond.


  • Architect’s Studio Companion (good single source)
  • Construction Illustrated (Ching) Ch 1-8 (also helps with PPD/PDD)
  • Any other AIA docs listed in the NCARB handbook for CE
  • Architect Handbook for Professional Practice Ch 9 and 10: Understand the difference between Construction Manager (CM) and Architect roles for different project delivery methods see Wylie guide for a more surgical list of sections to read if you already are generally familiar with these topics.
  • A101 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor where the basis of payment is a Stipulated Sum
  • *A201 General Conditions of the Contract for Construction
  • A305 Contractor’s Qualification Statement
  • *A701 Instructions to Bidders
  • B101 Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect
  • C401 Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant
  • G701 Change Order
  • G702 Application and Certificate for Payment
  • G703 Continuation Sheet
  • G704 Certificate of Substantial Completion