Built Environment Communication and Skills

Unit code: NBD1100 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
Footscray Park
Online Real Time


This unit introduces students to fundamental communication concepts applied by professionals in the built environment. The unit explores writing and presentation, academic referencing and library skills, oral and written communication, negotiation, teamwork, conflict resolution, effective plan and specification reading and analysis, cultural diversity and indigenous and ethical issues. Students will develop a critical understanding of the agency of drawing and modelling, which will enable alternate ways of conceiving, communicating and evaluating design ideas The topics are discussed in a context relevant to built environment professionals through practical exercises. The course introduces awareness of cultural diversity and its management in a multicultural work force.

In this unit students will be supported in developing the fundamental skills and understandings needed for core and professional units in the program, such as Building Design Communication, Built Environment 1 and 2, Environmentally Sustainable Design 1 and 2, Building Contract Documentation and Administration, Urban Design and Development and Building Design Project 1 and 2, and associated with their role as future Building Design professionals.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Communicate effectively with others orally and in writing on a range of built environment-related topics using appropriate language;
  2. Work individually and with others, as both a team member and leader in both formal and informal teams, to complete tasks;
  3. Produce high quality physical models, sketches, professional hand drawings and digital diagrams to communicate effectively with other built environment professionals;
  4. Create and curate a presentational level portfolio and poster through the use of professional software; and
  5. Recognise the professional responsibilities of built environment professionals as well as ethical, cultural and sustainability issues in built environment practice.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Essay
Grade: 15%
One (1) Reflection Report (500 words)
Assessment type: Portfolio
Grade: 30%
One (1) Individual Portfolio (sketch, diagram and model making)
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 15%
One (1) Team Oral Presentation (5 minutes per student) with Poster
Assessment type: Project
Grade: 40%
One (1) Team Project (written reflection (1500 words), sketch, diagram and model making)

Required reading

Handbook of Communication Skills for First Year Students in the College of Engineering and Science.
VU, College of Arts, (2013)| Victoria University.
PBL in Engineering
VU, School of Engineering and Science, (2009) | Melbourne: Victoria University

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

Search for units, majors & minors