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Unit of study_

CIVL9511: Basics of Integrated Building Engineering

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Students will gain insight into the framework that underpins integrated engineering principles applied for the design of structures and buildings. The Unit of Study is articulated in the following three components. In the initial part of this Unit of Study, students will be exposed to selected case studies that highlight the engineering design requirements, including serviceability and limit state design criteria, that buildings of different structural typologies and construction materials need to satisfy. Case studies considered are representative of current trends in the construction sector. In the second part of the Unit of Study, students will be introduced to typical engineering design methodologies and how these vary depending on the level of sophistication required in the analysis and design, and on the expected design and construction phases of a project. Particular attention will be devoted to concrete, steel and modular construction. Optimisation techniques will be introduced and applied in the third part of the Unit of Study to simple geometries to explore the effects of different design parameters and to identify suitable integrated engineering designs among available solutions.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CIVL9511
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

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Gianluca Ranzi,
Lecturer(s) Gianluca Ranzi,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam Final exam
Questions and answers
30% Formal exam period 3 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO8 LO9 LO10
Assignment Assignment 1
Questions and answers.
15% Week 05 5-15 pages / 10 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO7 LO9 LO10
In-semester test (Take-home short release) Type D in-semester exam Mid-semester exam
Questions and answers.
25% Week 08
Due date: 28 Apr 2021 at 14:00
2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO10 LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9
Assignment group assignment Assignment 2
Questions and answers. Presentation.
30% Week 12 10-30 pages / 20 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?
Type D in-semester exam = Type D in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

- Submission of assignment 1 in Canvas.

- Submission of assignment 2 in Canvas. Presentation in class.

- Mid-semester exam in Canvas.

- Final exam will be 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; (ii) late penalties for mid-semester exam to be managed in accordance with University policies and (iii) late penalties for final exam 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 Overview of integrated engineering analysis and design of buildings. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 02 Requirements for an integrated engineering design of buildings. Overview of different stakeholders usually involved in the definition of these requirements. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 03 Structural building typologies and construction materials. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 04 Case studies to highlight selection of structural building typologies and construction materials. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 05 Conceptual engineering design carried out based on hand calculations. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 06 Conceptual engineering design supported by parametric studies. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 07 Engineering design: from conceptual to final design. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 08 Engineering design: from conceptual to final design (continued). Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 09 Introduction to prefabricated construction and to their engineering design and fabrication. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO7 LO8 LO10
Week 10 Sensitivity studies and optimisation techniques applied to the integrated engineering design of buildings. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 11 Sensitivity studies and optimisation techniques applied to the integrated engineering design of buildings (continued). Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 12 Evaluation of how different design parameters influence the engineering design. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 LO9 LO10
Week 13 Revision for final exam. Lecture and tutorial (6 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8 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.

Required readings

  • M.Millais, Building Structures, Understanding the basics (3). Routledge, 2017.
  • S. Vassigh, J. Chandler, Building Systems Integration for Enhanced Environmental Performance. J. Ross Publishing, 2011.
  • M.Lawson, R. Ogden, C. Goodier, Design in Modular Construction. CRC Press, 2014.
  • R. Codinhoto, Modern Building Design: Evidencing Changes in Engineering and Design Practice. The Crowood Press, 2019.
  • G. Ranzi, RI Gilbert, Structural Analysis: Principles, Methods and Modelling. CRC Press, 2015.
  • B. Hauke, M. Kuhnhenne, M. Lawson, Veljkovic, Sustainable Steel Buildings, A practical guide for structures and envelopes. Wiley
  • Blackwell, 2016.
  • Arup, Total Design over time. Arup, 2016.

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.

This is the first time this unit has been offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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