Building Envelopes

Subject ABPL90268 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hours per week
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours


Admission to the Master of Architecture, Master of Construction Management or Master of Property


Approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Hand and/or computer drawing skills are useful.

Non Allowed Subjects:

ABPL90268 Facade Design and Performance

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Environments and Design Student Centre
Ground Floor, Baldwin Spencer (building 113)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject was formerly called Facade Design and Performance.

This subject provides the student with knowledge on the technology, manufacturing, erection and performance of buildings’ external boundaries.

By considering facades and roofing systems against the processes involved in their procurement, it gives insights on the complexity of building envelope definition and production in the industry, particularly from a construction perspective.

A short introduction to the history of external cladding is followed by an overview of principal façade and roofing system functions, systems and types.

Material on simulation, testing, mock-ups, trade packaging, purchasing, activities planning, scheduling and erection is provided to help students understand the construction process.

Emphasis is also placed on the technical and organizational differences between new developments and refurbishment work.

  • To develop an understanding of available envelope types and systems and their different construction methodologies;
  • To gain knowledge in the planning, testing and construction processes;
  • To gain an understanding of the interdisciplinary character of the building envelope from a construction and performance perspective.
  • Class participation (10%), assessed through participation in class discussions and contribution to group work throughout the semester.
  • Weekly quiz tasks (online) (4 x 5% = 20% total), equivalent to 2000 words, due at the end of each week (weeks 2–5).
  • Professional report (70%). Group professional report and presentation on the redesign of a building envelope for an existing building, equivalent to 3000 words. This includes a short presentation to the class (week 10, 20%) and the submission of a written report (end of semester, 50%).
Prescribed Texts:

None specified

Recommended Texts:

An overview of literature will be provided before the start of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to understanding technical terminology and engage with this construction industry;
  • Ability to comprehend construction constraints and strategies;
  • Ability to relate façade construction with performance criteria.
Related Course(s): Master of Architecture
Master of Architecture
Master of Property
Master of Property
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Building
Building Systems and Trade Specialties

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