SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH221230
Module Leader Krystyna Curtis
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Civil Engineering and Environmental Management
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programme Entry Requirements

Summary of Content

This module will examine the factors that determine energy efficiency of buildings, including properties of the fabric, and heating and ventilation systems. It will also cover a range of issues that affect thermal comfort within buildings, including internal temperatures and humidities, natural and artificial light. The regulations and standards relevant to these will also be discussed.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: Thermal performance of the building fabric: Steady and non-steady conditions; thermal conductivity and capacity of materials; U-values; thermal bridging; lightweight and heavyweight constructions; quantification and installation of insulation materials; risks of condensation. Energy efficiency in buildings: Low-energy solutions including passive solar design and 'breathing' walls; Energy models used in Standards, including SAP and CI methods; advanced building simulation techniques and software. Thermal comfort: Effect of glazing, thermal mass and ventilation strategies on the control of the internal environment; sensible and latent heat gains. Lighting: Natural and artificial lighting solutions in buildings. Heating systems: Impact of heating systems on the building environment and fabric; energy efficiency, sustainability and CO2 emissions of different systems. Regulations and Standards: Building Regulations and Standards in the UK and other countries; impact of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive on policies within the UK.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:Demonstrate an understanding of the application of thermal insulation materials to the building fabric;Identify factors that affect surface and interstitial condensation;Assess the likelihood of surface and interstitial condensation occurring within the building fabric;Identify and assess the environmental and personal factors that affect thermal comfort;Describe, design and assess different types of artificial lighting systems;Analyse the factors which affect energy demand in buildings, including insulation, heating and ventilation requirements and occupancy;Calculate the thermal performance of building details constructed from combinations of materials;Apply advanced software to determine the thermal performance of buildings;Critically evaluate the criteria for the design of energy efficiency buildings based on appropriate Building Regulations (Scotland, England and Wales, and Northern Ireland).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning and teaching strategies will be adopted appropriate to students' needs, to enable all students to participate in the module. Lectures and seminars will be complemented by case studies and tutorials to provide the main theoretical concepts. A significant part of the module will be based on software techniques, and therefore computer-based sessions will form a major learning environment. All materials will be made available on GCU Learn, and tutors will be available for consultation via e-mail and telephone.

Indicative Reading

Environmental Science in Building 6th Edition, Mcmullan R. Palgrave Assessing the effects of thermal bridging at junctions and around openings, IP1/06, T.I.Ward. 2006, BRE Press, ISBN 1 86081 904 4 CIBSE guide, Vol. A. Environmental design. 7th ed. 2006, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, ISBN 0900953969 Conventions for U-value Calculations, B. Anderson. 2006. BRE Report BR 443. Environment and Services, P. Burberry. 8th ed. 1997, Mitchell's building series Addison Wesley Longman, ISBN 0582245214

Transferrable Skills

D1 Manipulate data. D2 Present data in a variety of ways. D3 Use scientific evidence-based methods in the solution of problems. D4 Use a logical approach in solving problems. D7 Use general and specialist IT tools. D8 Communicate effectively in a variety of formats. D9 Be prepared for life-long learning. D10 Manage time and other resources.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FDL) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 18.00
Assessment (PT) 18.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Practicals (PT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 108.00
Independent Learning (PT) 84.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 84.00
Assessment (FDL) 18.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 50.00 45% Thermal Comfort and Lighting Exercise
Coursework 0.00 50.00 45% Simulation Exercise (IT Based)