CIVL5533: Energy-efficient Building Systems (2021 - Semester 2)

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Unit: CIVL5533: Energy-efficient Building Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Senior Advanced
Faculty/School: School of Civil Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Luo, Fengji
Session options: Semester 2
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Students will gain insight into energy consumption of building systems and how this is expected to vary considering different building solutions from an engineering design viewpoint in the context of climate change. The Unit of Study is articulated in the following four components.

In the initial part of the Unit of Study, students are exposed to the fundamental concepts related to energy and its generation as well as to the current infrastructure supporting its distribution in cities and rural areas.

Based on selected case studies that differ for the building typology, basic calculation approaches required for the estimation of the energy consumption of buildings are outlined and applied in the second part of the Unit of Study. In this manner, students will be exposed to an understanding of the expected impact that different structural typologies and construction materials have on the energy performance of a building.

The third part of the Unit of Study presents the concepts and design principles of NZEB and how these can be successfully implemented in modern construction from an engineering viewpoint.

In the final part of the Unit of Study, students are exposed to latest trends in building technologies and building-to-grid integration techniques aimed at minimising energy consumption and at reducing the likelihood of blackouts as well as peak energy demands. This part provides also insight into strategies adopted for the deployment of smart building systems and how these interact with the energy supply in the context of smart cities.

All parts of the Unit of Study will be supported by the presentation of selected case studies.
Assumed Knowledge: CIVL1900 AND CIVL2110 AND CIVL2201 AND MATH2061. CIVL1900 Introduction to Civil Engineering AND CIVL2110 Materials AND CIVL2201 Structural Mechanics AND MATH2061 Linear Mathematics and Vector Calculus
Timetable: CIVL5533 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Tutorial 2.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 5.00 1 13

Attributes listed here represent the key course goals (see Course Map tab) designated for this unit. The list below describes how these attributes are developed through practice in the unit. See Learning Outcomes and Assessment tabs for details of how these attributes are assessed.

Attribute Development Method Attribute Developed
Students must consider scientific principles underpinning a selected engineering projects and apply mathematical methods for design and assessment of the energy performance of buildings. (1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
Advanced expertise required for the evaluation and design of energy-efficient building systems. (2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4)
Students will rely on project input information to inform judgements, decisions and design solutions across disciplines. (3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4)
Ability to formulate and solve problems using advanced appropriate methods of analysis, and ability to apply available design guidelines to support energy-efficient building systems. (4) Design (Level 4)
The assessment is designed to require multiple engineering disciplinary perspectives as well as tools and techniques. (5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4)
Students will analyse and discuss theoretical issues and concepts within a broad context of research to evaluate the energy performance of buildings. They will also interpret and discuss issues and situations involving uncertainty representative of real building performances to gain insight into energy-efficiency practices. (6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
Students will work in teams that requires students to review team performance regularly, and deliver a coherent team product that is both informative and influential. Individuals within the team will need to take responsibility for leading different components of the team assignment to produce a quality outcome. (7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3)

For explanation of attributes and levels see Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3)
1. Demonstrate written, oral and graphical communication skills at professional engineering standard including capacity to justify an engineering position.
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3)
2. Develop team skills through the completion of a project-based assignment.
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4)
3. Evaluate & synthesise a wide range of resources demonstrating research skills & ability to work across disciplines.
(4) Design (Level 4)
4. Design of the required energy supply to be provided to a building also considering the inclusion of renewables.
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4)
5. Carry out analysis of the building-to-grid integration to gain insight into the complex energy supply chain present in smart cities.
6. Perform optimisation analysis to identify suitable energy strategies among available solutions.
7. Evaluate and compare the results of computer analyses with those obtained by hand calculations.
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4)
8. Address complex problems requiring interdisciplinary approaches amd solutions.
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 4)
9. Apply the fundamental methods of analysis for the energy calculations
10. Derive analytical solutions for simple design scenarios.
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Mid-term quiz No 15.00 Week 9 4, 9,
2 Assessment - Part I Yes 15.00 Week 8 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9,
3 Assessment - Part II Yes 30.00 Week 12 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10,
4 Final Exam* No 40.00 Exam Period 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar https://web.timetable.usyd.edu.au/calendar.jsp

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture: Introduction to the fundamental concepts related to energy and its generation, and energy supply in cities and rural areas.
Week 2 Lecture: Overview of smart cities and smart building systems.

Role of demand response and building energy management systems in minimizing the energy consumption of buildings.
Week 3 Lecture/Tutorial: Overview of approaches available to the evaluation of the energy consumption of buildings (Part I). Presentation of available simplified calculations to gain insight into some of the key governing parameters relevant to the engineering design and structural detailing.
Week 4 Lecture/Tutorial: Overview of approaches available to the evaluation of the energy consumption of buildings (Part II). Presentation of available simplified calculations to gain insight into some of the key governing parameters relevant to the engineering design and structural detailing.

Introduction of the project-based assignment – part I.
Week 5 Lecture/Tutorial: Fundamentals of integrated passive design for energy-efficient building systems. Introduction to the selection of the construction materials and structural typologies relevant to the engineering design and to the structural detailing.
Week 6 Lecture/Tutorial: Fundamentals of integrated passive design for energy-efficient building systems. Introduction to the selection of the construction materials and structural typologies relevant to the engineering design and to the structural detailing.

Presentation of selected case studies.
Week 7 Lecture/Tutorial: Introduction to the role of climate change on the energy consumption of buildings. Engineering solutions currently available for the passive cooling of structural components and buildings.

Outline of selected case studies that exploit advanced engineering solutions.
Week 8 Lecture/Tutorial: Overview and discussion on the second part of the project-based assignment.
Assessment Due: Assessment - Part I
Week 9 Lecture/Tutorial: Concepts and design principles of net-zero energy buildings from an engineering viewpoint. Importance of careful selection of structural typologies, construction materials and building technologies.
Assessment Due: Mid-term quiz
Week 10 Lecture/Tutorial: Concepts and design principles of net-zero energy buildings from an engineering viewpoint. Importance of careful selection of structural typologies, construction materials and building technologies.

Presentation of selected case studies.
Week 11 Lecture/Tutorial: Overview of the role of the engineering design and detailing of the structural system, members and joints on the overall energy performance of buildings.
Week 12 Lecture/Tutorial: Latest trends in building technologies and building-to-grid integration to minimise energy consumption.
Assessment Due: Assessment - Part II
Week 13 Lecture/Tutorial: Revision for final exam.
Exam Period Assessment Due: Final Exam*

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Civil/ Project Management 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Civil 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Civil / Arts 2017, 2021, 2022
Civil / Commerce 2021, 2022
Civil / Design in Architecture 2021, 2022
Civil / Project Management 2017, 2018, 2022
Civil / Science 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Civil/Science (Health) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Civil / Law 2021
Civil Mid-Year 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Civil/Science (Medical Science Stream) 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Civil) 2021, 2022
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2021, 2022

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) Yes 4%
(7) Project and Team Skills (Level 3) Yes 7.5%
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4) Yes 10%
(4) Design (Level 4) Yes 16%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 4) Yes 27.5%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4) Yes 7.5%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 4) Yes 27.5%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.