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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CIVE5815M Building Physics 3

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr. Simon Rees

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Building Services components of the Level 3 study abroad programmes in the USA or CIVE3815 Building Physics II


CIVE2815Building Physics 1: Fundamental Principles
CIVE3815Building Physics 2: Services Design

This module is mutually exclusive with

CIVE5811MEnergy in Buildings

Module replaces

CIVE5810M - Building Services Engineering III

This module is not approved as an Elective


The module will contribute to the students' gaining knowledge of physical problems and technologies and the function of buildings so as to provide them with internal conditions of comfort and protection against the climate. The module will explore the principles associated with designing optimum visual, thermal and acoustic environments; systems for environmental comfort realized within relevant precepts of sustainable design; strategies for building services, and ability to integrate these in a design project.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module student will be able to:

1. define the physical processes represented in dynamic thermal simulation and advanced airflow models and select appropriate modelling approaches;
2. define daylighting design metrics and describe the approaches used in modelling daylight;
3. appraise building fabric properties and facade designs and make appropriate design recommendations;
4. analyse ventilation requirements, quantify design parameters and recommend appropriate ventilation strategies;
5. evaluate building environmental concept designs in relation to indoor air quality and thermal comfort conditions and make appropriate design recommendations.

In addition, students completing this module will have gained the knowledge, understanding, skills or abilities that contribute to achieving the following ARB General Criteria for Part 1:
• understand the constructional and structural systems, the environmental strategies and the regulatory requirements that apply to the design and construction of a comprehensive design project;GC1.2
• develop a conceptual and critical approach to architectural design that integrates and satisfies the aesthetic aspects of a building and the technical requirements of its construction and the needs of the user.GC1.3
• the precepts of sustainable design; GC5.2b.
• the physical properties and characteristics of building materials, components and systems, and the environmental impact of specification choices; GC8.3.
• principles associated with designing optimum visual, thermal and acoustic environments; GC9.1
• systems for environmental comfort realised within relevant precepts of sustainable design; GC9.2.
• strategies for building services, and ability to integrate these in a design project; GC9.3.

Skills outcomes
This module will be used for the summative assessment of English language competency.


The module seeks to develop advanced understanding of building physical processes and the roles they play in achieving acceptable indoor environments as well as achieving sustainability targets. The module emphasises understanding of fundamental heat balances and the interactions between climatic driving forces and internal activities and how analysis of such processes can be used to develop passive, active and hybrid approaches to environmental design.

Study of air distribution and indoor air quality is extended by introduction of advanced analytical methods and models of natural ventilation. Students are also introduced to advanced numerical methods for the analysis of building internal and external air flow and daylight analysis. Advanced concepts in façade design are also introduced supported by practical approaches to architectural shading design. Both a theoretical basis for numerical analysis of daylight and application of modern daylighting metrics are studied.

Advanced modelling methods are taught in the context of design methodologies that can be applied to evolve design proposals towards achieving environmental performance targets. Students also become familiar with the role energy performance requirements plays in constraining the design process and approaches that can be taken to achieving optimal performance. Students are exposed to advanced modelling methods but, at the same time, helped to appreciate the range of approaches that can be taken in passive design to achieve particular environmental design objectives.

The understanding of approaches to both active and passive design and the complex interrelationships between environmental processes and building design parameters and form, provides a sound basis for making decisions about environmental design and demonstrating that design criteria can be met in the concept designs developed by students working on Design Studio 4.2 (CIVE 5845M).

Typical reading materials for this module include:
Baker, N. and Steemers, K. (1999). Energy and Environment in Architecture: A Technical Design Guide. Taylor and Francis.
Banham, R. (1983). The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment. MIT Press.
Chadderton, D.V (2010). Building Services Engineering.
de Saulles, T. (2000). An illustrated guide to building services: comfort systems. BRE.
Jankovic, L. (2012). Designing Zero Carbon Buildings Using Dynamic Simulation Methods. Routledge.
McMullen, R. (2012) Environmental Science in Building (7th edition). London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Szokolay, S. V. (2010). Introduction to architectural science. The basis of sustainable design (2nd edition). Oxford: Architectural Press, Elsevier.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours125.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

10 hours revision, 30 hours reading, 40 hours case study.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Interaction in lecture sessions. Tutorial sessions and practical exercises.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportAnalysis of environmental conditions in a design study50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 3 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

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


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