KA4001 - The Evolution of the Built Environment

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about how buildings evolved from antiquity to the modern age, with the intent of your being able to identify differing architectural and constructional styles. Supporting this, you will learn to identify how key developments in materials and technologies led to new ideas on construction and planning for urban living. You will learn about the building information modelling and we use digital representations of existing buildings to manage and planning our built environment, including how to use this data to meet the needs of sustainability in our society that is changing the way we live and how we build.

How will I learn on this module?

Lectures will identify, reinforce and focus key issues, concepts and topics, related to commentary concerning significant buildings in Newcastle, where we will look at the history and development of these buildings. Workshops, following an introductory lecture, in building information modelling will develop skills in key industry software and using case study buildings to develop understanding in using the software before assessment using the presentation skills expected of a surveying professional.

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 are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

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: Explore how buildings and urban societies evolved from antiquity to the modern age, identifying differing architectural and constructional styles.
• MLO2: Evaluate developments in materials and technologies and how these have led to new ideas on construction and urban living, along with how social and environmental sustainability affects our built environment.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO3: You will be able to research, evaluate and communicate information on buildings, at an individual level and within a wider historical and built environment context.
• MLO4: You will be able to use building informational modelling software as a way of digitally recording and describing existing buildings, including historic buildings.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: You will develop an awareness of the cultural values behind the evolution and future development of the built environment.

How will I be assessed?

Your assessment will be by means of production of a BIM model and an examination.

Presentation (60%): Working in groups, you will prepare individual BIM models for a specific historic building and present the models as a group presentation. This assessment will develop skills in using industry standard building information modelling software and transferable skills in professional presentation. MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4.

Examination (40%): You will undertake an individual multiple-choice examination. This assessment will cover how buildings and urban societies evolved up to the modern age, the differing architectural and constructional styles, and the developments in materials, technologies and the challenges of environmental sustainability. MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO5.





Module abstract

From early classical civilisations up to today and into the future, urban settlements changed and will continue to change. In ‘Evolution of the Built Environment’, you will learn about the influences enabling changes in building design and develop skills in how we describe existing buildings using building information modelling (BIM) digital representation of buildings (BIM).

We will describe how developing technologies and structural developments allowed changes urban settlements and describe important buildings in the history of buildings, talking about the architects and engineers who influenced these changes. Exploring these changes will be in the context of ideas influencing societies and the environmental concerns that will affect the future. You will learn how to use BIM software as a way of recording and describing existing buildings, including buildings of architectural, historical or cultural importance, developing surveying practice skills in communicating information concerning buildings by way of presenting your research through a verbal presentation. ‘Evolution of the Built Environment’ will help your understanding of buildings in surveying practice, enabling you to see individual buildings in the wider city context, and how to communicate this knowledge in a technology rich environment.

Course info

UCAS Code K240

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 starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of 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.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy