Course Title: Design sustainable buildings

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: ARCH5182

Course Title: Design sustainable buildings

School: 320T Design (TAFE)

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6097 - Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural)

Course Contact : Rosetta Di Giangregorio

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4819

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Andrew Rodda
t: 99254486
or via distributed learning system

Nominal Hours: 30

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to apply the principles of sustainability to building design. It includes the application of sustainable practices to minimise negative impacts of the construction process and land use on the environment, incorporate passive design, sustainable water use and energy efficiency into a building design and select suitable materials for the construction of the building. It requires compliance with relevant legislation, Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU588 Design sustainable buildings


1.  Determine the impacts of building development on the natural environment

2.  Incorporate sustainable criteria into building design

3.  Select sustainable materials

4.  Incorporate systems for sustainable water use

5.  Incorporate energy efficiency into building design

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Impacts of building development on surrounding ecosystems are researched to identify the benefits of sound environmental policy.

Learning Outcomes

This unit supports the attainment of the skills and knowledge required for building designers to design sustainable buildings within the context of relevant legislation, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standards.

Details of Learning Activities

The following list is indicative of the range of tasks undertaken in the course.
• Classwork
◦ Tutorials
◦ Supervised project work in class.
◦ Online course content
• Site Visits
◦ Buildings and Construction Sites
• Independent Research
Emphasis of tasks may vary depending on the co-assessed design and construction projects.

Teaching Schedule

Online Topic Sequence
Each topic remains visible for 1 week.
Completion of the topic online constitutes attendance for that week.

  • Week No. & Description
  • 1 Course Manual
    • Familiarisation with Website
    • Introduction to lessons
    • Writing for research
    • Practice online test
  • 2 Site Recording
  • 3 Orientation
  • 4 Sun Angles
  • 5 Green Building History
  • 6 Global Legislative History
  • 7 Materials – General
  • 8 Materials – Waste Minimisation
  • 9 Materials – Thermal Mass
  • 10 Materials – Insulation
  • 11 Materials – Toxicity
  • 12 Water – National Context
  • 13 Water – Harvesting
  • 14 Water – Gutter & Downpipe Calculation

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Milne G., Reardon C., Your Home Technical Manual. Australian Government Printers



Other Resources

All other links and resources are located in course distributed learning system.

Overview of Assessment

This unit of competency could be assessed in the workplace or a close simulation of the workplace environment, provided that simulated or project-based assessment techniques fully replicate design drafting workplace conditions, materials, activities,
responsibilities and procedures.   Holistic or project-based assessment with other related units is recommended.

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence of the ability to:
     •  apply the principles of sustainable building design in accordance with current legislation and government policies
     •  evaluate and recommend sustainable materials suitable for the construction of a specific building design in accordance with client   brief and specifications
     •  research, evaluate and report on data and findings, make recommendations and develop strategies for the design of sustainable buildings for at least one building development project that complies with the applicable local government authority, relevant legislation and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Assessment Tasks

There are 3 categories of Assessment tasks.

    • Research Project 01: Sustainable Material
      • Analyse characteristics and properties of an approved sustainable building material. (Individual Project)
    • Research Project 02: Sustainable Practice Report
      • Interview a registered building practitioner and report on their sustainable building practices. (Individual Project)
  • Co-Assessed design projects
    • Design Project 01: Residential
      • Residential Design Project course co-assessed. (Individual Project)
  • Online quizzes
    • Each week each topic has a question answer section that contributes to the course grade.

Assessment Matrix

Performance CriteriaElement NumberCourse QuizzesResearch Project 01Research Project 02Residential Design Project
E1E1.1* * 
 E1.2* * 
 E1.3* * 
E2E2.1* **
 E2.2* **
 E2.3* **
 E2.4* **
 E2.5* **
 E2.6* **
 E2.7* **
E3E3.1** *
 E3.2** *
E4E4.1*  *
 E4.2*  *
 E4.3*  *

Other Information

Academic Progress:
At the end of each academic period individual student progress will be reviewed by the Student Academic Progress Review Committee and students will be advised of their eligibility for progression.

Student Charter:
The Student Charter, in association with the University’s statutes and law, indicates what the University and its students can expect from each other. The University’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge to meet the needs of industry and the community and to foster in students the skills and passion to contribute to and engage with the world.;ID=tkn8wtd23h84z

Student Responsibilities:
In undertaking this course students are required to be responsible for:
•The time management of the course work in order to complete all work requirements satisfactorily and on time.
•RMIT encourages students to attend all scheduled classes to optimise academic success.
•To ascertain what content or assessment has been missed, and gather the information prior to next class.
•To be proactive in mastering the academic material of the course by challenging, questioning and extending course outcomes.
•To be responsible for the maintenance of a non-disruptive and scholastic attitude in the learning environment.
See RMIT Academic progress information, responsibilities and support for current students:;ID=nzasms4pljer

Extension of Time for Submission of Assessable work Procedure:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=7usdbki1fjf31;STATUS=A?QRY=extension%20of%20time%20form&STYPE=ENTIRE 

Equitable Assessment:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=id0959jyz9mx

Special Consideration:
Students must refer to the RMIT policy for eligibility and procedures.;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y

Assessment Decisions:
Final assessment decisions can be reviewed and or appealed.
See RMIT Assessment Policies:;ID=ikqkqdh2zf5n1 

Employability skills:
Employability skills describe non-technical skills and competencies that are an important part of effective and successful participation in the workplace.
The following Employability Skills are an inherent part of this course:
Communication, Teamwork, Problem solving, Initiative and enterprise, Planning and organising, Self management, Learning and Technology.

Refer to the RMIT policy on plagiarism which is reference under Academic Integrity atRMIT;ID=kw02ylsd8z3n;STATUS=A?QRY=Plagiarism%20-%20student%20information&STYPE=ENTIRE




At the end of each academic period individual student progress will be reviewed by the Student Academic Progress Review Committee.

Arch 5182 is part 1 of a 2 part course; (with Arch 5183 ESD Commercial).
A course grade of PX (pass) will be entered at the end of Arch 5182 for grades > 50%
A NN (fail) will be recorded for Grades <50%
A Fail grade will require a repeat of the Arch 5182 prior to commencing Arch 5183.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview