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Programme & Unit Catalogues

AR50467: Environmental performance of materials and buildings

[Page last updated: 04 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
Credits: 10 [equivalent to 20 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 200
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Thermal performance and materials choices report - Report (CW 100% - Qualifying Mark: 50)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
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.

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 and VOC 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.

Programme availability:

AR50467 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

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


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
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