SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3H113325
Module Leader Charles Russell
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Satisfactory completion of level 2 modules on B Engineering programme or equivalent

Summary of Content

This module will examine building services engineering within the context of sustainable development, examine the evidence for climate change and the risk it presents to the built and natural environments. It will apply HSE principles to the management of risks presented by the built environment, and to mitigating the impact of human activity on the natural environment. It will consider the legislation and codes of practice for: health and safety in the workplace, the control of exposure to noise and explosions, airborne and waterborne substances and radiation, and the management of solid wastes in commercial and residential settings. Public health and air pollution will be discussed, together with the problems of Legionella disease and sick building syndrome. The module will also discuss the impacts of water quality and waste disposal on public health in the UK and internationally and investigate the principles of design of water and sewerage facilities in commercial operations. The optimisation of energy usage in buildings and the impact of energy generation and use on the environment and climate will be investigated. Further, the impact of codes of practice on construction and waste management, and project design for health and safety will be analysed.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (SD), PLANNING & CLIMATE CHANGE The built environment as part of the economy and the natural environment. Linking environment, public health and safety and economic activity within sustainability. Balancing economic activity with environmental protection and social justice - the three planks of sustainable development. Sustainable communities and the role of planning and architectural policy in delivering sustainable communities. The development of sustainability principles and international environmental law and treaties. Business drivers for SD. What are climate change, albedo, feedback loops and climate trends. CO 2 concentrations and the simple radiation model, UKCIP02. Other influences on global temperatures. SAFETY & THE WORK ENVIRONMENT Building on Level2 introduction to Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Act, 1996 and risk assessment by more detailed analysis of some key regulations, including: -360b7 Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, 1989 - chemical and biological hazards, EH409 database, COSHH assessments b7 Noise at Work Regulations, 1989 - noise measurement, sound pressure levels, decibels, physiology of hearing and nature of injuries, protection equipment b7 Ionising Radiation Regulations, 1985 - alpha, beta and gamma radiation, neutrons, cosmic rays and environmental radioactive isotopes, decay series, lifetimes, radiation detectors. Health effects of radiation, absorbed dose, equivalent dose, radiological protection. Radon in buildings: monitoring and control b7 Construction (Design & Management) Regulations, 2007- Roles of the client, main contractor, designer/architect, planning coordinator and subcontractors in health and safety planning on site b7 Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations, 2002, amended 2006 - duty to manage asbestos in public premises, who is at risk and how to manage risks, duty holders and their roles, keeping records and selecting contractors, practical steps to handle asbestos in premises. b7 Control of Lead at Work Regulations (CLAW), 2002 - approved code of practice and guidance L132, duty holders and their roles, assessment of health risks and health surveillance, dust and particulates - monitoring and control b7 LOLER/electrical/RIDDOR/power etc b7 Air pollution in buildings: gases, vapours and micro-organisms in buildings - sampling and measurement. Internet resources - furnishings, paints, carpets, textiles, external sources - traffic fumes, chimney emissions b7 Sick Building Syndrome - ventilation, temperature and humidity, lighting b7 Legionella disease - ventilation, temperature, water circulation and disinfection b7 Explosion risk (DSEAR) - protection against potential explosion risk in the workplace WATER AND PUBLIC HEALTH Influence that water quality can have in the workplace. Uses, sources and characteristics of waters; the relationship between water quality (chemical and biological characteristics), availability and public health - UK and global scarcity, climate change, flooding and SUDS. UN Millennium development goals and water, WHO guidelines. EC Water Framework Directive, 2002, sister Directives and integration of water resource use with human activities. Integrated pollution prevention and control. Potable water quality standards, water conservation and reuse - water saving measures, rainwater and grey water reuse. Risks of reusing black and grey water. Water and sewerage systems within buildings and the impact of conservation and reuse on infrastructure. Problems with humic acids and organic deposits from catchments with peat soils, and nitrates and phosphates from agricultural areas. Leaching of lead and other metals from pipes with soldered joints. Leaching of organic substances from plastic pipes and fittings. Problems with growths and chemical processes in storage tanks and pressurising tanks. Leakage detection, prevention and repair. Contamination problems. Leisure facilities and public health issues - pool and spa water treatment and disinfection. WASTE DISPOSAL, LANDFILL & CONTAMINATED LAND Focus on the key regulations that govern the land and landfill management, including: -360b7 Environmental Protection Act, 1990, Part 2 - waste management licences/permits and duty of care, keeping treating or disposing of waste b7 Waste Management Licensing Regulations, 1994 - regime for issuing waste management licences b7 Landfill Tax Regulations, 2002 - All material deposited into landfill is taxed b7 Hazardous Waste Regulations, 2005 - classification of landfill sites, what can be disposed of into different types of landfill, monitoring and post closure requirements, restricted or banned substances b7 Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations, 1997 - permissions to handle packaging materials b7 Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, 2006 - distributor responsibilities for WEEE, free take back from consumers, increased recycle, less landfilling Waste minimisation and the waste hierarchy. Waste minimisation programmes and resource efficiency - paper, energy and other materials. Construction and waste - roles and responsibilities on site, penalties, requirement for site waste management plans for projects > a3300k in value - what should be in the SWM Plan. Sustainable development and contaminated land, proximity principle, protection of receptors, remediation and risk management. Planning and development control - Environmental Impact Assessment regulations. Landfill -the oldest form of waste treatment. Landfill construction - transport, regulatory compliance, location and land values. Types of landfill construction, stability and capacity. What is landfill leachate and how is it generated - environmental issues, nuisance and risk management. ENERGY, ITS USE AND CONSERVATION Energy in buildings, growth in energy use - demographics, economic development, lifestyle changes, technology and the spread of new equipment. Barriers to energy conservation, renewable sources and practicality of use. Climate change, UK government commitment to CO 2 fiscal measures, reduction and impact on businesses. Zero net energy buildings. Market risk, operational risk and strategic assessment.

Learning Outcomes

- Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this module students should be able to1. Describe sustainable development, its three propositions and their influence on planning and design of the built environment. A62. Describe the legislative framework and regulations for health and safety in the workplace. A63. Describe the legislative framework and key regulations for environmental protection in the built environment. A64. Describe the key public health issues related to the provision of potable water, clean air and waste/wastewater disposal from commercial and residential buildings. A15. Explain the legislation that governs water quality and the provision/treatment of potable water for commercial and leisure operations in the UK. A66. Explain the HSE risks associated with the built environment and how to manage them. A67. Explain the issues and risks in the generation, distribution, use and conservation of energy in the workplace, HSE impacts and the climate change levy. A68. Explain the issues and risks in terms of integrated pollution prevention and control on production sites (PPC Regulations)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The lectures will be aimed at presenting the fundamentals and detailed information, guiding further individual study. The seminars will be for group discussion of broad issues. The tutorials will be devoted to numerical problem solving.

Indicative Reading

Harrison, R M (ed): 'Pollution: Causes, Effects and Control'. 2 nd edition, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1990. Tebbutt, T H Y: 'Principles of Water Quality Control', 4 th edition, Pergamon press, Oxford, 1992 Wise, A F E & Swafffield, J A: 'Water, Sanitary and Waste Services for Buildings', 4 th edition, Longman Scientific & Technical, London, 1985 Soubbotina, T: 'Beyond Economic Growth - meeting the challenge of global development'. The World Bank, Washington DC, 2000 Hardi, P & Zdan, T: ' Sustainable development: Principles in practice' . International Institute for Sustainable Development, 1997 Concept statements and Local development Documents: practical guidance for local planning authorities. The Countryside Agency, October 2003 Dalal-Clayton, et al: ' Stakeholder dialogues on Sustainable development strategies. Lessons, opportunities and developing country case studies'. International Institute for Environment & Development. Environmental Planning Issues, No 26, November 2002 Pearce, D & Atkinson, G: 'The concept of sustainable development: An evaluation of its usefulness ten years after Bruntland' . Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, University College London & University of East Anglia. Working paper PA 98-02 Choosing out Future: Scotland's sustainable development strategy. Scottish Executive, 2005 Socially sustainable development: Concepts and uses. Department for International Development, Background briefing, August 2002 National Planning Framework for Scotland. Scottish Executive 2004 Running the Risk: Risk and sustainable development: a business perspective. World Business Council for Sustainable Development. February 2004 Norse, E A (ed): 'Global Marine Biological Diversity: A Strategy for Building Conservation into Decision Making' .Island Press, Washington, D.C., 1993, pp. 123-127. Houghton J T, Jenkins G J, and Ephraums JJ, (eds): 'Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment'. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 1990, pp. 30-33. Thornton, J & Beckwith, S: 'Environmental Law', Sweet & Maxwell, 1997 'One future - different paths'. The UK's shared framework for sustainable development. HM Government ,2005 'Securing the future - delivering UK sustainable development strategy'. HM Government, 2005 Boeker & van Grondelle: 'Environmental physics'. John Wiley & Sons, 1993 Houghton, J: Global warming - the complete briefing, 4 th Edition, Cambridge University Press, 2009. Regulations and guidance: Can be downloaded from: Health and safety: <> Environmental: <>

Transferrable Skills

Verbal communication skills in presentations both formal and informal. D5 Data handling and interpretation, D1, D2, D3 Presentation skills Group work skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 6.00
128 hours Independant Learning 128.00
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Independent Learning (FT) 18.00
Practicals (FT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.50 70.00 35% Exams office Exam
Course Work 01 n/a 15.00 35% Health and Safety Exercise
Course Work 02 n/a 15.00 35% Environmental Exercise