You are viewing this page as a domestic student.
Change to International

You are a domestic student if you are an Australian citizen, a New Zealand citizen or the holder of an Australian permanent visa.

You are an international student whether you are within or outside Australia and you do not meet the domestic student criteria.

COVID-19 (coronavirus): Latest advice for the Bond community.

SSUD71-101: Understanding Buildings September 2019 [Intensive]

General information

This subject provides a descriptive overview of the building construction process focused on residential and small scale commercial development for those students from a non-built environment background. The topics covered include construction techniques, construction history, material analysis, site analysis, interpreting building drawings, practical analysis of sites and residential construction methodology, technical analysis of the construction process, codes and standards plus detailed analysis of methodology and terminology within the building industry.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:SSUD71-101
Subject title:Understanding Buildings
Subject level:Postgraduate
Semester/Year:September 2019
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Seminar: x2 (Total hours: 12) - Seminar 1
  • Seminar: x2 (Total hours: 12) - Seminar 2
  • Seminar: x2 (Total hours: 12) - Seminar 3
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours
Attendance and learning activities: Students will attend two x three day intensive sessions, generally seven hours per day (including meal breaks). Students are encouraged to attend every session as the knowledge is incremental and builds on previous days knowledge. Missing a session will result in disjointed learning outcomes.


Prescribed resources:
  • George Wilkie,Stuart Arden (2003). Building Your Own Home. New Holland , 248. 76
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Recognise and describe the various construction processes covered in the subject and the different kinds of materials used in the construction of buildings studied.
  2. Recognise, explain and illustrate the major functional building elements commonly used in residential construction.
  3. The ability to comprehend, interpret and analyse information presented on construction drawings and use the information to carry out the construction process from the initial site scrape to practical completion.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Written Report § Part 1 of two part assessment - Analysis of a development site and construction process using mixed delivery methods - written and sketched theoretical analysis and visual presentation through drawings. 15% Week 6 1, 2, 3.
In-Class Quiz - Individual Assess coursework and other knowledge areas gained from first intensive session. 20% Week 9 1, 2, 3.
Written Report § Part 2 of two part assessment - Analysis of a development site and construction process using mixed delivery methods - written and sketched theoretical analysis and visual presentation through drawings. 25% Week 11 1, 2, 3.
Paper-based Examination (Closed) ^ Assessment of coursework and other learning objectives from entire subject (Intensive 1 and 2). 40% Final Examination Period 1, 2, 3.

Pass requirement

Students must obtain an aggregate 50% pass overall (i.e. assignments, tests/quizzes and final exam results added together). Further; students must obtain at least 50% in the final exam to pass the subject.

  • ^ Students must pass this assessment to pass the subject
  • § Indicates group/teamwork-based assessment
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Additional subject information

Students will be required to resource information in addition to those provided in lectures and in iLearn. Students are requested to purchase the prescribed texts and read them prior to commencement of classes. Students may be required to visit areas of building activity to obtain a clearer understanding of building methodology.

Subject curriculum

Introduction to what a residential building is and its purpose. This is followed by a general review of residential construction throughout Australia’s history.

Looks as the types of information that needs to be collected prior to a design being proposed and sources of said information. This is followed by a review of the legal framework surrounding residential construction including the role of the National Construction Code and Planning Schemes.

This topic discusses a variety of ways that a building platform can be designed, and the steps required to construct it. This is followed with a discussion of the properties of soil, their determination and their influence with a focus on residential construction

An introduction to isolated, continuous and raft foundations and their role in residential construction. The construction process stiffened raft slabs and waffle raft slabs is thoroughly discussed. Concrete preparation and design requirements for residential slabs are then discussed.

The elements of suspended floors are introduced and discussed. This is followed by a discussion of timber as a building material by considering the factors of appearance, strength and durability.

The elements of framing and its erection are introduced and discussed.

1, 2, 3.

Includes the identification of roof shapes and the concepts of pitched roofing and trussed roofing are discussed.

Exterior wall (e.g. brickwork and lightweight options) and roof cladding (tile and sheet options) options are discussed. Design features of roofs fixtures, windows and doors are considered. Waterproofing strategies for the house are also identified.

1, 2, 3.

Interior features of the house are discussed. Features include, wall linings and trimmings, finishes (paint and flooring), bathrooms and kitchens. The commissioning of the house in preparation of hand over is then discussed.

A look at good landscaping practices and strategies that contribute to Urban Landscaping Priorities of local councils.

Throughout the course students are introduced to the concepts of drawings. The students will learn how to read construction level drawings and begin to develop basic roof plans, elevations and truss layouts.

At the conclusion of the first teaching block, the students will attend a field trip to a residential construction site to give context to the material covered.

Approved on: Jul 15, 2019. Edition: 2.7