NBC1111 Fundamentals of Building Construction: Getting started on your assignment

A guide for students studying NBC1111 and associated units

In class research

Share your research on the 'Sustainable building materials' padlet

Go to the link posted below your Group number and post the name or title of the resource you found and provide a link to the resource.

Remember to use the permalink for your reference. 

Group 1


Group 13


Group 15


Group 13a


Group 5


Group 11 







Steps to a successful assignment

  1. Collect all your information about the assignment.
  • the handout on the assignment
  • the type of resources required for your Reference List e.g. journal articles, book chapters, etc.
  • notes from classes on how to do the assignment
  1. Analyse and prepare
  • identify the Required Reading 
  • identify keywords & search the Library for additional resources e.g. books, journal articles (see the boxes below to know what are keywords and for some keyword search strategies)
  1. Read for Information
  • read Required Reading and make notes
  • read the additional articles etc. for information not in the Required Reading
  • prepare each Reference as you read it, and ensure it is written in the suggested referencing style (Harvard or IEEE). Refer to Harvard or IEEE referencing guides for further assistance.
  1. Start writing
  • collect notes from your reading and start to build your assignment
  • write the correct References for each of your readings for your Reference List

          Refer to the Academic Resources & Referencing page to read about the writing process and its steps.


The Library Search

The Library Search is a good starting point for conducting research on any topic, including the building and construction.  Off-campus users are prompted to log in with their VU username and password when they first enter search criteria in the search box. You may search using single keywords, but it often makes sense to combine keywords into terms or concepts, e.g. "building materials".


The image is showing the search result brought up by entering the “building material” keywords. There is a range of material brought up, mostly consisting of e-books and books, and journals and trade publications articles. You can further filter the search result by using different facets shown on the left-hand side, such as publication date, academic journals, and full-text online filters. An effective search is an iterative process of finding some relevant information sources, modifying your search strategy by varying the keywords or key concepts based on what you did and did not find, and then searching again.

How to search for and find the building and architectural science material

Keyword search strategies

Assignment topic sample Build a physical model showing the details of the structure for a simple residential building

It is suggested to do some brief research to gain more specific information on the focused topic.

Initially, you can use and enter in the Library Search the following concepts or keywords to find some resources of interest.

building construction models

building models

building (modeling OR modelling) (common spelling in the US 'modeling' vs. spelling with two Ls as preferred everywhere else)

architectural models

prototype model building

3D model building construction

3D architecture models

residential building models

construction materials

sustainable materials

building materials AND sustainability

sustainable construction

sustainable buildings

Apply the following strategies to combine them:

  • for a basic search, enter the identified keywords in the search field, for example, building construction models
  • if you want to combine "building construction" and some others aspects of your research such as sustainability, renewables, or modelling, you can also use the Boolean operators AND, OR & NOT to narrow or broaden your searches, and construct more complex search statements, for example:

 "building construction" AND (modelling OR modeling)

  • think of possible synonyms and related words or phrases
  • search exact phrases by enclosing the phrase in quotes, for example, "building model"
  • find a term with various endings by using the truncation symbol represented by an asterisk (*), for example, model* will retrieve model, models, modelling, modeling, etc.
  • group related or synonymous terms together by placing them in parentheses, for example, (model* OR prototype OR 3D design)

Keyword search strategies for finding the building and architectural science material