Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


The foundation of this course rests on the importance of maintaining or improving conditions of the natural environment and human health via the built environment. From this understanding, the course combines a grounding of fact-based knowledge in construction materials (classification, production, qualities and uses) with the development of decision-making frameworks that enable environmental and health criteria to be set for a project. Combined, these components provide the knowledge and skills to enable students to select and document responsible building materials for any project, in any location, culture or date.



  • Semester 1 - 2022


  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Use appropriate terminology to classify, describe and represent materials.

2. Describe the interaction of material properties with the natural environment and the consequential design considerations.

3. Identify current natural environment and human health implications caused by the harvesting, production and use of building materials.

4. Select and document a set of responsible building materials for a specific project (in a given location, culture or date) by applying materials to an environmental and health criteria framework to assist decision making.

5. Produce documents in written media supported by an appropriate referencing technique.


  • Materials and their classification
  • Material┬ácomponents and identification of chemicals of concern
  • Raw materials: the process of obtaining from natural resources
  • Composite materials: their manufacture
  • Recycled materials: recycling and repurposing for reuse
  • Materials: their application
  • Environmental and human health considerations in the application of materials in construction
  • Materials: documentation and representation
  • Current natural environment and health issues affected by the built environment

Assessment items

Quiz: Online Quiz

Written Assignment: Written Assignment 1

Quiz: Online Quiz 2

Written Assignment: Written Assignment 3

Online Learning Activity: Online Activity

Contact hours

Callaghan and Online


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks

Distance learning students will receive equivalent instruction through online or other distance education strategies

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.