Course Title: Apply structural and construction technology to the design of residential buildings

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

Course Code: ARCH5189

Course Title: Apply structural and construction technology to the design of residential buildings

School: 320T Architecture & Design

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6136 - Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural)

Course Contact : Catherine Ciavarella

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4819

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 180

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 structural and construction technology to the design of residential buildings. It requires compliance with state legislation and the provisions for BCA Classes 1 and 10 and relevant Australian Standards as they apply to the structural and construction components of a residential building.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21588 Apply structural and construction technology to the design of residential buildings


2. Investigate site

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Site is investigated to plan site preparation which incorporates design intent and statutory requirements.

2.2 Existing site conditions and design and construction elements are analysed to establish site impact on
structural elements.

2.3 Termite risk management is assessed and implemented according to the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.

2.4 Specifications for footing and slab construction design are specified and recorded in all supporting documentation, in compliance with current standards.



3. Analyse and apply construction techniques and/or methodologies

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Structural systems are analysed and construction methodologies are applied to solve construction system and design issues.

3.2 Structural principles are integrated into the building fabric to accommodate materials and finishes, according to relevant standards and design intent.

3.3 Alternative approaches to the construction of residential buildings are considered to accommodate special conditions and in accordance with relevant standards and design intent.

3.4 Construction sequencing and attendance of trades is identified to ensure efficient building processes.

3.5 Design solutions are developed and sketched and/or documented using performance based solutions.


5. Specify requirements for masonry

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Unreinforced and reinforced masonry systems are identified and detailed for the construction of internal and external walls in compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.

5.2 Details of weatherproofing are indicated to meet relevant Australian Standards.


6. Specify requirements for safety, health and amenity

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Statutory requirements for fire separation are researched and incorporated into design to provide
separation and means of escape, in compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant
Australian Standards.

6.2 Wet area materials and sealing of wall and flooring junctions are specified and details documented.

6.3 Facilities and room heights are designed and documented in accordance with the Building Code of
Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.

6.4 Opportunities for natural light and ventilation are considered and mechanical air handling systems for
heating, cooling and ventilation are selected on the basis of efficiency and performance.

6.5 Sound insulation materials are selected for sound transmission for walls and penetrations and in
accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.

6.6 The provisions for safe movement and access, including disabled access, are designed in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.

6.7 Building insulation levels, glazing requirements and ventilation are analysed to determine energy usage.



7. Specify requirements for finishes and services

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Details for claddings, linings, finishes and coatings are specified in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.

7.2 Joinery fabrication and installations are selected and details of materials and finishes are documented.

7.3 Provisions for the installation and connection of services are specified in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and relevant Australian Standards.



1. Apply the legislative requirements for the design of residential buildings

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Relevant state legislation impacting on design and construction is investigated and interpreted for a
residential building.

1.2 Relevant sections of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standards are researched and
applied to the structural and construction principles of residential buildings.

1.3 Local government planning and construction regulations are investigated and interpreted for the
design and construction of a residential building.


4. Specify requirements for framing

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Timber wall, floor and roof framing systems are designed and detailed in accordance with timber framing code and with consultation with engineer if required.

4.2 Bracing and tie-down system is designed and detailed to meet structural requirements.

4.3 Steel framing systems are identified and detailed in accordance with construction practices.

4.4 Framing requirements, including all fixings and materials are specified and details documented


Learning Outcomes

This unit of competency supports the attainment of the skills and knowledge required by building designers to undertake a site survey and a site analysis for building projects within the context of relevant legislation, the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and Australian Standards.

Details of Learning Activities

Studio sessions
Supervised work in class
Site visits
Independent research

Teaching Schedule

 Academic week Session description Assessment
 2Structural elements 1 
 3Structural elements 2 
 5Public holiday 
 6Sub floor construction  
 7Timber wall framing 
 8Truss roof construction Submit Freehand details
 9Refer to Materials schedule 
 10Brick veneer construction 

 Site Visit

 12Refer to Materials schedule Submit Project 1 at start of working drawing studio
 13Joinery, internal details 
 14Concrete slabs 
 15Flat and skillion roof 
 16Windows and glazing Submit Project 2 Existing & Proposed Floor Plans
Semester 2  
1 Refer to Materials schedule 
2 Refer to Materials schedule 
3Refer to Materials schedule 
4 Refer to Materials schedule Submit Project 2 Final submission
5 BAL site visit 
6Two storey construction 
7 Refer to Materials schedule 
8Roof plumbing 
9 Refer to Materials schedule 

 Stair Construction

 11 Engineering  & underpinning Submit Project 3 Floor Plans
 12 Fireplace & ACC blockwork 
 13 Review Lecture to be confirmed  
 14 Review Lecture to be confirmed Submit Project 3 Final submission
 15 Review Lecture to be confirmed 
 16 Review Lecture to be confirmed 

Please note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the weekly order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

For detailed outline of the teaching schedule, course structure and current updates you are advised to refer to myRMIT

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Building Code of Australia

Relevant Australian standards

Building your own home George Wilkie and Stuart Arden ISBN 0 7018 1696 1

Building Construction Iliustrated Francis Ching  ISBN 0-471-28885-3

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems and access to specialised facilities and relevant software. You will also have access of the library resources.

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:

  • comply with legislative requirements applicable to the design of residential buildings
  • apply the principles of structural and construction to the design of residential buildings in compliance with the applicable local government authority, relevant legislation and the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
  • develop specifications for structural components of a residential building and the requirements for safe and healthy use of the building.

Assessment Tasks

Feedback throughout the course may be written, verbal or a combination of both

Assessment tasks in this course are either formative or summative. Formative tasks provide the basis for ongoing feedback and can be considered essential building blocks for the more substantial summative assessment tasks. Summative assessment tasks in this course are graded.

To demonstrate competency in this course you need to complete each one of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Site visit and freehand sketching: Due Semester 1  Week 11       5%

P1 House 001: Due Semester1  Week 12          20%

P2 Extension project: Due Semester 2 Week 4      25%

P3 Two storey project: Due Semester 2 Week14    30%

Quiz 1  TBA  10%

Valadition  10%


Project 2 Final - due semester 2 week 1

Project 3 Intrim - due semester 2 week 8

Project 3 Intrim - due semester 2 week 11

Project 3 Final - due semester 2 week 14


Grade Description range
HD High Distinction 80 – 100
DI Distinction 70 – 79
CR Credit 60 – 69
PA Pass 50 – 59
SP Supplementary Pass -
NN Fail 0 – 49
PX Pass Grade Only
Did Not Submit for Assessment.

Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix demonstrating alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency is available from the course contact person (stated above).

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.

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 Principles:
Final assessment decisions can be reviewed and or appealed.
See RMIT Assessment Policies:

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 


Course Overview: Access Course Overview