KB5029 - Building Engineering

What will I learn on this module?

You will develop your understanding of the properties and structural behaviour of key building materials - concrete, steel and timber. You will be introduced to how the choice of building material can influence the sustainability of a building. You will learn about the structural forces, stresses and strains that occur in structural members (e.g. column and beams) and be introduced to design methods to ensure such structural members are stable. By the end of the module you will be able to carry out the design of basic structural elements to the appropriate National and European Standards.

The content of the module includes:
Material Properties

Structural behaviour and material properties of concrete, steel and timber e.g. strength, elasticity, durability, density and porosity.
Sustainability of concrete, timber and steel.

Material Testing

Workability of fresh concrete
Rapid analysis of fresh concrete
Compressive strength of concrete cubes
Flexural strength of beams
Electromagnetic cover meter
Surface hardness testing by rebound hammer
Sampling and grading of soils and aggregates
Tensile testing of mild steel

Structural Design

Local stability
Tensile and compressive forces
Direct stress and strain (Young’s modulus of elasticity)
Limit state design principles
Introduction to structural analysis - calculation of shear forces and bending moments
Beam and column design for concrete, timber and steel to the Eurocodes.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a programme of lectures supported by seminars, and laboratory sessions. Lectures will be used to introduce you to the key properties and structural behaviour of key building materials. You will then progress to consider the structural analysis and design of individual structural elements in concrete, steel and timber. Finally you will consider the aspects of sustainability that the structural engineer can influence and the sustainability of concrete, steel and timber.

Seminars and laboratory sessions will focus on supporting the development of your design skills and understanding of the behaviour of structural materials. In laboratory sessions you will complete tests in groups, to determine key properties of materials e.g. tensile strength of steel or compressive strength of concrete. You will learn how these test are adopted in the building industry to maintain the quality of finished structures.

You will practice structural design and analysis in seminars, both individually and in groups, by considering a series of real world scenarios; this will improve your knowledge of structural analysis design principles and behaviour. Your success in your seminar performance will be communicated, in the sessions to ensure that you receive timely feedback on your performance.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Assessment for improvement (with no marks) with feedback and guidance will be a fundamental, underpinning principle in classroom sessions and during seminars and laboratory sessions; and you will be afforded the opportunity to present work for comment during the module to enable you to gain confidence in your understanding of the module content.

Resources from lecturers and seminars will be uploaded onto the University’s Blackboard site, along with key structural engineering and analysis references. In addition, online self-tests to cement structural design and analysis principles will be made available upon the completion of principle subject areas – these are to assist you to improve and thereby do not count towards your final mark. The reading list for the module is held online and will be accessible via the University’s Blackboard site.

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:
1. Apply structural analysis to calculate design actions and forces acting on structures members.

2. Apply the principles of limit state design, to design beam and column elements in concrete, steel or timber.

3. Explain the material properties and structural behaviour of steel, concrete and timber.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

4. Conduction experimental testing to determine the structural performance of concrete, steel and timber.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Appraise the sustainability of a range of construction materials.

How will I be assessed?

Marked assessment will be by the submission of two elements of coursework, both which will be designed to enable you to demonstrate your ability to satisfy the module's learning outcomes.

The first element of coursework (learning outcome 3, 4 and 5) is a group submission. You will be required to complete experiment testing of structural materials, and then report observations on material properties and behaviours. Each group member will collectively complete experimental testing and then be individually responsible for an element of the submission.

The second element of coursework (learning outcome 1 and 2) will require you to demonstrate an understanding of structural principles and provide an effective solution to a simple structural design problems based around a ‘real world’ scenario. You will be required to demonstrate an ability to analyse and design beam and concrete element in concrete, steel and timber.

Assessment for learning (with no marks) will occur throughout the module, with informal assessment and review practices integrated into the structured seminar and laboratory programme in order to assist your development and preparation for summative assessment. Informal feedback will be given during the seminars by your tutor.


KB4014 Introduction to Mechanics and Structures



Module abstract

This module aims prepares you for employment as a construction professional by developing your understanding and knowledge understanding of the properties and structural behaviour of key building materials - concrete, steel and timber. The module introduces the design concepts and procedures used by structural engineers in practice. It provides you with the basic design knowledge required to carry out the design of simple structural elements to the appropriate National and European Standards. You will have the opportunity to use the latest laboratory equipment to complete experiments to determine the typical behaviour of materials.

The subjects covered by the module are informed by current and academic industry research. We will make use of our electronic learning resources to deliver this module with all module resources available online on the eLearning platform [Blackboard]. There will be an opportunity throughout the delivery of the module to attend seminars, where you can practice structural design problems and gain feedback from your module tutors. This feedback with help prepare you for the module’s formally marked coursework.

Course info

UCAS Code K251

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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