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Unit information: Understanding Building Services in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Understanding Building Services
Unit code CENG20012
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ross
Open unit status Not open

CENG16300 Design & Computing (or similar)



School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Aim: To introduce students to the core ideas and disciplines required in the design of building services within a building. Areas covered will include: heating, cooling, heat loss and heat gain, insulation, acoustics, lighting and fire.

As civil engineers we are regularly required to work in teams with a variety of disciplines including building services engineers. This course will teach engineers about the design process and how we can work together with different disciplines (especially building services engineers) to realise our collective vision when designing buildings. It will teach students the “language” of building services. It will build their confidence in applying building services principles to real design problems.

This unit will run in parallel with Understanding Architecture and students will be required to collaborate to create a realistic learning experience.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course the students will;

1. be able to explain what a building services engineer does and what role they play in shaping our world,

2. have successfully participated in the building design process and understood the role of engineers within that process,

3. be able to confidently communicate building services concepts and ideas, through words, drawings, photos, models and verbal communication,

4. show an appreciation for the built environment and a specific interest in one of the key disciplines through the production of simple design calculations,

5. understand the role building services play in making a design sustainable and what can be done to minimise a buildings impact on the environment.

Teaching details

Lectures 18 hours (some will be joint with Understanding Architecture), workshops 4 hours, design meeting 1 hour and optional site visit during reading week

Assessment Details

100% Coursework (50% report and presentation submission joint with Understanding Architecture, 50% individual calculation submission to support report design).

Reading and References

  • Thomas R. Environmental design: an introduction for architects and engineers, Taylor and Francis, 3rd edition, 2005
  • Szokolay S. Introduction to Architectural Science: The Basis of Sustainable Design, Architectural Press 2014
  • Bleicher D. The illustrated guide to mechanical building services,BSRIA, 2017
  • Tse P. The illustrated guide to electrical building services, BSRIA, 2014