KA5028 - Building Performance And Pathology

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about existing building technologies and infrastructure, the reasons for using these technologies and how these technologies perform throughout a building life cycle. From this, you will gain an understanding of the mechanism of degradation for these various technologies, developing your skills in identifying the defects coupled with underlying diagnostic skills to accurately analyse the defect cause. You will learn remediation techniques specific to the mechanism of degradation or failure and have an ability to carry out straightforward calculations in support of changes in existing building infrastructure.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops.

Lectures will identify, reinforce and focus key issues, mathematical tools, concepts and topics, setting the framework for further study in seminars and directed learning. Seminars will study in depth key subjects and provide you guidance on identifying, researching and reporting specific issues with building performance and defects. Workshops are in support of project work, with tutor guidance in the tools used for structural design and reporting.

If you are in employment your workplace will be the main learning environment, in effect acting as a framework for building performance and pathology. However, tutor support will be available via drop-in sessions throughout the module study period. If you are in employment it is recognised that there is the need for modes of blended learning delivery, experiential assessment, and opportunities to combine work and study through independent study, embedded learning opportunities, and relevant communications technologies. Lecture capture will be used to elaborate on the content contained in any teaching material along with audio recording and notes to support presentations on key topics.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will also be supported by the provision of on-line resources via the module e-learning portal. These resources include lecture and workshop information, interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles plus links to topical news reports. Teaching staff will also respond to individual questions via the module’s discussion board so that everyone taking the module can benefit. Furthermore, module teaching staff have an ‘open door’ approach during normal working hours and are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

If you are in employment your workplace will be the main learning environment, however, tutor support will be available via drop-in sessions throughout the module study period. The eLP, telephone and email will be used as a means of communication once the initial briefings have taken place and work-based visits will be made by tutors if appropriate.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: You will be able to diagnose the causes and recommend appropriate remedial actions for a range of building defects.
• MLO2: You will be able to appraise structural systems and undertake structural calculations in support of elemental and whole building performance.
• MLO3: You will be able to appraise building systems and the factors that contribute to elemental, system and building whole life performance.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO4: You will be able to identify and use appropriate tools for the appraisal of building performance and pathology issues and analyse and communicate your observations in a professional manner.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: You will develop awareness as to the extent of your professional duty as a surveyor to investigate building issues.

How will I be assessed?

Your assessment will be by means of a project and an examination.

Project (50%): Working in groups (or individually if you are in employment), you will provide a report, with supporting structural calculations, for a building adaptation. This assessment will develop skills in analysing the performance of a building and recommending solutions. MLO2, MLO4 and MLO5.

Examination (50%): You will undertake an individual examination. This assessment will cover the entire syllabus delivery for both performance and pathology. MLO1, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.





Module abstract

‘Building Performance and Pathology’ will develop your understanding as to how buildings perform within their immediate environment and identification of building defects plus associated remedial work. Surveying practice requires knowledge of building performance along with the analytical skills to identify problems with buildings. From ‘Building Performance and Pathology’, you will be able to identify the cause of many common defects, undertake simple structural calculations and research methods for building defect remedial works. You will carry out project work on building structural design and preparing a professional report, with an end of year exam demonstrating specific knowledge and the professional skills developed in ‘Building Performance and Pathology’.

If you are in employment your workplace will act as a framework for building performance and pathology to develop your skills and knowledge.

Course info

UCAS Code K230

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy