DESST 1507 - Construction I

North Terrace Campus - Summer - 2022

This course is an introduction to the construction and engineering principles of architecture, landscapes and urban environments. It will initiate the topics of: representation and documentation; history and theory; materials and detailing; construction and design; and engineering structure and fabric. The course aims to develop foundational knowledge, skills and understanding in the areas of: the relationship between construction, engineering and design; the representation of construction in a historical and theoretical context; construction materials, detailing and structures. AutoCAD will be introduced.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code DESST 1507
    Course Construction I
    Coordinating Unit School of Architecture and Built Environment
    Term Summer
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Restrictions Available to B. ArchDes and B.E(Arch) students only
    Quota A quota will apply
    Course Description This course is an introduction to the construction and engineering principles of architecture, landscapes and urban environments. It will initiate the topics of: representation and documentation; history and theory; materials and detailing; construction and design; and engineering structure and fabric.

    The course aims to develop foundational knowledge, skills and understanding in the areas of: the relationship between construction, engineering and design; the representation of construction in a historical and theoretical context; construction materials, detailing and structures. AutoCAD will be introduced.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Jesse Zilm

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    As a Level I Core Course, Construction I is designed to foster knowledge, understanding and skills that will assist the student with both future courses as well as professional design practice. 

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
    1. Identify and employ different types of structural systems used in domestic scale construction.
    2. Identify and employ different types of materials used in domestic scale construction.
    3. Employ digital tools like AutoCAD to develop construction documentation
    4. Employ professional standards for drawing communication in construction documentation
    5. Demonstrate research and critical thinking skills in determining solutions for construction
    6. Demonstrate theoretical and cultural considerations in development of construction solutions
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.


    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.


    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course Textbook:
    Barry's Introduction to Construction of Buildings (4th Edition)
    by Stephen Emmitt; Christopher A. Gorse // Publisher: Wiley, 2019 

    The book is available as an e-book from the following address:

    If you would prefer a print copy, please contact
    Co-op Books on campus

    Other Resources:
    Drawing tasks related to this course will require you to have access to drawing equipment and materials. You should have already obtained these for your Design Studio and Representation 1 courses, and can continue to use the same.
    Recommended Resources
    Please refer to MyUni for details of recommended readings and websites

    Speaker Series:
    The School has a fortnightly lecture series where respected practitioners and academics from the field deliver a public lecture on contemporary architectural practice. In order to expand your knowledge of contemporary directions in design it is recommended that you attend these sessions. The exact detail of dates and speakers is available from the School website and the Front Office.
    Online Learning
    University Email:
    The school uses the University email system to get in touch with the students. So it is imperative that you check your email regularly and keep up to date with any new announcements.

    MyUni is an essential online tool which will be used to communicate information regarding the course including details of assignments and interim grades. There are many other learning resources and assessment pieces that rely on the MyUni system for delivery. Therefore it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the various functions of MyUni and employ it to its fullest extent.

    Discussion Board:
    The MyUni Discussion Board can be used to interact with other students and tutors and is an essential tool to discuss information and increase your understanding of issues.

    Lecture Recording:
    In certain cases the recording of the lectures is made available in electronic format for students to listen through on their own time and make notes, and is provided through the MyUni system. However, this service is only available for lectures with essential course content and may not include guest lectures. Furthermore, where the presentation content is subject to copyright or the guest speaker is uncomfortable with the recording of the content, the lecture recording will not be made available online. So students should not rely solely on this mode of learning and arrange to attend or get lecture content from peers.

    Noticeboard / Handbook:
    General information about the activities at the School is available online from the Student Noticeboard which can be accessed at current-student
    Students can also access a copy of the Student Handbook at the following link:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    As a core course in architectural construction, the teaching activities for this course revolve around closely interrelated lectures, tutorials and studio activity. While the lectures provide theoretical understanding of materials and processes as well as cultural developments, the tutorials/studio sessions focus on the application of these ideas within the local construction context and the related issues of architectural detailing. The tutorials also introduce students to the drawing practices and conventions for communication of ideas of architectural construction. These principles of drafting are further developed through a series of CAD workshops where students learn how to develop a construction documentation set within the CAD environment.

    Since the scope of learning activities is considerably large, each lecture/tutorial/workshop session will deal with a completely different set of issues, so the students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the related content before coming for the session, so as to extract the maximum benefit from their interaction with the tutors and their peers.

    In addition to these conventional modes of delivery, the course also uses innovative digital learning platforms based on the processes of gamification to engage student learning.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (ie. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote at least 48 hours per week to their studies. Accordingly, students undertaking this 3 unit course are expected to devote 12 hours per week to contact activities and self-guided studies.

    Based on this framework here are some figures that might assist workload management:
    • Total workload hours: 26 Hrs per week x 6 weeks = 156 Hrs
    • Total contact hours: 6 Hrs per week x 6 weeks = 36 Hrs
    • Total self-guided study: 156 Hrs – 36 Hrs = 120 Hrs
    These 120 hours should be used towards preparation of weekly tasks and for completion of the various assignments associated with the course, including development of various skills required to complete the same. Please organise your time wisely.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Learning Activities Schedule

    Week Title of Lecture Learning Activities
    Week 1 Lecture 01: Theory of structures
    Lecture 02: Principles of Structural Design
    01: Structures Tutorials
    02: Architectural Detailing
    Week 2 Lecture 03: Timber Framing in Australia
    Lecture 04: Conscrete & Slab Construction
    03: Plan & Section Details
    04: AutoCAD Workshop 01
    Week 3 Lecture 05: Masonry & Wall Construction
    Lecture 06: Concrete, Metal & Glass
    05: Two Storey Detailing 01
    06: AutoCAD Workshop 02
    Week 4 Lecture 07: Construction Documentation
    Lecture 08: AutoCAD Page Setup
    07: Two Storey Detailing 02
    08: AutoCAD Workshop 03
    Week 5 Lecture 09: Door & Window Details
    Lecture 10: AutoCAD Printing
    09: Two Storey Detailing 03
    10: AutoCAD Workshop 04
    Week 6 Lecture 11: Stairs & Internal Finishes
    Lecture 12: Class Test
    11: Stairs & Internal Finishes
    12: Final Class Test
    Specific Course Requirements
    Failure to attend teaching due to medical, compassionate or extenuating circumstances is dealt with the School Policy, administered by the School Office. Submit the appropriate application for supplementary consideration together with the original signed medical or other relevant officer, to the School Office. If you foresee a problem contact the Course Coordinator BEFORE the problem actually occurs. Otherwise, contact the Course Coordinator as soon as possible and submit the appropriate application for supplementary consideration to the School Office.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Collaborative / Individual Formative / Summative Weighting Word Count / Time Due Date Learning Outcomes
    Tutorial/Workshop Activities Individual Formative 25% N/A Week 1- 6 1 - 6,
    Final Class Test Individual Summative 35% 3 hours Week 6 1 - 4, & 6
    Final Construction Drawing Set Individual Summative 40% N/A Week 6 1 - 6
    Total 100%
    Assessment Detail
    Marking & Feedback (General)

    • Final results for the course will only be available through Access Adelaide and students SHOULD NOT contact the course coordinator or the tutors for the same.

    • Most assignments will be marked within 3 weeks of the submission and the interim grades will be made available through the My Grades system. Students are expected to inform the Course Coordinator if there are any errors with the marks entered on the system.

    • The best examples of students’ work will be included in the All-In Exhibition to be held at the end of term alongside the best works from other courses and year levels.

    • Feedback for in-class submissions will only be available during the tutorial as oral critique in the style of studio wall-crits. Students should arrange with peers to make notes for reference
    • All assignments must be submitted at the time and place as indicated above. Note that NO LATE submissions will be accepted unless it is due to illness and other accepted circumstances as explained in the School's Student Handbook.
    • Selected submissions of the Final Assignment will be included in the All-In Exhibition at the end of the semester.
    Submissions (General):
    • All submissions must include Student Name and Student ID Number. Submissions without Student Name or ID Number will not be considered for marking, and will receive zero marks in accordance with the guidelines.
    • In addition, all assignments need to have an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed and dated by the student before submission. Please attach the cover sheet in front of the document, to the top left hand corner.
    • Please adhere to submission deadlines and follow instructions provided.
    • Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the Course Coordinator.
    • On occasion, the lecturer/tutor may wish to retain students’ work for future reference and the relevant student will be informed at such a time.
    Early Submission:
    • There is an early submission box located on Level 4 which is cleared out daily at 10am. Please mark your submission clearly before placing in box.
    • Models for in-class presentation cannot be handed in early.
    Late Submission:
    • The school will NOT accept late submissions and any such assignment will receive zero marks. This also applies to electronic submissions.
    • Printing delays & hard disk crashes will not be entertained as legitimate causes for delay, so please ensure that the work is finished in advance.
    • The school has a resubmission policy whereby students can redeem failed work by submitting additional work for a maximum of 50%.
    • The deadline for all re-submissions is 12pm on Friday 3rd November 2017.
    Good practice:
    • Students should ensure that they regularly backup their work on multiple locations as hard-disk crashes are an unfortunate reality.
    • When relying on community printing facilities, students should attempt to finish their work in advance to avoid unnecessary delays.
    • Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted (digital or hardcopy), as originals may be lost during the submission process.
    • For modified arrangements of submission and assessment due to special circumstances see the following Assessment Task Extension(s) & Additional Assessment guidelines.
    Modified Arrangements (General)
    • Students can apply for extensions or modified arrangements based on Medical conditions or other Extenuating circumstances. However, students need to submit their application along with supporting documents within 5 business days of the condition becoming applicable.
    • The application forms are available from the Front Office and at and need to be submitted at the Front Office along with any supporting documentation.
    • Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance and the Course Coordinator will inform the applicant if the application is accepted. Please DO NOT contact the Course Coordinator directly.
    • Medical Reasons:
    • In case of an extended medical condition which makes it impossible for the student to submit the work on time, an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Medical Circumstances may be lodged with the Front Office along with a doctor’s certificate within 5 business days.
    Extenuating Circumstances:
    • If the student is unable to submit the work on time due to extenuating circumstances an Application for Assessment Task Extension due to Extenuating Circumstances may be lodged with the Front Office.
    • Please note that this is only available for certain military, religious, or legal obligations and does not extend to minor personal problems. (Refer to Student Handbook at for further details or contact Student Advisor).
    Compassionate Grounds:
    • In case of certain extraordinary personal problems students can apply for extensions based on compassionate grounds. However, these must first be discussed with the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.
    • To maintain privacy relating to personal issues students can contact the Counselling Service on 83135663 for an individual appointment.
    Additional Assessment:
    • If a student receives a Fail grade for the course with an overall mark between 45 and 49, they may be eligible for an Additional Assessment which would allow them to get a maximum of 50 Pass for the Course.
    • Additional Assessment offers are made by the School and the student will be informed directly once these are made available.
    Students who have a disability and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements need to contact the University Disability Services at 83135962 or for supporting documentation and then communicate these to the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.

    Elite Athlete:
    Students who have national/international sporting commitments and wish to seek modified submission or assessment arrangements need to register with the University Elite Athlete Support Scheme at and then communicate this to the Course Coordinator in person through appointment during the assigned office hours.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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