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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.


Syllabus for

Academic year
ACE035 - Building materials  
Syllabus adopted 2021-12-28 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKATK
6,0 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: First-cycle
Main field of study: Architecture and Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Application code: 46118
Open for exchange students: No
Maximum participants: 50
Only students with the course round in the programme plan

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Laboratory 2,0 c Grading: UG   2,0 c    
0218 Examination 4,0 c Grading: TH   4,0 c   13 Jan 2022 pm J   Contact examiner   Contact examiner  

In programs



Angela Sasic Kalagasidis

  Go to Course Homepage


Environment 1,0 hec


General entry requirements for bachelor's level (first cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

The same as for the programme that owns the course.
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites


The course is an introduction to materials with focus on building materials. The course develops the ability to perceive the connection between the internal structures of materials and their properties related to strength, heat and moisture transport, acoustics, light, permanence, etc. Furthermore, the course treats material choices and sound material combinations for the desired functions and environmental impact. This includes both methods for protecting material, as well as life cycle thinking and life cycle analysis tools (LCA). The course provides familiarity with established definitions, concepts and terms with the purpose of being able to communicate with colleagues in the industry, as well as familiarity with simple calculation models in order to make analyzers of properties and behaviors.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

1. Describe the commonly used building materials and their overall functions in buildings.
2. Explain the basic strength and deformation properties of conventional construction materials
3. Explain the basic properties of commonly used building materials for heat transport and storage, as well as moisture transport and fixation
4. Describe the important factors that may affect the mechanical and physical properties of commonly used construction materials
5. Calculate and/or predict material properties with established definitions and equations together (if possible) with risk analysis.
6. Implement measurements of material properties with suitable measurement techniques, and analyze and evaluate the measurement results
7. Demonstrate an insight of and give examples of different technical and environmental characteristics of the raw materials that provide different conditions for sustainable construction and use of resources in the community.
8. Give examples of how the use and reuse of building materials in a life cycle perspective applied to new construction and reconstruction.
9. Discuss the environmental impact of buildings from a lifecycle perspective.


The course provides a review of general knowledge of building materials. The course covers various building materials arranged in groups of materials and their function in the building. For each group of materials it deals with raw materials, manufacturing, chemical and structural construction, material properties and essential parameters, as well as common applications, durability and service life in different environments. A specific, relatively large section deals with the construction materials concrete, steel and wood, including their basic strength and deformation as well as the important factors that may affect the mechanical and physical properties, durability and service life. An introduction is given to concepts such as environmental impacts of building materials and constructions, reuse and recycling of materials etc. with regard to sustainable construction and resource utilization.
The course also addresses the fundamental theory of heat transport and storage by conduction, radiation and convection; moisture transport and fixation by diffusion, convection and capillary suction; and the methodology of calculation of one-dimensional stationary heat and moisture transport in materials and structures. Chemistry, physics and mathematics (in parallel courses) are applied to explain and illustrate the manner of action and phenomena such as heat and moisture transport.


The course covers the following activities:
- Lectures (department and possible guest lecture)
- Seminars (active learning through self-reading, presentation and discussion)
- Calculation exercises (active learning through problem solving)
- Laboratory (active learning through real observations of phenomena and measurements of properties)

Examination (see below)


Burström, P G, Byggnadsmaterial - Uppbyggnad, tillverkning och egenskaper, Studentlitteratur, Lund, 2007
Burström, P G, Byggnadsmaterial - Uppbyggnad, tillverkning och egenskaper. Övningsbok, Studentlitteratur, Lund, 2007.

Handed out lecture material

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination consists of two parts:
- Group presentation of completed laboratory course (approved/failed) including approved LCA-exercise;
- Written examination (graded).
Group presentation examines mainly Learning Outcome 6 and partly other learning outcomes. In the group presentation the students in groups will present their lab reports including measurement and analysis results with reasoning and verbal answers questions about the lab principles, measurement techniques, procedures, possible error sources and background knowledge.
Written examination examines general learning outcomes. At the written exam students are expected to individually answer questions in different ways, including multiple choice, written description and calculation.
To obtain the final grade, the approval of both parts are required.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Thu 04 Feb 2021.