Course Title: Select construction materials for building projects

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2013

Course Code: BUIL5927

Course Title: Select construction materials for building projects

School: 320T Architecture & Design

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

Nicholas Rischitelli

+61 3 9925 4062

Nominal Hours: 40

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 evaluate and select a range of suitable construction materials for building projects, taking into account a range of criteria including physical attributes, cost and sustainability.  It includes the ability to analyse properties and characteristics
to determine their suitability for application in the construction of a building. It requires selection of materials that comply with relevant legislation, Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU592 Select construction materials for building projects


1.  Analyse characteristics of construction materials

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Manufacturing processes of a range of construction materials is researched to establish limitations of practical application.

1.2 Quality standards and performance of materials are investigated for adherence to the Building Code of Australia (BCA), legislative requirements and the suitability for types of structures.

1.3 Materials are analysed to determine their application with regard to substructure, fixings, coatings or finishes, specific construction systems, visual effects and compatibility.

1.4 Manufacturing/conversion tolerances are detailed, including ‘building in’ tolerances to determine their impact on material properties.

1.5 Relevant information is recorded in a suitable format for future reference.


2.  Evaluate materials for their suitability for building projects

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Materials are investigated to identify their sustainable characteristics to minimise environmental impact.

2.2 Materials are analysed for their thermal and acoustic characteristics to determine appropriate applications, in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

2.3 Materials are analysed to determine durability, structural integrity and fire resistance to determine
appropriate applications, in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

2.4 Defects, short and long-term degradation, timber preservation and protection of metals are investigated to determine appropriate applications, in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

2.5 Transportation, on-site storage requirements and handling of materials is investigated to determine their impact on construction methodology.


3.  Recommend suitable materials

Performance Criteria:

3.1 A range of commonly used construction materials is selected, according to their purpose, standard application and manufacturer specifications.

3.2 Construction materials and interior finish products are recommended for specific attributes and characteristics, in accordance with design specifications.

3.3 Specifications for construction materials are determined and recorded.

Learning Outcomes

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

Details of Learning Activities


Site visits

Independent research 

Teaching Schedule


Academic week Session description Assessment
1 Introduction and timber part 1  
2 Timber part 2  
3 Brickwork  
4 Stone  
5 Site visit  
6 Adobe  
7 Concrete  
8 Glass  
9 Metals  
10 Plaster  Submit project 1

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. 

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Material architecture: emergent materials for innovative buildings and ecological construction - John Fernandez

Materials form and architecture- Richard Weston

Timer construction: details, products, case studies- Theodor Hughes, Ludwig Steiger, Johann Weber

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:
     •  identify, analyse and evaluate the characteristics of construction materials for their application and sustainability
     •  comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) with regard to the thermal acoustic and fire resistant qualities of construction materials
     •  make recommendations for suitable materials to satisfy constriction requirements, aesthetics, cost effectiveness, client brief and the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

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  the following piece of assessment to a satisfactory standard.

Project 1


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

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