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SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING & DESIGN
Centre for Modern Architecture Studies in Southeast Asia (MASSA)
Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Architecture)
Module: BUILDING MATERIALS [ARC 1513] / [BLD60103]
Credit hours: 3
Lecturers: Sanjeh Raman, Ann See Peng, Chong Sue May
This module intends to inform the student of the relevant visual and physical properties of a wide range of
building materials. It also encompass the broad environmental debate by including energy saving and recycled
materials. For each material the module describes the manufacturing process, salient properties and typical uses
of these materials, with the aim of ensuring their appropriate application within the awareness of the suitability of
the physical and chemical properties as well as its ecological impact. Students will undergo a series of
continuous assessments such as project and tests to ascertain the objective and outcome of the module is
Module Teaching Objectives
• To introduce various types of building materials used in current construction practice.
• To create an understanding of the choices designers make in choosing building materials based on the
properties of these materials.
Module Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Recognize and recall types and properties of materials
2. Describe the general use of different materials in construction
3. Explain the physical properties of building materials
4. Explain the chemical properties of building materials
5. Explain the effect of building materials on construction and structural qualities
6. Analyse problems associated with different materials used
Modes of Delivery
This is a 3 credit hour subject held over 14 weeks. The mode of delivery will be in the form of lectures, tutorials,
field trips and self-study. The breakdown of the hours is as follows:
Lecture: 2 hours/week
Tutorial: 2 hours/week
Self-Study: 4 hours/week
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You are encouraged to visit the instructor/lecturer/tutor concerned for assistance during office hours. If the office
hours do not meet your schedule, notify the instructor and set appointment times as needed.
TIMeS will be used as a communication tool and information portal for students to access module materials,
project briefs, assignments and announcements.
Sanjeh Raman SanjehKumar.Raman@taylors.edu.my
Ann See Peng email@example.com
Chong Sue May firstname.lastname@example.org
Major TGC incorporated in this module
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Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities (TGC)
The teaching and learning approach at Taylor’s University is focused on developing the Taylor’s Graduate
Capabilities (TGC) in its students; capabilities that encompass the knowledge, cognitive capabilities and soft
skills of its graduates.
Discipline Specific Knowledge
1.0 Discipline Specific Knowledge
1.1 Able to put theories into practice. 1,2
1.2 Understand ethical issues in the context of the field of studies. 6
1.3 Understand professional practice within the field of studies. -
2.0 Lifelong Learning
2.1 Learn independently. -
2.2 Locate, extract, synthesise and utilise information effectively. 6
2.3 Be intellectually engaged. 5
3.0 Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
3.1 Think critically and creatively. 6
3.2 Define and analyse problems to arrive at effective solutions. 3,4
4.0 Communication Skills
4.1 Communicate appropriately in various setting and modes. -
5.0 Interpersonal Skills
5.1 Understand team dynamics and mobilise the power of teams. -
5.2 Understand and assume leadership. -
6.0 Intrapersonal Skills
6.1 Manage one self and be self-reliant. 3,4,5
6.2 Reflect on one’s actions and learning. 2,5
6.3 Embody Taylor's core values. -
7.0 Citizenship and Global Perspectives
7.1 Be aware and form opinions from diverse perspectives. -
7.2 Understand the value of civic responsibility and community engagement. 6
8.0 Digital Literacy
Effective use of information and communication (ICT) and related
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General Rules and Regulations
Late Submission Penalty
The School imposes a late submission penalty for work submitted late without a valid reason e.g. a medical
certificate. Any work submitted after the deadline (which may have been extended) shall have the percentage
grade assigned to the work on face value reduced by 10% for the first day and 5% for each subsequent day late.
A weekend counts as one (1) day.
Individual members of staff shall be permitted to grant extensions for assessed work that they have set if they
are satisfied that a student has given good reasons.
Absenteeism at intermediate or final presentation will result in zero mark for that presentation.
The Board of Examiners may overrule any penalty imposed and allow the actual mark achieved to be used if the
late submission was for a good reason.
Attendance, Participation and Submission of Assessment Components
Attendance is compulsory. Any student who arrives late after the first half-hour of class will be considered as
absent. The lectures and tutorials will assist you in expanding your ideas and your assessments. A minimum of
80% attendance is required to pass the module and/or be eligible for the final examination and/or presentation.
Students will be assessed based on their performance throughout the semester. Students are expected to attend
and participate actively in class. Class participation is an important component of every module.
Students must attempt all assessment components. Failure to attempt assessment components worth 20% or
more, the student would be required to resubmit or resit an assessment component, even though the student has
achieved more than 50% in the overall assessment. Failure to attempt all assessment components, including
final exam and final presentation, will result in failing the module irrespective of the marks earned, even though
the student has achieved more than 50% in the overall assessment.
Plagiarism (Excerpt from Taylor’s University Student Handbook 2013, page 59)
Plagiarism, which is an attempt to present another person’s work as your own by not acknowledging the source,
is a serious case of misconduct which is deemed unacceptable by the University.
"Work" includes written materials such as books, journals and magazine articles or other papers and also
includes films and computer programs. The two most common types of plagiarism are from published materials
and other students’ works.
1. Published Materials
In general, whenever anything from someone else’s work is used, whether it is an idea, an opinion or the
results of a study or review, a standard system of referencing should be used. Examples of plagiarism may
include a sentence or two, or a table or a diagram from a book or an article used without acknowledgement.
Serious cases of plagiarism can be seen in cases where the entire paper presented by the student is copied
from another book, with an addition of only a sentence or two by the student.
While the former can be treated as a simple failure to cite references, the latter is likely to be viewed as
cheating in an examination.
Though most assignments require the need for reference to other peoples’ works, in order to avoid
plagiarism, students should keep a detailed record of the sources of ideas and findings and ensure that these
sources are clearly quoted in their assignment. Note that plagiarism also refers to materials obtained from the
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2. Other Students’ Work
Circulating relevant articles and discussing ideas before writing an assignment is a common practice.
However, with the exception of group assignments, students should write their own papers. Plagiarising the
work of other students into assignments includes using identical or very similar sentences, paragraphs or
sections. When two students submit papers that are very similar in tone and content, both are likely to be
Your participation in the module is encouraged. You have the opportunity to participate in the following ways:
Your ideas and questions are welcomed, valued and encouraged.
Your input is sought to understand your perspectives, ideas and needs in planning subject revision.
You have opportunities to give feedback and issues will be addressed in response to that feedback.
Do reflect on your performance in Portfolios.
Student evaluation on your views and experiences about the module are actively sought and used as an
integral part of improvement in teaching and continuous improvement.
Student-centered Learning (SCL)
The module uses the Student-centered Learning (SCL) approach. Utilization of SCL embodies most of the
principles known to improve learning and to encourage student’s participation. SCL requires students to be
active, responsible participants in their own learning and instructors are to facilitate the learning process. Various
teaching and learning strategies such as experiential learning, problem-based learning, site visits, group
discussions, presentations, working in group and etc. can be employed to facilitate the learning process. In SCL,
students are expected to be:
active in their own learning;
self-directed to be responsible to enhance their learning abilities;
able to cultivate skills that are useful in today’s workplace;
active knowledge seekers;
active players in a team.
Types of Assessment and Feedback
Each student will be graded in the form of formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments will
provide information to guide the student in the research process. This form of assessment will be conducted
through Interim Critique/Review sessions. Summative assessment will inform the student about the level of
understanding and performance capabilities achieved at the end of each project with form of a final examination.
Assessments Type Learning
Marks Duration Submission Date
30% 4 weeks
Project 2 Group (30%+ 10%)
40% 5 weeks
Portfolio Individual 1-9 Pass/Fail n/a
Individual 2-9 30% n/a
Refer to Final
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This module will be graded in the form of coursework and final examination. It consists of 2 projects, final
examination and a portfolio submission.
Project 1: “Space Out- the material CUBE”
The intent of this project is to introduce students to Building Materials which are currently used in the industry.
This project is designed as an introduction to building materials that are commonly used in the local construction
industry. Students are required to construct cubes using the listed material to explore and understand building
making in relation to materials, design considerations of material according to their properties and to finally
understand how the intrinsic forms, limitations and boundaries of a material factor in a design process.
Project 2: Mood Board: Experiential Exploration of Space & Materials
This project introduces students to various types of material that are applied in existing buildings locally in
response to local contexts such as climate, concept, aesthetics, structure, occupancy and environmental issues.
Emphasis is given to identification and understanding the effects of material, chemical and physical properties.
2. Final Examination
The final examination is designed to assess the ability of the students in solving material-design issues,
appropriate material-occupancy specification and understanding of material properties of materials and technical
issues related to building materials. The format of the assessment will be informed later.
3. Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities Portfolio
The Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities (TGC) Portfolio is a document that collates all assessments produced in a
module and reflects a student’s acquisition of the Module Learning Outcomes and Taylor’s Graduate
For students enrolled in the 2011 Programme Structure
The TGC portfolio is an edited A3-size bound document that includes all the assessments produced in the
module. Visual diary and process of work (packaged) are to be included as part of the portfolio
submission. Students must reflect on their learning through the TGC Portfolio Form.
For students enrolled in the 2012 Programme Structure onwards
Each students is to develop an ePortfolio, a web-based portfolio in the form of a personal academic blog.
The ePortfolio is developed progressively for all modules taken throughout Semesters 1 to 5, and
culminates with a final Portfolio in printed form produced in the final semester. The printed Portfolio must
encapsulates the acquisition of Programme Learning Outcomes and Taylor’s Graduate Capabilities, and
showcase the distinctiveness and identity of the student as a graduate of the programme.
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Marks and Grading Table (Revised as per Programme Guide 2013)
Assessments and grades will be returned within two weeks of your submission. You will be given grades and
necessary feedback for each submission. The grading system is shown below:
A 80 – 100 4.00 Excellent
Evidence of original thinking; demonstrated outstanding
capacity to analyze and synthesize; outstanding grasp of
module matter; evidence of extensive knowledge base.
A- 75 – 79 3.67 Very Good
Evidence of good grasp of module matter; critical capacity
and analytical ability; understanding of relevant issues;
evidence of familiarity with the literature.
B+ 70 – 74 3.33
Evidence of grasp of module matter; critical capacity and
analytical ability, reasonable understanding of relevant
issues; evidence of familiarity with the literature.B 65 – 69 3.00
B- 60 – 64 2.67
Evidence of some understanding of the module matter;
ability to develop solutions to simple problems; benefitting
from his/her university experience.
C+ 55 – 59 2.33
C 50 – 54 2.00
D+ 47 – 49 1.67
Evidence of nearly but not quite acceptable familiarity with
module matter, weak in critical and analytical skills.
D 44 – 46 1.33
D- 40 – 43 1.00
F 0 – 39 0.00 Fail
Insufficient evidence of understanding of the module
matter; weakness in critical and analytical skills; limited or
irrelevant use of the literature.
WD - - Withdrawn
Withdrawn from a module before census date, typically
F(W) 0 0.00 Fail Withdrawn after census date, typically mid-semester.
IN - - Incomplete
An interim notation given for a module where a student
has not completed certain requirements with valid reason
or it is not possible to finalise the grade by the published
P - - Pass Given for satisfactory completion of practicum.
AU - - Audit
Given for a module where attendance is for information
only without earning academic credit.
Description 1: Week 3 to week 7 (inclusive) for long semester, or week 3 to week 5 (inclusive) for short
semester. A short semester is less than 14 weeks. Not applicable for audit and internship.
Description 2: After week 7 for long semester, or after week 5 for short semester. A short semester is
less than 14 weeks. Not applicable for audit and internship.
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WEEK/DATE TOPICS LECTURE TUTORIAL INFO R/S. STUDY NOTES
Lecture: Introduction to
Building Materials 2 2 4
Briefing Project 1
“Space Out- the
Route to Resources
( On line
Tutorial Project 1
Lecture 1:Concrete and
its application in the
2 2 4
Tutorial Project 1
Lecture 2: Stone -
2 2 4
Tutorials Project 1
21/04/14 Embedding Information
Evaluation Resources &
Mendeley (Citation and
2 h self-study
Digital Upload of
document and peer
review on draft –
online discussion )
Tutorials Project 2
Briefing Project 2
Sue May Lecture 3: Glass
( On line
Final Review of
Submission Project 1
(02/05) at C09 Lobby
Lecture 4: Metal 2 2
2 h self-study
following field trip)
Tutorials Project 2
(Visit to Material Room)
Lecture 5 : Timber 2
( On line
Tutorials Project 2
(Visit to Material Room)
Review, Project 2
MID SEM BREAK (19/5-23/5)
Lecture 6: Bricks
( On line
Tutorials Project 2
Final Review of Project
Lecture 7: Ceramics
( On line
Submission of Project 2
Lecture 8: Plastics -
Application as visible
2 2 4
16/06/14 2 2 4
23/06/14 2 2 4
30/06/14 2 2 4
Note: The Module Schedule above is subject to change at short notice.
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1. Lyons, Arthurs. 2004. Materials For Architects And Builders. 2nd Edition, Butterworth Heinemann.
2. Everett, Alan. 1994. Materials. 5th Edition, Longman Scientific & Technical.
3. Neveille, A. M. 1995. Properties Of Concrete. Addition Wesley, Longman.
4. Robbin, Tony. 1996. Engineering A New Architecture. Yale University Press
1. Mohamed Abdel Kader Ismail.et.al. 2008. Introduction to Civil Engineering Materials. McGraw-Hill
2. Jackson,Neil 1996. Civil Engineering Materials. 5th Edition, Palgrave
3. Illston, J. M. (ed). (2001). Construction materials: their nature & behaviour. (3rd ed.). London: Spon