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AR50470: Natural building materials

[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:
  • Coursework (CW 100% - Qualifying Mark: 50)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Synopsis: Develop your knowledge and understanding of how natural building materials can be used for low-impact construction. This will include bio-based materials such as timber and inorganic materials such as natural stone and earthen construction.

Learning Outcomes: Develop a fundamental understanding of the properties of natural building materials and how they can be used in the design of sustainable buildings.

Select appropriate natural building materials for use in specific applications.

  • Introduction to structural timber design;
  • Structural timber beam, column and connection design;
  • Manufactured timber (Glulam, Cross-lam, LVL etc).
  • Introduction to natural materials;
  • Geomaterials: Natural Stone; Lime in construction; Earthen construction;
  • Bio-based: Straw Bale; Hemp-lime; Bamboo; Natural fibres;
  • Concepts of strength testing, vapour permeability, moisture buffering;
  • Specifications for natural materials;
  • Case study projects.

Programme availability:

AR50470 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering
  • TEAR-AFM31 : MSc Civil Engineering: Innovative Structural Materials


  • 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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