Course Brief

Unit Abstract 

Science and material performance are intrinsically linked through the need to create structures and spaces that perform in both mechanical operation and in providing human comfort.

This unit aims to support students to make material choices to achieve the desired outcomes of a brief. This is approached from the perspective of materials being fit for purpose; as defined by testing standards and properties, but also by consideration of the environmental impact and sustainability. Awareness of health & safety is considered alongside the need to meet legislative requirements.

The topics covered in this unit include: health & safety; storage and use of materials; handling, and problems associated with misuse and unprotected use; environmental and sustainable consideration in material choices; and human comfort performance parameters. Material choice is developed through the understanding of testing procedures to establish conformity to standards and define performance properties. The performance of materials to satisfy regulations and provide appropriate comfort levels is addressed through design and calculations.

Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to make informed decisions regarding material choices; based on understanding the structural behaviour of materials established through recognised testing methods, sustainability, context of build, and health & safety. Students will also be able to perform the calculations necessary to establish anticipated performance of the materials in-use and therefore determine their compliance with regulations and suitability.


  • This course is offered in 45 hours.