This unit specifies the outcomes required to evaluate and select a range of suitable construction materials for building projects, taking into account a range of criteria, including physical attributes, cost and sustainability. It includes the ability to analyse properties and characteristics to determine their suitability for application in the construction of a building. It requires selection of materials that comply with relevant legislation, Australian Standards and the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication. However, this unit forms part of a minimum qualification requirement for registration with the Victorian Building Authority as a building designer (architectural).

Unit details

Study level:
Vocational and further education (TAFE)
Unit code:


Assessment tasks will be designed to reinforce and extend knowledge and skill competence within set and controlled parameters in accordance with each unit's learning outcomes and performance criteria requirements, including the setting of work based practical application tasks designed to provide evidence of competence outcomes, within periodic and scheduled timelines. Students will be expected to demonstrate the following required skills: - enable clear and direct communication, using questioning to identify and confirm requirements and share information with internal and external personnel; - read and interpret: the BCA; relevant legislation and Australian Standards; plans, drawings and specifications; - use language and concepts appropriate to industry conventions; - written skills to document data and findings to industry standards; - identify typical defects in construction materials; - analyse and evaluate data on construction materials; - planning and organisational skills to collect, organise and analyse information on construction materials; - selecting suitable construction materials, taking into account a range of criteria, including physical attributes, cost and sustainability; - applying selection principles relating to performance of materials according to their purpose; - technological skills to complete documentation and calculations, and; - work safely in a design drafting working environment and on a site according to legislation and workplace policies and procedures. Students will also be expected to demonstrate the following knowledge: - manufacturing processes and their effects on the use and application of construction materials; - structural, thermal, acoustic and visual properties of materials and how these are utilised to achieve a desired outcome and meet specifications and legislative requirements; - durability, weatherability, jointing, thermal expansion, compatibility, connection systems with regard to the application of materials; - systems, processes and methodology used to incorporate materials into a structure; - substructures, jointing systems and fixings required to incorporate materials into a building; - effect of substructures on the use of materials; - effect of transport, handling and storage on materials; - principles of designing buildings for durability and adaptability; - life cycle assessment principles; - nature of construction materials, including emerging technologies, and effect on performance; - environmental impact issues relating to material selection and use; - R and U values (overall thermal resistance) for construction material; - grading process and grade markings used to categorise timber and timber products; - relevant sections of the BCA and relevant federal, state or territory legislation, and; - material safety data sheet purpose and content.

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.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.