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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5331M Construction Technology

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Ashani Ranathunga

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is concerned with the different types of construction equipment, their possible uses, the fundamentals of their operation in a way that ensures safety, and the evaluation of their performance.


 Understanding of the characteristics, operational principles, and limitations of
the different types of construction equipment.
 Development of a coherent view of the various construction operations and technologies as parts of a whole, with a clear sense of their inter-relatedness.
 Understanding of the technical information regarding capacity, power, modes of operation, costs, and associated aspects, with an awareness of what type of information can be obtained from different sources.
 Development of the critical thinking skills necessary to compare alternatives and make informed decisions about the most appropriate solutions for different construction problems.

Learning outcomes
The learning outcomes are aligned with UK-SPEC / AHEP standards set out by the Engineering Council. On completion of this module, the students will be able:
1. To demonstrate in-depth specialist knowledge and sophisticated understanding of the different construction site operations and the essential measures to ensure safety of all individuals concerned and nearby structures.
2. To exhibit mastery in identifying the limitations of construction equipment and techniques and proposing creative solutions to the complex problems that arise in different construction scenarios and site configurations.
3. To identify and critically assess the relevance of different sources of information, such as technical specifications of construction equipment, recommendations, BIM libraries, and guidelines.
4. To conduct appropriate research in order to make informed decisions related to the selection of construction equipment and the definition, planning and modelling of construction operations.
5. To demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the techniques and processes applicable to the construction of transport infrastructure and their health and safety implications.
6. To proactively formulate ideas and hypotheses in relation to the selection and choice of construction technologies for different applications, and to define, implement and execute plans to evaluate their appropriateness.
7. To critically and creatively evaluate current issues, research and advanced scholarship in relation to construction technology.

In addition to the above, the students will also develop the skills necessary for employment in a higher capacity in industry or to undertake a higher research degree:
8. To present and discuss complex information in a succinct but precise manner.
9. To think critically and follow an articulate approach to project specification and problem solving.
10. To organise their work with effective self direction and decision making.
11. To implement independent learning methods in a way which ensures continuing professional development and allows successful participation as required for professional accreditation.
12. To work as an individual and as part of a team in the professional environment.


- General principles: the construction site, health and safety, impact mitigation, machine operating costs, power requirements.
-Planning for earthwork construction: quantities and mass diagram, volume changes, fill factors.
- Earthwork equipment and processes:
-Soil stabilisation
-Compaction specification, control tests, rollers, vibrating compactors, impact compactors.
-Dozers, rippers, graders, scrapers, excavators and trucks: types, production cycle, performance charts, production estimates, safety.
-Dewatering: water pumps, wellpoint systems.
- Rock drilling and blasting: drill types, drilling methods, explosives, initiating systems, blast design, vibration and safety measures.
- Piles: concrete/steel/sheet piles, resistance to penetration, pile hammers, support and positioning during pile-driving, safety.
- Cranes: mobile/tower/climbing cranes, lifting capacity, working range, rated loads, operation.
- Concrete production:
-Aggregates: particle size reduction, separation and screening, crusher types and processing equipment.
-Mixing: mixer types, batching control, ready-mix vs central-mixed concrete.
-Transport and placing: pumping, paving, finishing.
-Asphalt production and placement: asphalt pavements, batch and drum mix
plants, paving equipment: sweepers, trucks, pavers, compactors.
- Building Information Modelling (BIM): BIM levels, the BIM protocol, lifecycle management, models, integration, case studies.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours122.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

-Preparation prior to each lecture, reading of core material, exploratory exercises: 36 hours.
-Desk-based research, study on topic of choice and preparation of presentation for seminars (peer-led microlearning sessions): 16 hours.
-Work on problem sheets: 30 hours.
-Study of materials developed and discussed during seminars: 10 hours.
-Revision for the final exam: 30 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

-Research on topic of choice and seminar presentations: oral feedback is given for all presentations at the end of each seminar and during the preparation stage; detailed, individual marks and written feedback as per standardised marking criteria are also returned.
-Sample questions from problem sheet: step by step solutions to selected questions are demonstrated during lectures/tutorials after attempts working in groups.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectPeer-led micro-learning - groups of 2-345.00
Problem SheetProblem Sheets30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)75.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment5 hr 00 mins25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)25.00

Resit percentages of formal assessment: individual written report – 25%, OTLA – 75%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:52:56


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