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The University of Southampton

CENV3015 Design 3

Module Overview

In this module you will apply your theoretical knowledge and practical skills to the conceptual and detailed design of a significant design problem. CENV2028 Design 2 introduced you to site analysis, conceptual design and project planning. You will spend time at the start of your project defining the constraints and loads acting on your structure, and its location and dimensions, before developing alternative and appropriate concepts. In this module, you will be taking the designs further, into more detailed stages, involving analysis and calculations to determine loads and constraints on structures and to size structural components (beams, columns and foundations) and their connections, and ensure that the components perform in an integrated way to provide an effective and efficient structure. You will be spending most of your time on detailed design calculations, drawings and construction methods for your chosen concept. Your detailed design will be presented as a report, a set of design calculations, AutoCAD drawings, and a group presentation.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The importance of understanding the design brief, the clients requirements and design constraints
  • The need to generate options during the conceptual design phase which meet the brief but exceed purely functional requirements
  • The process of selection of a preferred conceptual design
  • Methods of progressing the detailed design phase
  • The importance of the influence of the environment, sustainability and health and safety on the design solution
  • The nature and progression of a design project from brief, through options to final concept and design output
  • How to communicate the final design in writing, in drawings and in a verbal presentation
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the brief for the project
  • Utilise literature, online resources and software to complete the design
  • Produce final design report and drawings
  • Communicate the design in writing and verbally in a presentation
  • Defend the choices made during the project and the final design
  • Investigate the brief, the requirements of the notional client and any constraints on the design
  • Organise into an effective team
  • Plan the work required to complete the project
  • Create conceptual designs that satisfy the brief and the constraints
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the conceptual design options
  • Select the conceptual design option which best satisfies the brief and the constraints
  • Carry out detailed design of the chosen solution
  • Solve problems encountered during the design
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Planning and organising
  • Problem analysis and problem solving
  • CAD-IT
  • Critical Analysis
  • Group work/team work
  • Decision Making
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply your CAD skills to the production of construction drawings.
  • Apply your knowledge and skills learned in other modules of the programme to conceptual design.


A choice of four design projects will be offered, covering topics across the range of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Details of the projects on offer will be circulated near the end of Semester 1 and project selection will take place at the start of Semester 2.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will work in a group of 4 or 5 students on a design project chosen from four available options. There are a small number of timetabled sessions, detailed below, but much of your time will be spent in independent study. It is the responsibility of the project group to plan their work, and organise their time and work schedule. There will be regular meetings with the supervisor(s) and where appropriate outside consultants. The lecture and tutorial sessions are: • An introductory lecture in Week 1. • A concept design tutorial in Week 2, where groups work together for a full day on their conceptual designs, within a supervised environment. • A 2-hour tutorial in Week 5 in which you will present conceptual designs to your supervisor(s) and other project groups. • Three lectures: (1) on report writing and setting out calculations, (2) on detailed drawing practice, and (3) a refresher session on drawing in Autocad (weeks 7-9). • A regular weekly tutorial, typically of about 1 hour, with your project supervisor(s). • Two or three seminars on creative and detailed design will be given by guest speakers from industry.

Completion of assessment task100
Practical classes and workshops8
Wider reading or practice7
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Follow-up work5
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Design resources. A wide range of design resources will be made available in electronic form on the course Blackboard. This includes information additional to the brief, design codes and guidance documents, information and design tables/charts for proprietary products, details of recommended texts and other library and online resources to support design work.


Assessment Strategy

Referral will be via an individual written set task, related to the design project carried out during the course of the semester, and submitted as a short report, calculations and drawings.


Tutor and Peer Assessment


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students are expected to cover the costs associated with the printing of drawings and graphic presentations. These are typically expected to be of the order of £50 per group (typically five students per group), also depending on the quality of printing chosen.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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