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Syllabus for

Academic year
VBF056 - Building materials
Syllabus adopted 2013-02-20 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: TKVOV
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Education cycle: First-cycle
Major subject: Architecture and Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: Swedish
Block schedule: LA

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0105 Examination 4,5 c Grading: TH   4,5 c   14 Mar 2014 am V,  16 Jan 2014 am V,  18 Aug 2014 pm V
0205 Laboratory 3,0 c Grading: UG   3,0 c    

In programs

TKVOV CIVIL ENGINEERING, Year 2 (compulsory)


Univ lektor  Ingemar Segerholm
Tekniklektor  Bengt Dellming


VBF055   Building materials

Course evaluation:


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic knowledge of Physics, Chemistry and Mechanics of Materials.


The overall aim of the course is to obtain necessary knowledge about the behavior of building materials in varying mechanical, physical and chemical environments through an active attitude, e.g. laboratory work. Important basic mechanisms and processes affecting the properties of materials in connection to manufacturing and exposure in different environments will be treated. The course will give necessary technical material prerequisites for applications in other courses within the V- and AT-programs and in the future profession of civil engineers.

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

  • apply concepts and definitions to describe the structure and properties of materials, e.g. porosity, pore size distribution, density, atomic and molecular bonding, anisotrophy

  • apply important connections between the structure and the property of a material to forecast material behaviour

  • accomplish fundamental calculations of heat, gas and liquid transfer

  • apply knowledge concerning different alteration and degradation processes to be able to evaluate the durability of a material in different environments

  • describe the fundamentals of structure development of concrete (hydration, heat production, porosity etc)

  • calculate the composition of concrete to fulfil the demands concerning the properties of the fresh, hardening and hardened concrete (concrete designing)

  • evaluate information concerning building materials and communicate with people in the building trade

  • select suitable materials for usage in different constructions and environments


General knowledge on building materials, including history, developments, selection of materials, required knowledge and understanding, material requirements, physical and chemical structure of materials, mechanical and physical properties, durability and service life in various applications. The different materials are either treated in material groups or based on the function in constructions. For each group of material raw material, manufacturing, chemical and physical structure, material qualities, essential properties, general fields of application, durability and service life in different environments are discussed. A relatively large portion of the course deals with concrete technology including different cements, aggregates, mixing, fresh concrete, hardening, curing, final treatment, mechanical and physical properties, durability and service life. An introduction is given to concepts like environmental consequences of building materials, re-use and re-cycling of materials etc.


 The course contains the following elements:

  • Lectures/guest lecture

  • Calculation exercises

  • Laboratory work

  • Study trip at a concrete factory

  • Home assignment (concrete designing)


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

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


The examination consists of two elements:

  • Written and oral examination of accomplished laboratory work, accomplished home assignment and participation at study trip.

  • Written examination divided into one theoretical and one problem solving part.

To obtain a final grade in the course the student shall be approved in both elements.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.