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Unit of study_

CIVL5531: Advanced Integrated Building Engineering

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Students are exposed to advanced design methodologies that underpin integrated building engineering. The Unit of Study is articulated in the following four components. Selected cased studies are presented in the initial part of the Unit of Study to introduce some of the key design challenges in dealing with structural projects with complex geometries and joints, for which efficient structural arrangements and details can support cost-effective solutions and have a positive effect on other building functionalities. In the second part of the Unit of Study, students will be introduced to available design methodologies and technologies that enable the embedment of a wide range of functionalities within the structural building components, therefore supporting a holistic approach to the building design. Particular attention will be given to the influence of different structural typologies and construction materials on the expected performance of the buildings and how this is perceived by occupants. Current technology available to constantly monitor the building structural performance will also be covered. These considerations will be covered focusing on the different design stages, from conceptual to final design, and the associated documentation. Students will be exposed in the third part of the Unit of Study to current technology available to mitigate urban overheating when considering the design of buildings. Particular attention will be devoted to available engineering solutions that could be installed in buildings and that could find wider applicability in future developments for urban overheating mitigation strategies. In the last part of the Unit of Study, optimisation techniques will be outlined and utilised to investigate the influence of key design parameters on complex structural systems. Sensitivity analyses will be performed to explore the impact of design parameters on the final design, with particular attention devoted to the detailing and arrangement of structural joints. Students will also be exposed to latest trends in building engineering design that support integrated approaches from conceptual to final design stages.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CIVL5531
Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

CIVL1900 Introduction to Civil Engineering and CIVL2110 Materials and CIVL2201 Structural Mechanics and MATH2061 Linear Mathematics and Vector Calculus and (CIVL3511 Introduction to Integrated Building Engineering or CIVL9511 Introduction to Integrated Building Engineering)

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Gianluca Ranzi,
Lecturer(s) Gianluca Ranzi,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final exam
Questions and answers (see Assessment Summary).
30% Formal exam period 1.5 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8 LO9 LO10
Assignment Assignment 1
Questions and answers (see Assessment Summary).
20% Week 06
Due date: 31 Mar 2023 at 11:59
8-16 pages / 14 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Supervised test
In-semester test
Questions and answers (see Assessment Summary).
25% Week 08
Due date: 18 Apr 2023 at 15:10

Closing date: 18 Apr 2023
1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Assignment Assignment 2
Questions and answers (see Assessment Summary). Recorded presentation.
25% Week 12
Due date: 19 May 2023 at 11:59
10-20 pages / 18 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10

Assessment summary

- In-person mid-semester test.

- Submission of assignments 1 and 2 in Canvas.

- In-person final exam managed by the Exam Office.

Assessment criteria

Result name

Mark range


High distinction


Have a thorough understanding of the concepts in this Unit of Study and are able to apply these concepts to new problems



Increasing understanding and abstractions



Increasing understanding and abstractions



Are able to apply the analysis and design approaches covered in this Unit of Study to basic problems



Have no understanding of the concepts covered in this Unit of Study and are not able to solve basic problems

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

Late penalties: (i) 10% per day of full mark of assignment; and (ii) penalties for mid-semester and final exams to be managed in accordance with University policies.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to the integrated engineering design and key challenges for complex building systems. Outline of case studies. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO4 LO5
Week 02 Introduction to the modelling of complex geometries for integrated building engineering designs. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8 LO9
Week 03 Modelling complex geometries and joints for integrated building engineering designs. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 04 Introduction to the expected performance of building components and how these can affect building occupants’ comfort. Particular focus dedicated to thermal and moisture effects. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 05 Analysis and design methodologies to consider the influence of building components on indoor comfort conditions. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 06 Analysis and design methodologies to consider the influence of building components on indoor comfort conditions (continued). Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 07 From conceptual design to final design. Opportunities of digital information flow. Overview of selected case studies. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7 LO9 LO10
Week 08 In-person mid-semester exam and review of material. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 09 Public holiday in 2023. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr)  
Week 10 Sensitivity studies and optimisation techniques applied to the design of complex building systems. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 11 Sensitivity studies and optimisation techniques applied to the design of complex building systems (continued). Overview of the influence of selected structural and design parameters. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 12 Role of buildings for mitigating urban heat island effects. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 13 Revision for final exam. Lecture and tutorial (4 hr) LO1 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO9 LO10

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Demonstrate written, oral and graphical communication skills at professional engineering standard including capacity to justify an engineering position
  • LO2. Develop team skills through the completion of a project-based assignment
  • LO3. Evaluate & synthesise a wide range of resources demonstrating research skills & ability to work across disciplines
  • LO4. Design of building components based on integrated design approach
  • LO5. Carry out analysis of building components to determine their performance from a structural and thermal viewpoint as well as to evaluate their functionalities
  • LO6. Perform optimisation analysis to identify better performing designs among available options
  • LO7. Evaluate and compare the results of computer analyses with those obtained by hand calculations
  • LO8. Address complex problems requiring interdisciplinary approaches amd solutions
  • LO9. Apply the fundamental methods of analysis
  • LO10. Derive analytical solutions for simple scenarios related to building components

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Student feedback of last year was very positive and no changes were suggested. Despite this, the UoS content has been revised and updated.


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