Course Title: Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer for Building Science

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer for Building Science

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


325H Property, Construction & Project Management


Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024

Course Coordinator: Tom Simko

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3647

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 8.7.60

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will introduce you to thermodynamics and heat transfer in the context of sustainable building design principles and processes.  You will develop your knowledge of building science theory   particularly in relation to the design of sustainable buildings, including  residential and commercial . You will analyse sustainable building design processes as utlised in the industry context and consider how  these processes impact upon the energy efficiency of building systems. This course also introduces you to key fundamental thermodynamics and heat transfer principles as applied in sustainable building design practice.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:

  1. Analyse, synthesise and apply sustainable building theory and principles to address industry issues, and implement new directions in sustainable
  2. Employ your knowledge of sustainable building and performance theory, and leading technologies, to develop solutions that respond to the diverse needs of sustainable building project stakeholders
  3. Critically examine and reflect on your work, and sustainable building theory, to question accepted building solutions, design strategies, design practices and decision making approaches

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Calculate energy requirements utilising foundational principles in thermodynamics and heat transfer
  2. Compare the advantages and disadvantages  of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and analyse their significance for sustainable building practice
  3. Formulate solutions  in response to heat transfer challenges in building applications
  4. Apply thermodynamics and heat transfer principles to deliver sustainable building outcomes

Overview of Learning Activities

You will engage in a range of learning activities in this course including lectures, and class discussions designed to support your active learning through solving examples in class and/or site visits.  Additional worked examples will be provided online, to further support you to further develop your problem-solving skills.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Resource material will be available online through the MyRMIT Canvas site for the course. These resources include the lecture slides, worked examples, problem solving exercises  

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer including books, journal articles, and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for all students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.

The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your school Liaison Librarian.

You will also have access to online materials, instructional tutorials, and readings through Canvas.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment consists of:

Task 1: Individual Assignment: Application of foundational principles in thermodynamics (10%) CLO 1

Task 2 Individual Assignment: Analysis of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems (25%) CLOs 1, 2

Task 3: Individual Assignment: Analysis and formulation of solutions to heat transfer problems to deliver sustainable building outcomes (15%) CLOs 3, 4.

Task 4: Exam (50%) CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

Equitable Learning Services

Equitable Learning Services (ELS) provide support and equal opportunities for students with a disability, long-term illness and/or mental health condition and primary carers of individuals with a disability. You can contact the ELS if you would like to find out more: You can also contact the course coordinator or the program coordinator if you would like to find out more.

An assessment charter ( summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teaching staff.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc.