British Columbia Institute of


BSCI 9020 - Building Materials

Building Science Part-time Studies Course

School of Construction and the Environment

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, performance, end uses and maintenance requirements of each material. A term project evaluates the progress of materials related knowledge used in our built world. 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. 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.





Fall 2017

Below is one offering of this course for the Fall 2017 term.

CRN 38568

Wed Sep 06 - Wed Dec 13 15 Weeks

Class Meeting Times

Dates Days Times Locations
Sep 06 - Dec 13 Wed 16:30 - 19:30 BBY NE01 Rm. 287


Emishaw Iffa

Course Outline




  1. Departmental approval needed
  2. Please contact Ellen Scobie, Program Assistant, at to obtain approval to register for this course.

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

In Progress

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, 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 2011

Related Programs

BSCI 9020 is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

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

Books & Supplies

The BCIT bookstore carries textbooks, general reference books, software, and stationery. Please visit for more information.

Fall 2017

Books for Fall 2017 offerings of this course are available in the following BCIT online bookstores. Please choose the bookstore appropriate for the offering you are considering.

BCIT Burnaby Bookstore

If you are taking this course, but are not taking it through either Distance Education or Online Learning, nor at the BCIT Downtown Campus (DTC), please purchase books for this course at the BCIT Burnaby Bookstore.

Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
Author William McDonough, Michael Braungart
Publisher North Point Press
Copyright 2002
Binding Paperback
ISBN 978-0-86547-587-8
Price $25.95

Construction Materials Reference Book
Author Doran
Publisher Routledge
Copyright 2014
Binding Hardback
ISBN 978-0-75066-376-2
Price $214.95


Interested in being notified about future offerings of BSCI 9020 - Building Materials? If so, fill out the information below and we'll notify you by email when courses for each new term are displayed here.

Contact Information

Suggest course days and times

If you are interested in taking this course on-campus (classroom delivery only) and would like to see it offered on specific days and/or at specific times, please indicate your preferences below. Day and time suggestions are not applicable to online courses.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

Programs and courses are subject to change without notice.

Find Courses

Payment Changes At BCIT

We've changed the way we accept payments.

Find out more

Course Navigation, Related Links & Tools

Registration News

Registration is now open for the Fall 2017 term.

Classroom Locations

Classroom locations are subject to last minute changes. Please check the Part-time Studies Classroom Locations listing at on the first day of any course you are registered for.

Part-time Studies Financial Aid

Will you be studying at BCIT part-time? Do you need assistance funding your studies? Find out if you qualify for Part-time Studies financial aid ›