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Module title Design 2
Module code CENV2028
Module lead

G Muller

Module lead profile url:
External Examiner: Prof Zoran Kapelan, University of Exeter
Faculty Engineering & the Environment
Academic unit CivEng and the Env
Academic session first offered 201213
Credit Points ECTS 7.5
Level Undergraduate
When will the module be taught Semester 1
Pre-requisite and/or co-requisite modules
Programmes in which the module is core
Programmes in which the module is compulsory BEng Civil Eng with Architect (year 2)
BEng Civil Engineering (year 2)
MEng Civil Eng w Placement (year 2)
MEng Civ Env Eng w Placement (year 2)
MEng Civil & Environmental Eng (year 2)
MEng Civil Eng w Yr in Indust (year 2)
MEng Civil Engineering (year 2)
MEng Civil Eng & Architecture (year 2)
MEng Civ Eng Arch w Placement (year 2)
Programmes in which the module is optional
Date of last edit 15th Apr 2016 - 2:06pm

Module overview

This module follows on from CENV1023 Construction, Design and Materials where students are set a series of design challenges, ranging in complexity, concept and scale.  In CENV2028 students are set an engineering brief to design a full scale structure based on real client and site requirements. 

Students work within a group, within a proactive and competitive environment to practically apply their knowledge to develop a design that balances innovation, practicality, the client’s requirements, economy, sustainability and buildability. They will further improve their time management skills by working to tight deadlines, and communication skills through the preparation of drawings, models, reports, and design calculations. A final presentation to design tutors, fellow students and external critics from industry will demonstrate the design proposal in its entirety.

Particular focus is placed upon the ability to work as an effective team and realise a coordinated and well resolved engineering system.

Aims and learning outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Desk studies and walk-over surveys
  • Applying project relevant engineering procedure and calculation
  • Utilising conceptual design processes to develop an idea
  • Managing an effective design process to refine and deliver a design proposal
  • The relevance and impact of sustainability and construction concerns on a proposed design

Subject Specific Intellectual

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and interpret design relevant desk study information
  • Create conceptual designs that meet the client’s requirements and site constraints
  • Critically appraise design proposals
  • Propose and appraise appropriate foundation solutions
  • Select appropriate construction materials in relation to a range of project parameters and influences
  • Develop and appraise structural proposals; overall concepts and individual elements
  • Appreciate the importance of incorporating safety, buildability and sustainability in design

Transferable and Generic

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Planning and organising
  • Problem analysis and problem solving
  • Decision Making
  • Communication (written, oral, technical drawing, sketching and modelling)
  • Time management.
  • Use of library, IT and other resources
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

Subject Specific Practical

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Work in a group to develop a coordinated design proposal
  • Identify and utilise existing design relevant information
  • Carry out load path analysis to assess design feasibility
  • Clearly and concisely communicate a design proposal through high-standard engineering drawings, reports and models
  • Prepare and deliver a group presentation to an audience of about 50 people

Graduate Attributes

Graduate Attributes are the personal qualities, skills and understandings that University of Southampton students have the opportunity to develop. They include but extend beyond subject-specific knowledge of an academic discipline and its technical proficiencies. The Graduate Attributes are achieved through the successful attainment of the learning outcomes of the programmes, and successful engagement with the University’s co-curriculum e.g. the Graduate Passport.

A checklist for embedding the graduate attributes is available at:

Summary of syllabus content


  • Information gathering, desk studies and site analysis.
  • Design concept development, evolution and refinement. 

Structural design

  • Structural framing to resist wind and gravity loads.
  • Quantification of loads (load take-down).
  • Selection of structural material.
  • Approximate methods for member sizing.
  • Conceptual design of joints and connections. 

Foundation design

  • Development of a “ground model”.
  • Selection of geotechnical components.
  • Identification of limit states to EC7.
  • Determination of ground parameters from borehole records. 

Applied fluid mechanics

  • Wind loading.
  • Drag and uplift. 


  • Economic, social, environmental sustainability. 


  • Engineering drawing.
  • Report writing.
  • Presentation skills.

Summary of teaching and learning methods

This module will be delivered through a combination of the following: 

  1. Lectures for the delivery of new material and concepts.
  2. Workshop sessions for students to work in groups and develop design proposals.
  3. The presentation of design proposals to invited critiques. 

The teaching pattern is summarised in the table below:

Semester 1

  • A lecture course, one single (L1) (45min) and one double (L2) (1hr 45min) lecture per week as set out below.

Module Introduction (L1),Information gathering (L2)

(week 1)

Structural Design (L1), Foundation Design (L2)

(week 2)

Structural Design (L1), Structural Design (L2)

(week 3)           

Applied Fluid Dynamics  (L1), Design for sustainability (L2)

(week 4)           

Report writing (L1), Engineering Drawing (L2)

(week 5)

Presentation skills (L2)

            (Week 11)

  • 12 x 4hr workshop sessions associated with design development within groups.

(weeks 1-11)

Workshop sessions are reserved for working on the Group Design Project within the Design Studios/ Workshops.  Informal consultation opportunities with staff members are provided each week mainly within this time.  Some sessions may clash with other timetabled activities, groups are to arrange alternative times to meet and manage their time accordingly. Groups can use the Design Studios/ Workshops in addition to timetabled sessions, during open access times.  

  • 1 x 4hr Final Presentation session

(week 12)

Study Time allocation:

Contact hours: 70 hours

Private study hours: 80 hours

Total study time: 150 hours

Summary of assessment and Feedback methods

Assessment Method Number % contribution to final mark Final assessment (✔)
Interim Report 0%
Group Design Project 70%
Design Report 20%
Final Presentation 10%

Referral Method

By set coursework assignment(s)

Method of Repeat Year

Repeat year internally

Special Features

  • The opportunity to practically apply knowledge to design, build and test a structure in relation to an engineering brief and a real site.
  • Guest critics from industry are invited to presentations to provide insight and feedback.

Learning Resources

Resource type: Core textbook
ISBN: 978-0246116413

Clayton, C.R.I. Matthews, M.C. and Simons, N.E. (1995). Site Investigation. Blackwell Science.

Resource type: Background textbook
ISBN: 978-0419235507

Narayanan, R.S. Beeby, A.W. (2001) Introduction to design for civil engineers. 1st Ed, CRC Press.

Resource type: Background textbook
ISBN: 08212 1862

Vale, B. (1991) Green architecture: Design for a sustainable future. Thames and Hudson.

Resource type: Core textbook
ISBN: 978-1-4039-122244

Arya, C. (2009) Design of Structural Elements. CRC Press Spon,

Resource type: Core textbook
ISBN: 978-0750686860

Cobb, F. (2009) Structural Engineer’s Pocket Book, 2nd ed, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Resource type: Core textbook
ISBN: 978-0-273-71772-0

Douglas J.F., Gaslorek G., Swaffield J. and Lynne J. Fluid Mechanics. Pearson Ed. Ltd. Harlow. 2011

Resource type: Background textbook
ISBN: 978-1466552098

Powrie, W. (2013) Soil Mechanics – Concepts and Applications. 3rd Ed, CRC Press.

Resource type: Background textbook
ISBN: 978-0727727510

Simons, N. Menzies, B. (2000) A short course in foundation engineering, 2nd Ed, ICE Publishing Telford.

Resource type: Background textbook
ISBN: 978-0-230-5007-16

Mosley, W.H., Bungey, J. and Hulse R. (2012) Reinforced Concrete Design to Eurocode 2, 7th edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

Resource type: On-line resources

Resource type: Software requirements
AutoDesk AutoCad and Revit
(Student version available to download for use on personal computers).

Resource type: Software requirements

Resource type: Other

Module teaching notes for lectures provided weekly on Blackboard.

Health and Safety

Students will visit the proposed site, for which an appropriate Risk Assessment will be completed.

Cost Implications

A range of standard construction materials are provided to support the design projects within this module. However, students are encouraged to develop unique designs and choose alternative materials, the costs of which will be covered by the Faculty should they be deemed appropriate and clearly presented by a given cut-off date.  The costs of additional materials and components identified after this date would be borne by the student group.

Students are expected to cover the costs associated with the printing of drawings and graphic presentations. These are typically expected to be of the order of £50 per group (typically five students per group), also depending on the quality of printing chosen. 

Appendix: KIS hours

Contact hours for Teaching:Hours
Seminars (including sessions with outside speakers)0
Practical Classes and Workshops (including Boat work)0
Project supervision0
Demonstration Sessions0
Supervised time in studios/workshops/laboratories0
External Visits0
Summer Workshops0
Work Based Learning0
Independent studyHours
Preparation for scheduled sessions11
Follow-up work11
Wider reading or practice32
Completion of assessment task74
Placement Hours0
Year Placement0
6 Month Placement0