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Residential Building Construction Assignment: Analysis and Report


Learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

1.Develop your knowledge and understanding of the interaction and placement of structural and non-structural components of a residential building.

2.Develop your subject specific skills that relate to the chemical and biological reactions that can adversely affect building materials and thermal efficiency.

Submission of work

Your completed work for assignments must be handed in on or before the due date. You must keep a copy or backup of any assessed work that you submit.  Failure to do so may result in your having to repeat that piece of work.

Electronic submission:

This is normally done via CANVAS. Any special instructions will be available on the upload tag or within the assessment brief.

Paper submission:

Your assignment should be handed in at the student office on the ground floor of MI building. It should have a barcoded front cover (available via e-Vision) and be neatly presented, at least stapled and preferably in a suitable plastic folder.   Any item handed in must have, clearly written on the front:

Your student I.D. number

The module number, title and the module leader's name

The date of submission

All drawings should be bound with the main document and should also show the student I.D. number.

Penalties for late submission of coursework

Standard University arrangements apply. ANY late submission will result in the grade 0-NS being allocated to the coursework.

Section A. Construction choices (approximately 1,750 words)  70% weighting of assignment.

1). Weighting (30%)  

Based upon the site conditions above, identify three suitable foundation types utilised for low rise, masonry cavity wall construction; briefly explain the key factors that may influence their selection. Using a ruler and drawing pens, hand-draw these three foundation types and annotate to help you to describe their components.  As a guide, each foundation drawing should fill one sheet of A4 paper, this will allow the drawings to be annotated with their component names and approximate (proportional) dimensions.

2). Weighting (20%)

2a). To a suitable scale, each on one side of A4 (aim to fill the page), draw and annotate a cross section through a traditional brick and block masonry cavity wall at window cill level. Additionally, draw and annotate a cross section of a typical ‘Eaves’ and ‘Ridge’ detail including the location of any insulation.  

2b). Draw a ‘silent joist’ and briefly explain how they are made and the rationale for their use. You may wish to test your C.A.D. skills although this is not compulsory.

3). Weighting (8%)

3a). As an alternative to traditional construction, identify two prefabricated types of residential wall assembly made from sustainable materials. What would the technical and financial advantages be of using these methods assembly for the client?

3b).The assembly technique of pre-fabricated timber walls is derived from two walling systems; which do you recommend, and why?

4). Weighting (8%)

Explain to your client the difference between erecting a ‘Purlin’ cut roof and ‘Trussed’ roof; justify which method you would use for this project.  

5). Weighting (4%)

Photovoltaic panels will be fitted on the roofs; what is important about the orientation of the units on the site?

Section B – Laboratory work and practical sessions 30% weighting of assignment, split into three.

This section, due to the calculation and workbook requirements, is not included in the word count.  

6). Thermal Losses - 18% weighting

Calculate the combined (total) rate of heat loss from 120 identical units using the following information:

Unit (dwelling) Dimensions: Length 8.25m, width 6.75m, height 5.2m

Wall Construction: 25 mm Render (k=0.94 W/m K); 103 mm Brickwork (k=0.77 W/m K); 50 mm clear cavity (R=0.180 m2 K/W); 50 mm Insulation board (k=0.020 W/m K); 115 mm Aerated block (k=0.11 W/m K); 20mm Internal lightweight plaster (k=0.18).  Internal boundary layer resistance (Rsi)  = 0.120 m2 K/W,  External boundary layer resistance (Rso = 0.060 m2 K/W

Windows: 8 no (two in each wall) size: 1m x 1.8m (U value = 5.8 W/m2 K) Door:  2 no. size: 1.981m x 0.813m (U value = 2.0 W/m2 K),  

Floor rate of heat loss = 313 W      Roof rate of heat loss = 628 W   

Assume an internal temperature of 23oC, an external temperature of 8oC; and 1.5 air changes per hour.

6a). Fabric heat loss (9% weighting)

Total rate of Fabric heat loss (Pf) =  S U A Dt   

Where: U=U value; A=area of fabric element (door, wall etc.); Dt=internal/external temperature difference (oC)

6b). Ventilation heat loss (9% weighting)

Total rate of ventilation heat loss (Pv) =  0.33 N V Dt

Where: N=number of air changes per hour; V=volume of building (m3); Dt=internal/external temperature difference (oC

Remember to calculate the combined heat loss of one Unit and then the total loss for the total site!

7). Laboratory workbook 1

Fresh Concrete and Aggregate Testing (6% weighting) The workbook will be available on CANVAS.

Please attach your completed workbook to your assignment (Portfolio) for marking.

8).  Laboratory workbook 2

Compliance testing for clay bricks (6% weighting) The workbook will be available on CANVAS.

As a guide, marks will be awarded in this assignment as follows:

Clarity, structure and professionalism of your report:     10%

Extent of research, technical feasibility and “real life” justification  of the technology applied - reflected in both text and drawings:  

Informed and objective conclusions, logic and appropriateness of discussion, grammar, Harvard referencing (evidenced by quality and number of reference sources), use of Appendices etc.   10%

Accuracy of thermal loss calculation and Laboratory workbooks   30%


•All 8 questions must be attempted.

•Drawings to be produced on A4 paper – Bordered with legend and with your student I.D.

written on each and the scale used where appropriate.

•Show all heat-loss calculation working-out, not just the answer.

•The assignment (Portfolio) must in an appropriate technical report format, suitably bound (not loose in plastic wallets) to the drawings and work books.  

•Harvard referencing (excluding the workbooks).

•Word count to be included on the contents page.

•Each page to be numbered.

•In case of computer failure, it is advised that you keep electronic’ and hard copy back-ups of your work including any drawings.

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