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Course details

This course provides advanced understanding of major building materials used in the construction industry. The course will discuss typical manufacturing and processing, structure, properties, embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions, performance, end uses and maintenance requirements of each material. A term project evaluates the progress of materials related knowledge used in the built environment. The course will be split into the following topics: 1. Materials science, including the primary material classes, material properties, and testing. 2. Primary building materials - Wood; Stone; Cement and Concrete; Brick and Block; Ferrous Metals; Non-Ferrous Metals. 3. Secondary building materials - Board Materials; Plastics and Fabrics; Insulation Materials; Composite Materials; Glass and Structural Glazing; Sealing Materials; Coatings and Finishes; Membranes; Fire and Smoke Resistant Materials; Sustainable Materials; New and Innovative Building Materials. 4. Building material case study. The course will enable the student to select and specify appropriate materials and testing for use on buildings. In addition, the student will be able to assess the condition of building materials, propose possible causes of deterioration, evaluate if maintenance is required, and plan remediation.


  • No prerequisites are required for this course.





Course offerings

Fall 2022

Below is one offering of BSCI 9020 for the Fall 2022 term.

CRN 38568


Mon Sep 12 - Mon Dec 05 (15 weeks)

  • 15 weeks
  • CRN 38568
  • $1704.17
Class meeting times
Dates Days Times Locations
Sep 12 - Dec 05 Mon 14:30 - 17:45 Burnaby NE01 Rm. 285

Danial Jahanara

Course outline




Important information
  1. Departmental approval needed
  2. Please contact Program Assistant, at for approval to register for this course. Please include your A#. No class on Nov. 11

In Progress

This course offering is in progress. Please check back next term or subscribe to receive email updates.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Outline the field of materials science, including explaining how the manufacture, processing, structure, properties, performance, end use and maintenance of each material class are interrelated, and how economic, environmental sustainability, embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions, health & safety, political, societal and appearance factors influence material end use.
  • Appraise the primary property classes of building materials (i.e., chemical, durability, hygric, mechanical, optical and thermal), the importance of building material properties and their testing which is typically carried out in the laboratory and field.
  • Assess the wide range of building materials and their structures, key properties, specifications, installation, end uses and maintenance/repair.
  • Apply the codes and standards relevant to industry practice and liabilities that govern the use of building materials.
  • Develop and review specifications and testing programs for building materials.
  • Evaluate building materials through review of specifications and test results.
  • Determine both visually and using appropriate testing equipment, the generic materials commonly used in walls, roofs, balconies, decks, canopies, windows, doors, skylights, flashings, and joint assemblies. Includes the relevant properties, performance requirements and advantages/disadvantages of each generic material.
  • Examine to determine the main deterioration mechanisms (e.g., cracking, corrosion, embrittlement, fading, freeze/thaw, loss of adhesion, mechanical damage, rot, staining, yellowing) in building materials.
  • Assess the condition of building materials in the field both visually and using portable testing equipment and propose possible causes for why building materials may not be as expected (e.g., poor manufacture / fabrication, inappropriate specification, inappropriate design, poor installation, deterioration).
  • Recommend if maintenance of building materials is required and plan remediation requirements.
  • Communicate verbally and in writing on investigations, field and laboratory tests, site visits and presentations.
  • Assess the relative advantages and disadvantages of recent developments in building materials.

Effective as of Fall 2021

Related Programs

Building Materials (BSCI 9020) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Building Engineering/Building Science
    Master of Applied Science Full-time/Part-time
  2. Building Science
    Master of Engineering Full-time/Part-time


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