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AR50467: Environmental performance of materials and buildings

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 10      [equivalent to 20 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 200
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Thermal performance and materials choices report - Report (CW 100% - Qualifying Mark: 50)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Synopsis: Develop a deep understanding of how the different elements of a building work separately and in combination in terms of energy flow, occupants' environmental impact and low carbon building performance, including a comprehensive understanding of construction material choices.
Intended Learning Outcomes: Understand energy flows into and out of building envelopes, including conduction, thermal bridging and through controlled air exchange.

Critically evaluate the effect of material choices and building elements on thermal performance and occupant comfort, including the effect of humidity andVOC emissions from construction materials and building fabric.

Critically and systematically evaluate and compare the environmental performance of a range of materials, products and systems, allowing you to select, design and specify sustainable construction materials creatively and with confidence.
Content: Designing buildings for people and the environment, including:
  • Climate change and the built environment in a local and global context;
  • Human thermal comfort and productivity;
  • Introduction to integrated design, including good acoustic design;
  • Early stage modelling, standards and performance evaluation.


Sustainable construction materials and their contribution to low carbon building performance, including:
  • Material choices for sustainable construction, including traditional, natural and modern materials;
  • Environmental impact of construction materials;
  • Embodied energy and life cycle assessment of carbon and costs.


Thermal performance of building envelopes, including:
  • Heat flow though complex structures;
  • Heat loss through ventilation and overall building heat loss factors;
  • Thermal mass and dynamic performance;
  • Condensation risk assessment.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

AR50467 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
  • TEAR-AFM30 : MSc Architectural Engineering: Environmental Design

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