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Surface Area of Rectangular Prisms

SA = 2(lw+lh+wh)

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Painting the White House- Finding the Surface Area of a Rectangular Prism

Painting the White House- Finding the Surface Area of a Rectangular Prism

Recall that surface area is the total of the areas of each face on a solid figure. Also remember that the definition of a prism is a three–dimensional figure with two parallel congruent polygons as bases, with rectangular side faces. Finally, remember that the formula for finding the surface area of a rectangular prism is \begin{align*}SA = 2lw + 2lh + 2hw\end{align*}.

Credit: User: Юкатан
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_House_06.02.08.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

"Are you up for the job?" -Barack Obama [Figure1]

Let’s say the President calls you one morning and asks you for a favor. The paint on the White House is starting to fade and peel, and he needs someone who can repaint the whole thing. Are you up for the task?

Creative Applications

1. Do some research. What are the dimensions of the White House? How do these dimensions vary?

2. Using the information above, calculate the total surface area of the White House

3. How much paint are you actually going to need? is this number equal to the total surface area? Why or why not?

4. Assuming you use gallon cans of Diamond Vogel Permacryl paint, how much is going to cost to paint the White House? 

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  1. [1]^ Credit: User: Юкатан; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White_House_06.02.08.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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