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In completing your final assessments, you will show evidence of your ability to:

  • Identify and describe the properties of building materials
  • Ensure suitable building materials are selected for application
  • Supervise the acceptance, safe handling and storage of materials on site
  • Supervise testing of materials on site for suitability and fitness for purpose
  • Establish records of materials testing and report on testing process conformance or otherwise.

What properties does the material have?

Why is this material suitable?

What environmental impact might this material have?

i)Pre concreting: Prior to pouring the concrete Jai needs to ensure quality of the materials used, including the soil. Jai is aware that the soil appears to largely consist of clay that in time will affect the movement of the building, and have implications for the pouring and curing of the concrete slab.

a)Identify the areas of the High School site that would require soil testing prior to the concrete slab preparation and pouring, and explain why these areas require soil testing.

b)Explain the soil testing process and who would be involved.

c)Explain how Jai would carry out a concrete slump test.

d)Explain how Jai would carry out a concrete compression test.

e)Outline how would you record and evaluate the testing of the soil and the concrete.

Oak timber flooring

properties of  the material:

Oak is one of the best choices when it comes to choose timber product for flooring. It is because not only it is hard and stable, it is also resistible to temperature and moister. It does not easily expand, neither does it contract due to variation in temperature which is a common problem with wooden material (Percin, Sofuoglu & Uzun, 2015). This property makes oak one of the stable element for timber flooring.  

Why is this material suitable?

Oak is suitable for construction for several reason (Bahar et al., 2017). They are :

· It gives a stunning look to the flooring

· It is  easily available

· oak floor is easier to clean due to stain-resistance finish

· It has low maintenance cost

· It is also easier to transport and store too.

 environmental impact of the material

Oak is one of the environment friendly material. It can be easily disposed if needed without making any harm to the environment. In addition to that oak, if required can easily be recycled thus benefiting the environment and helping in environment friendly construction (Sikora et al., 2018).

Standards and tolerance :

Localised shrinking due to sunlight, cooling, heating and any heat generating appliances will not be considered for flooring. Flooring will be considered as defective if it is not done as per AS 1684. However natural variation of colour will not be considered as defective (, 2018).

Glass product for double glazed windows or baluster glazing

 properties of  the material

Low immersive glass is transparent as the same time strong enough and not easily cracked. The elastic property of the Low-e glass ensures that it is capable of tolerating the stress such as temperature (Alavi & Leinder , 2015).

Why is this material suitable?

Low e glass is energy efficient and prevent escape of heat through the windows. Thus keeping the heat inside the room at a constant value which is suitable for both summer as well as winter. The glass is also easily available and requires reasonable maintenance cost as these glass are durable too (Gebauer & Schobar , 2016). The transparent look of the glass gives it a premium look.

What environmental impact might this material have?

Although the glass is energy efficient, the environmental impact cannot be overlooked. The major environmental impact that needs to be taken into account is the manufacturing of the glass. A huge amount of CO2 is generated which pollutes the environment (Devlin & Murphy, 2015).

material’s tolerance for installation

If not mentioned explicitly, the installation of the window will be considered as faulty if the manufacturer’s installation instructions is not followed properly while the installation was performed. If water leaks after the windows is closed, it will be termed as defective (, 2018).

Structural steel columns or beams


 properties of material

Steel is one of the strongest element for construction. It is not only dense, but also have superior elasticity and the value of elasticity is three times more than aluminium. Hence it is highly durable as it has the ability to bear stress more efficiently (Chan & Vasarhelyi, 2018).

Why is this material suitable?

The material is highly suitable for construction. The strength and durability offers architecture a wide range of options for experimenting with the design without thinking about the compatibility. The highly durable material ensures that it will have low maintenance cost and most importantly there is no issue of availability. It is also easier to transport as it is lighter (Knechel
& Salterio , 2016).

What environmental impact might this material have?

As steel is lighter than concrete equivalents it will reduce the requirement for larger and extensive foundations. The consequence is that it will have less environmental impact due to construction (Kunj & Rittel , 2015).

material’s tolerance for installation

A vertical deviation exceeding over 5mm is considered as defective. For the horizontal deviation the maximum deviation allowed is 4mm (, 2018).

Brick product for wall structure


 properties of material

The clay brick has superior strength Typically 42-70 Mpa (6000-10000 psi), it is very dense and provide significant resistance too from golf ball to the even the bullets without any damage (Chen,  2018).

Why is this material suitable

The material is highly suitable for the construction (Ahmad et al., 2014). It is because :

· Available in wide range of colour

· Smooth texture in varieties of colours

· Economical due to low cost in production  

 environmental impact

As the brick is made from clay it is environment friendly. However the manufacturing process is not environment friendly. During the process a lot of harmful gas including CO2 is emitted which is harmful for environment (Chen et al., 2017).

If the wall leaks in normal weather, it will be termed as defective. If the wall has any stain, cracking or distortions and it is visible from normal viewing position then it is also considered as faulty or defective (, 2018).



Tests or inspections required

Manufacturing specifications or reports

Embodied energy/Life cycle impact

Australian standards

Safety/fire considerations


Alternative materials

Concrete slab for floor

Concrete moister test is most essential test for concrete slab. Methods include:

· Plastic Sheet Test (ASTM D 4263)

· Anhydrous Calcium Chloride Test (ASTM F 1896)

· Surface vapour test

· Relative Humidity Test Using Probes (ASTM F 2170)

· Design will be according the CIA 31 8

· Should have minimum compressive strength of 5000 psi at 28 days

· Prestressing strands should be retained till reaches 3000 psi or greater strength

The production of concrete gives rise to a huge amount of CO2, which is one of the toxic element for environmental pollution. It decays very first as well. Concrete contributes to the largest proportion of the construction and construction related waste and recycling the concrete is not only difficult but an extensive process   

· AS 3600-2009 |

· AS 1379-2007

When concrete is subject to excessive heat, the water content in it evaporates and create pressure on the concrete, if the pressure exceeds beyond the capacity, it will lead to structural damage.

Aircrete as it has 80% recyclable content, more economical and durable and require no additional fire proofing. Hence more reliable  

Colorbond® steel roof

· Corrosion test

· Durability test

· Colour composition test

· Should be free from surface imperfection

· The physical properties should not affect the design capacities widely

· The yield stress in the design should be 170 Mpa or less, where the tensile strength should be 300 Mpa or less

The production on steel emits a large amount of CO2, not well for environment. It is durable enough and does not degrade first , thus reducing the constructional impact on the environment

· AS/NZS 1163 

· AS/NZS 1252 

· AS/NZS 1397 

· AS 4100

· AS/NZS 4600

When steel is exposed to fire it losses it strength and the structure might be collapsed. Hence the steel should have fire rating.

Aluminium carport roof  as it is durable, light weight , has variety and structural simplicity

Brick structure for wall

· Absorption test.

· Crushing strength test.

· Hardness test.

· Soundness test.

· Structure of brick.

· Should be free from cracks

· Should have uniform colour

· Length, width and height for modular brick is 190 mm, 90 mm and 90 mm respectively

· Length, width and height for non-modular brick is 230 mm, 110 mm and 70 mm respectively

The production of brick pollutes the environment as a larger amount of toxic gas is emitted. However it is durable and the same time environment friendly too due to environment friendly content of brick like clay.

· AS 4773.2-2010

· AS 3700-2001

Bricks is an excellent resistance to fire and heat. Thus provides excellent safety against fire

Cinder blocks as it is economical , light weigh, Environment friendly

 examples of industry professionals

Example 1:structural engineers for ensuring the quality of structural material like steel, concrete

Example 2: soil engineer for testing the quality of the bricks

Material name

Space requirements required on site in m²


 2 methods for inspecting the material


 on site security measures

on-site space requirements for the material delivery  


 actions to check and correct defects


Timber flooring


· Examination of moister content

· Measurement of stress and bending of wood

Installation is red safety flag in the delivery site for vehicles carrying timbers and specially if it overhanging more than 1.2 meters  

Before the timber is delivered it should be made sure that the space is not only larger but it should   clean , dry and the place should be away from public and traffic dense area  

To check the defect the moister is measured with either oven dry test or moister meter. if the moister content is not satisfactory it is dried in a dry place until satisfactory moister content is achieved. A bending test is also conducted to estimate the strength of the wood. If it bend too easily it is simply replaced with new one before installation

Material Name

Link to material safety data sheets MSDS


Manual handling requirements aids / equipment


Where would the items be stored


Actions for hazardous material transport/delivery requirements

Links to information on related WHS and AS


Cement bags 

Wearing of gloves, face mask, long pants and sleeves, safety boots. Formation of team with more than one member for lifting heavy cements bag. Plenty of water for washing eye if product gets into eyes

The cement bags should be stored in a room that is dry, leak proof as well as moister proof 

Safety guards should be provided to the people transporting the hazardous material and the same should be circulated to the onsite workers as well.



Wearing of disposable dust mask , safety glasses with side shields and safety foot wear with toe capping

In a clean , dry and spacious room

Proper protection should be given along with the safety equipment to the workers

Ferrous and non-ferrous metals 

Wearing of eye and face protection. Wearing of protective clothing is also necessary

It should be stored in a room that is clean, dry, dust and contaminant free.

Proper knowledge about the material handling should be provided to the worker along with training on the hazardous aspect of the ferrous and nonferrous metals

  1. i) a) areas for soil testing:

Soil testing is very much necessary for construction. If the soil does not have proper strength it will not be able to hold the foundation properly. The strength of the soil depends on the physical properties of the soil strength (Hall, 2016). For example soil having a good texture having a good strength. For slab separation and pouring, the soil should have uniform texture and the moister content should be uniform as well. The surface of the soil should be smooth and free from rough materials. The areas where soil should be tested are entrance, back of the main school building and as well as the areas such as where the playground and the canteen should be set. These areas are likely to be used more and hence the texture and moister content of the soil of these areas should be tested for strength measurement.

  1. b) Soil testing method:

There are several methods that are used for testing the quality of the soil. Three important methods are listed below:

Test topic

Method of test

Moister content

Among the several methods the oven drying method is the most common. The soil is first dried at 110 degrees. After one day the soil is weighted. The difference between the two measurement is the moister content (Heinrich & Peach , 2017)

Dry density

The soil is cut, lifted from the ground , sample soil is weighed and then the water content is determined (Laudon & Laudon , 2016)

Plastic limit test

First the soil is mixed with water and a thread with diameter of 3mm is made and then it is rolled out to check if it cracks or not. If the thread does not show any cracking , the moister is beyond the plastic limit

  1. c) Concrete slump test:

The concrete slump test is carried out in the following steps (Aydogmus et al., 2015):

  1. First of all the internal surface of the mould is cleaned and the next step is to apply oil.
  2. A smooth horizontal base plate is used on which the mould is placed.
  3. The mould is filled in 4 equal layers approximately with the concrete mixed prepared earlier.
  4. Remove the excess concrete is removed and the surface is labelled with the help of a trowel.
  5. The mortar is then cleaned.
  6. The mould is then raised without any delay from the concrete.
  7. The slump is then measured as the difference of height between the mould and the specimen that is used for the testing.
  8. d) Concrete compression test:

The compression test of the concrete is done in the following way (Yoo, Yoon & Banthia, 2015):

  • The specimen must be removed from water first and nay excess water should be removed too.
  • The dimension of the specimen should be set to 0.2m.
  • The bearing surface of the test machine should be free from dirt.
  • A load must be applied on the opposite sites of the specimen
  • The specimen should be placed in the centre of the base plate.
  • Then the portion of the machine which is movable should be rotated in such a way that the top surface of the specimen has contact with the machine.
  • A load is applied on the specimen at the constant rate of 140 kg/cm2/minute to test the compression strength of the concrete.
  1. ii) Post concrete:

As seen from the image, a crack is visible. This type of crack is very common if proper methodology is not followed while preparing the concrete slab. Sometimes there is a variation in the moister content which often leads to this type of cracking. The moister content should be measured throughout the preparation of the slab for ensuring the quality and durability. Although there are various type of cracking, the one seen the figure is known as shrinkage and it is very common type of cracking.

iii) Non-conformance report

  1. a) Two methods for identifying cracks in the concrete slab are:

Visual examination:

A dye is injected in the area of the cracking and then the concrete core is taken from the area. Then it is examined with the help of microscope for measuring the crack (Almorsy, Grundy & Muller, 2016).  

Ultrasonic plastic velocity:

Ultrasonic plastic velocity or commonly known as UPV is an effective way to identify defect in the concrete materials such as the crack in the concrete slab.  It is a non-destructive testing method for quality testing (Cai et al., 2018).


type of cracking

cause of the cracking

Time of the cracking

corrective action

The types of the cracking shown in the figure is known as shrinkage crack

The cracks are formed due to variation in the moister content of the concrete (Fernandes et al., 2014)

The cracks are usually seen after the concrete slab is fully made. As the concrete gets dry , it shrinks due to reduction in moister (Durairaj & Manimaran , 2015)

In order to avoid the crack the moister content is to be maintained at the appropriate level and variation in the same should be less.

  1. c) Method to record non-conformance of the concrete material and structure:

First of all a through overview is performed in the construction site. Any defect identified in the audit must be categorized in terms of the material and the department which is responsible for the concerned defect. First of all a quality standard is set for each of the material used for the construction. The quality of the material is compared with the set standard and if not meet properly it is termed as non-conformance (Jukic, Vrbsky & Nestorov, 2016).  D) Recording and evaluating the testing of the soil and the concrete:

In order to evaluate and recording the property of the soil some of the major tests can be done. In order to evaluate the risk the tests that can be taken are Direct Box test, Swedish Ram Sounding (SRS). This test are done by measuring the shearing between soils and stainless steel. A serious of the sheer tests are done in order to ensure that quality of the soil is proper and used. The grain size of the soil is selected and friction sound generating by friction occurring between surfaces of metallic penetration cone and surrounding soil is measured.

Low-e glass for double glazed windows


Ahmad, R., Malik, M. I., Jan, M. U., Ahmad, P., Seth, H., & Ahmad, J. (2014). Brick Masonry and Hollow Concrete Block Masonry–A Comparative Study. International Journal of Civil and Structural Engineering Research (IJCSER), 1(1), 14-21.

Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2015). Properties of low emissive glass 1(2es), 1.

Almorsy, M., Grundy, J., & Müller, I. (2016). An analysis of the concrete cracking problem. arXiv preprint arXiv:1609.01107.

As, N., Hindman, D., & Büyüksar?, Ü. (2018). The effect of bending parameters on mechanical properties of bent oak wood. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products, 76(2), 633-641.

As, N., Hindman, D., & Büyüksar?, Ü. (2018). The effect of bending parameters on mechanical properties of bent oak wood. European Journal of Wood and Wood Products, 76(2), 633-641.

Aydogmus, H. Y., Erdal, H. ?., Karakurt, O., Namli, E., Turkan, Y. S., & Erdal, H. (2015). A comparative assessment of bagging ensemble models for modeling concrete slump flow. Computers and Concrete, 16(5), 741-757.

Bahar, R., Azzouz, S., Remond, R., Ouertani, S., Elaieb, M. T., & El Cafci, M. A. (2017). Moisture sorption isotherms and thermodynamic properties of Oak wood (Quercus robur and Quercus canariensis): optimization of the processing parameters. Heat and Mass Transfer, 53(5), 1541-1552.

Cai, M., Grund, M., Gupta, A., Nagel, F., Pandis, I., Papakonstantinou, Y., & Petropoulos, M. (2018). Integrated Querying of solid cracking methods. Construction Eng. Bull., 41(2), 82-90.

Chan, D. Y., & Vasarhelyi, M. A. (2018). The popularity of steel in construction (pp. 271-283). Emerald Publishing Limited.

Chen, C. Q., Zhang, Y. L., Zhang, W., & Zhang, Y. C. (2017). The Application Research on Waste Clay Brick in the Cement Concrete. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 95, p. 01007). EDP Sciences.

Chen, X. (2018). Performance Simulation of Brick Construction under the Impacts of Increased Precipitation as a Consequence of Climate Change.

Devlin, B. A., & Murphy, P. T. (2015).the effectiveness of low emissive glass as a construction material, 27(1), 60-80.

Durairaj, M., & Manimaran, A. (2015). A study on issues concrete crack.  Journal of civil enginnering and Technology, 8(8), 757-765.

Fernandes, D. A., Soares, L. F., Gomes, J. V., Freire, M. M., & Inácio, P. R. (2014).concrete non-conformance report preparation: a survey. International Journal of construction engineering, 13(2), 113-170.

Gebauer, J., & Schober, F. (2006). Properties of low emissive glass and what makes it so good for construction, 7(3), 8.

Hall, J. A. (2015). Soil tresting , measurement and preparation.

Heinrich, R. & Paech, B. (2017). Integrating soil testing in construction for performance prediction. Soil & comstruction Systems Modeling, 16(1), 257-277.

Jukic, N., Vrbsky, S., & Nestorov, S. (2016). Construction enginnering: Introduction to concrete design Prospect Press.

Knechel, W. R., & Salterio, S. E. (2016).effectiveness of steel for construction.

Kunz, W., & Rittel, H. W. (2015). Evaluation of environmental impact of steel material

Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2016). Soil measurement and performance evaluation. Pearson Education.

Perçin, O., Sofuoglu, S. D., & Uzun, O. (2015). Effects of boron impregnation and heat treatment on some mechanical properties of oak (Quercus petraea Liebl.) wood. BioResources, 10(3), 3963-3978. (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Aug. 2018].

Yoo, D. Y., Yoon, Y. S., & Banthia, N. (2015). Predicting the post-cracking behavior of normal-and high-strength steel-fiber-reinforced concrete beams. Construction and Building Materials, 93, 477-4

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