This unit introduces students to the fundamental concepts and principles applied by building professionals in the construction of buildings of all sorts of sizes and purposes. Newtonian Mechanics is adopted to understand what happens to a body when force(s) is/are applied to it. In this unit students will be supported in developing the fundamental skills and understandings needed for core units in the program, such as Building and Construction Structures, Structural Principles in Construction, Building and Construction Studies, and associated with their role as future Building professionals.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Formulate area and volume calculations to produce a bill of quantities;  
  2. Examine what happens to a body when forces are applied to it;  
  3. Interpret the effect of live, dead and distributed loads on buildings;  
  4. Articulate the properties of common building materials such as timber, steel and concrete; and  
  5. Elaborate the physics behind simple structural members such as columns, beams and truss ties and rods.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test In-semester Tests 30%
Assignment In-semester Assignments 40%
Presentation Oral Presentation 30%

Required reading

Students will be provided with class notes and additional resources online, in line with the topics. The textbooks listed below are recommended texts only.

Principles of Structure 5th ed
Whatt and Hough (2013)
CRC Press

Principles of Structural Design 2nd ed
Gupta (2010)
CRC Press

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

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