PE7004 - Construction and Sustainable Technologies

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn the fundamentals of construction technology in the context of a society’s aim of mitigating climate change. The syllabus includes the processes and technology of commercial and domestic construction, both current and the recent past to equip graduates with the knowledge to manage the construction, maintenance and development of property assets. The importance of the environmental impact of materials and the use of life cycle costing to enhance sustainability will supplement the teaching of low carbon construction technology and energy sources.

Within each of these areas you will study a range of topics to support this:

• Construction technology
o The structural elements, finishes and services found in typical low rise domestic construction.
o The structural elements, finishes and services found in commercial and industrial property.
• Low carbon design
o Site selection and building orientation
o Passive low carbon design in the domestic and commercial field
o Water conservation
o Green roof and wall applications
o Sustainable urban drainage
• Renewable energy applications
o Photovoltaic applications
o Biomass heating
o Ground and air source heat pumps
o Solar water heating
o Wind energy

On completion of this module the knowledge and understanding acquired forms part of the broader contextual framework for the study of your discipline specific professional pathway.

You will develop, throughout this module, academic and professional skills relating to the use and evaluation of data; effective communication; self-direction and personal responsibility.

How will I learn on this module?

The module is delivered entirely online via our electronic learning platform (elp). You will interact with a range of materials on the module site. The module home page provides you with quick access to detailed information about the module in an interactive, easily accessible format. The teaching materials support your learning. Each session delivers flexible, interactive learning materials, accessible in a variety of formats such as audio and video presentations, podcasts, MP3 files and hard copies. Tasks to extend and test your learning are interspersed within the learning materials. A range of different tasks, with formative feedback, are aimed at supporting your learning style. In addition to this you will be encouraged to utilise peer to peer support opportunities through the use of elp supported platforms for interaction or, if you choose to, external student supported platforms. Each session is supported by reading accessed through the electronic reading list.

The module hosts a learning community that is global that can test innovation in the workplace and through the medium of discussion boards can report and disseminate findings.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be an autonomous, self-motivated learner within a supportive distance learning environment. You will be introduced to the module by the module tutor in an introductory video. The online module sessions and interactive tasks form the cornerstone for supporting you during your study. Academic support is available from the teaching team and each session includes a link to enable you to email a question directly to the tutor from within the session. Responses will be fed back either directly or via the module discussion board. Focused academic support coupled with timely formative and summative feedback should enable you to meet your full academic potential within this module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: Critically examine recent and current construction technologies across domestic and commercial applications.

• MLO2: Critically evaluate passive low carbon design techniques and their application in current construction to meet the regulatory environment and the aspirations of the market.

• MLO3: Critically evaluate renewable energy applications in respect of their carbon reduction effectiveness, practical application and long term viability. Consider the implication for security of energy supply in a localised renewable supply regime.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO4: Critically analyse information, make recommendations, demonstrate judgement and communicate findings.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Understand the concepts of sustainability and apply them to the built environment

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: tasks embedded within the module sessions provide formative feedback immediately upon completion. This timely feedback will assist in consolidating your learning as you move through the module.

Summative assessment: this module is assessed by one piece of coursework. These indicative course works are designed to be applicable globally rather than for UK based students.

The coursework consists of three interrelated parts that will produce a physical and environmental appraisal of your workplace or residence. Initially you will carry out an analysis of the building following a prescribed Building Analysis Table. Following on from this you will complete an Environmental Strategy Table on key aspects of the physical construction that you consider require further investigation to improve environmental performance. Drawing on this you will produce and in-depth proposal and rationale for the most effective modification to the building, or its operation, to improve its environmental efficiency. This assessment tests MLOs 1-5





Module abstract

In this module you will learn the fundamentals of construction technology in the context of society’s aim of mitigating climate change. The construction and property industries are rapidly adapting to minimise the environmental impact of their activities. New materials, construction techniques, building services innovations are coming to market with increased rapidity. For example, photovoltaic panels which used to be the preserve of space vehicles twenty years ago are now a common sight in the built environment. The teaching and learning will be research rich, drawing from both industry and the research activity of the staff. You will be required to apply the learning from the module to your local environment, with the anticipation that these academic exercises can be applied in the real world.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Distance Learning

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start Upcoming Intakes: July 2024, October 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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