BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Building Physics & Services

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL10401
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


Buildings are a significant part of the overall construction effort. In order to ensure occupant comfort and productivity, the indoor environment must be comfortable. However, providing such conditions consumes significant amounts of energy and is therefore a major cause of CO2 emissions. It is therefore important to understand the basic concepts of building performance and how to apply them in order to ensure that functional, energy efficient buildings are designed and constructed.


The unit aims to enable students to:
- describe and explain the concept of sustainability and the main implications for the built environment
- describe and explain the science and impacts of climate change, the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the role of buildings in such mitigation
- describe and explain the main concepts underpinning the provision and design of building services with the major emphasis on heating and ventilation
- perform basic heating, lighting ventilation and energy calculations for buildings


1.  Sustainability and sustainable development

  1. the global environmental and development challenges that underpin the need for sustainable development
  2. the meaning of the terms sustainability and sustainable development generally, and within the context of the build environment
  3. general methods to enhance the sustainability of the built environment   
  4. the science underpinning climate change and sustainability
  5. the options for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide associated with buildings
  6. why the energy consumption of occupied buildings can differ from the calculated energy consumption based on the building’s design

2. Built environment

  1. general introduction to building construction in the context of building services design
  2. performance requirements of buildings including ventilation and occupant health
  3. principles of heat transfer in buildings and how to calculate heat transfer rate
  4. design of heating systems and how to quantify steady state heating requirements
  5. CO2 emissions from buildings and how to identify the effects of a range of energy sources used in buildings

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods

Exam - via script viewing

Report - upon release of coursework marks

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Project supervision 10
Tutorials 26
Independent study hours
Independent study 40

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Rodger Edwards Unit coordinator

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