SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1K902905
Module Leader Marek Maletka
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module will introduce a range of technical and scientific material that is fundamental to the design and operation of buildings and the services systems within buildings. The general approach is to reinforce and extend material that has been taught within the school physics curriculum and to develop this to illustrate how these fundamental principles may be applied to the built environment. Computer-based design software will be used to enable students to design systems incorporating these principles. Care will be taken to ensure that students fully realize that considerable further study is required to fully appreciate the details of the designs completed. The importance of energy conservation methods, environmental considerations and the concept of sustainable design will be introduced.


Science and Engineering A historical overview of the physical sciences. How engineering practices are underpinned by fundamental science. Waves and the electromagnetic spectrum. Molecular and atomic phenomena and how they relate to engineering materials. The Physics of Building Performance Temperature, specific heat, heat transfer - conduction, convection and radiation, U-values. Vision and hearing. Introduction to lighting and acoustics. Properties of building materials. Introduction to Building Services System Design Services design computer software (HEVACOMP), simple low-pressure hot water (LPHW) heating systems, simple mechanical ventilation systems, heat loss and heat gain calculations, simple lighting design layouts. System components. Energy Efficiency, Environment and Sustainability Sustainable Development - global and local. Values and technology in environmental policy. Environmental / energy organisations, agencies, agreements, protocols and legal framework relating to the built environment. Simple energy saving strategies for buildings and services design and operation. Environmental and lifecycle considerations.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:Understand the relationship between temperature, specific heat and energy and complete simple calculations (A1, A2) Understand that heat transfer occurs in three fundamental ways (conduction , convection and radiation) and complete evaluations for simple scenarios (A1, A2)Evaluate U-values for partitions involving common industrial and building materials (A1, A2, A5, B1)Understand basic concepts and terms associated with acoustics and lighting (A1, A2)Understand the significant differences in properties of common industrial and building materials (A1, A2, A5)Apply the various concepts learned to design simple heating and ventilation systems for an office building using design software (HEVACOMP) (B1, B2, B3, B4, C1, C3, D2, D6)Design a simple lighting layout using design software (B1, B2, B3, B4, C1, C3, D2, D6)Identify the main agencies involved in promoting energy efficient and sustainable design in the UK (A6, C6)Identify some simple approaches for the enhancement of energy efficiency and sustainable design within the built environment (B3, D3)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

A combination of lectures and tutorials will be supplemented by a significant proportion of time spent using computer software to illustrate how learned theory can be easily incorporated into designs. Learning and teaching strategies will be developed and implemented, appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate fully in the programme.

Indicative Reading

Low Energy Design by Richard Nicholls, Interface Publishing (2002) Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning by Richard Nicholls, Interface Publishing (1999) Dobson, Grace & Lovett (2002) Physics 2nd ed. Harper Collins ISBN 000 713598 X Halliday, Resnick & Walker 2005 Fundamentals of Physics 7th ed Wiley ISBN 0471 216437 Walker 2007 Physics 3rd ed Pearson International ISBN 0 13 227019 6 Bruntland Report 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development, OUP CIBSE Guide F CIBSE Energy Efficiency Guide, 1998

Transferrable Skills

problem solving essay writing and presentation independent learning analysis of data from computer software use of information technology

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 104.00
Lectures (FT) 30.00
Tutorials (FT) 18.00
Practicals (FT) 18.00
Assessment (FT) 30.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 3 n/a 30.00 35% Environment coursework/test
Coursework 2 n/a 40.00 35% Design Report
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 35% Physics coursework/class test