BEng Civil Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Design 3 (Civil)

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL31001
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This brings together the core disciplines of structures, geotechnics and hydraulics in one design environment. A single project brief, in the form of a multi-storey development, will form the basis of the design exercise. Each of the three design areas will be conducted in 4 week blocks, starting with structures. The work is studio based and will be undertaken in groups of 4 or 5. The first half of the 2 hour slot may be used for introductory or consolidation lectures, the second half will be tutorial based.

The unit is 100% coursework. Conceptual design will be undertaken during tutorial time with a view to providing in-class feedback. Detail design will be undertaken and submitted at the end of each 4 week block. Two members of staff from the relevant discipline will be available for the tutorial sessions. Additional input during tutorial time may come from industry guests.


1. To have practice in the application of structural, geotechnical and hydraulic design in one realistic design project.
2. To gain experience in the interconnectivity between different technical disciplines in one project environment
3. To have practice in conceptual design, developing and appraising viable options to a design brief where multiple solutions are possible.
4. To gain experience in selecting the most appropriate analysis and design methods for a given brief (where many solutions are possible) and be aware of the associated advantages and limitations.
5. To develop awareness of standard construction techniques and the inter-relationship with design.
6. To further develop ability in presenting design information including production of quality design documentation: reports, calculations and drawings.


Introduction: an overview of the project brief, unit format, progress and submissions.
• Given general spatial and loading requirements, framing options for a multi-storey building structure will be explored. A steel or concrete solution is envisaged, consideration of other materials where possible will be encouraged.
• Quick form sizing approaches will be introduced in order to allow multiple options to be examined within the available timescale.
• Wind loading and lateral stability concepts will also be introduced in the lectures.
• Options will be appraised in tutorial time and receive feedback.
• Detailed design of the chosen scheme will be undertaken; report, calculations, a general arrangement and details drawing will form the final submission.
• An overview of ground investigation techniques will be provided  in the lectures (in advance of Geotechnics 4 that detailed site investigation aspects are discussed).
• The project brief will include variation of ground conditions and the results of an in-situ tests  (e.g. CPT) for different design groups.
• An overview of different options/concepts for foundations will be provided (e.g. shallow foundations, deep foundations) forming the basis of foundation design will also be given in the lectures.
• Using the building load take-downs from the structures component, foundation options will be explored. This will be appraised in-class.
• Detailed geotechnical design of the chosen foundation options will be undertaken based on the in-situ test results provided, with submission of associated report.
• Different topographical and hydrological characteristics will be used for each design group.
• In the first 2 weeks of the block, Drainage design for the given development will be undertaken, exploring both traditional and more sustainable options.
• In the next 2 weeks, flood investigation and alleviation measures will be explored using appropriate software, in this case HEC-RAS. The software exercise will be undertaken during the tutorial sessions.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Report 90%

Other - assessed tutorial work

Feedback methods

Assessed tutorial work - Feedback will be given continuously through the tutorial sessions. Preliminary design will be completed and submitted in-class at the end of the second week in each third, feedback will be given the following week.

Report -  Detailed design submissions will be made at the end of each third, with feedback within 2 weeks.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 10
Project supervision 48
Tutorials 14
Independent study hours
Independent study 28

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Lee Cunningham Unit coordinator

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