ABPL10005 Understanding the Built Environment

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Feb-2017 to 28-May-2017
Assessment Period End 23-Jun-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 10-Mar-2017
Census Date 31-Mar-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-May-2017

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 X 1 hour lectures and 1X 1 hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof Robert Crawford


Email: rhcr@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject was formerly known as The World of Building

This subject provides a broad introduction to the processes and skills embedded in the construction of buildings, to the nature of the industry developed around it, and to the material traditions societies have relied and rely on to produce their building fabric. The social and technical divisions of roles and responsibilities in the building industry are reviewed from a contemporary, historical and geographical perspective, and theories relating to the organisation and control of the processes involved are presented. Current building challenges are considered, including environmental concerns, ethical issues, technological innovation and transfer, workforce diversity and skills supply.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Understand the role of the construction industry in the economy and the key characteristics of the industry;
  • Appreciate the historical and cultural developments underlying the history of building;
  • Understand the cultural role of building technology;
  • Appreciate the role of building professionals and be aware of their responsibilities during the life cycle stages of a building project;
  • Understand the general principles and underpinnings of building contracts;
  • Broadly recognise building materials, equipment, methods and traditions;
  • Understand the basic theories of management and project management;
  • Appreciate the challenges facing different building actors in the construction industry;
  • Develop an awareness of current building industry trends.
  • In-class quizzes held in Week 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 to demonstrate an understanding of the construction industry, equivalent to 400 words, 10%;
  • Draft Site Observation Report (as a group) describing the observation of building projects in order to demonstrate an understanding of the people, roles, materials, equipment, processes and issues involved in the construction of buildings, due week 5 (hurdle);
  • Final Site Observation Report (as a group) describing the observation of building projects in order to demonstrate an understanding of the people, roles, materials, equipment, processes and issues involved in the construction of buildings, equivalent to 2000 words due week 12, 50%;
  • A two-hour examination to demonstrate the cognitive skills necessary to envision the activities associated with the construction of buildings, (40%).

Hurdle requirement:

  • A minimum mark of 40% has to be achieved in the examination in order to pass this subject.
  • A minimum 75% attendance at all class sessions,including tutorials and lectures is a hurdle requirement.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon successful completion of this subject students will have had the opportunity to develop the following generic skills:

  • analytical skills;
  • communication skills;
  • problem solving skills;
  • team working skills.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Environments
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bachelor of Design Elective Subjects
Construction major
Environments Discipline subjects
Non- allowed Breadth Subjects within the Bachelor of Design - relating to specific majors
Related Breadth Track(s): Introduction to Construction

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