Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Building Construction IV

Building Construction IV
Second semester
Technical Module
Construction 4
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: English

Teaching staff


The first two trimesters of this third year course aim to concentrate intensively on knowledge of materials: understanding their natural qualities and their traditional use in construction in response to specific requirements, the handling possibilities of the material, the production of components, and the modifications to their manufacture and placement which the construction industry undertakes to make them more accessible for us in different systems.

The idea is to introduce students to the knowledge of construction systems through the responses and evolution of basic materials and their elements and related materials.

As a complement to the materials taught in Construction 4, this course will study ceramics, glass and non-ferrous metals.


The main objective is for students to understand that construction systems have to be assessed in terms of efficiency, performance and risk, and that this approach guarantees control over the suitability of construction decisions.

The course is based on an intensive study of the lifecycle of materials and aspects of their extraction, production, manipulation, installation, maintenance and recycling. Construction elements derived from industrialization are analysed according to their type, function, form and their efficiency in terms of space, climate, structure and energy.


  • 12-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes and execute building structures
  • 13-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes, and execute interior partition systems, carpentry, staircases and other finished works.
  • 14-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes and execute enclosure systems, roofs and other structural work
  • 15-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes and execute foundation solutions
  • 16-T - Ability to conceive, calculate, design, integrate in buildings and urban complexes and execute installations for the supply, treatment and evacuation of water, central heating and air-conditioning systems.
  • 17 - Ability to apply building and technical standards
  • 18 - Ability to preserve the structure of buildings, foundations and civil works
  • 19 - Ability to preserve finished works.
  • 20 - Ability to evaluate works
  • 21 - Ability to preserve structural works
  • 24 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the mechanics of solids, continuous medium and soil as well as the plastic, elasticity and resistance properties of materials for structural works
  • 25 - To acquire adequate knowledge of conventional building systems and their pathology
  • 26 - To acquire adequate knowledge of physical and chemical characteristics, production processes, pathology and the use of construction materials
  • 27 - To acquire adequate knowledge of industrialised building systems.
  • 28 - To acquire knowledge of professional standards, association organizations, the professional structure and civil liability.
  • 29 - To acquire knowledge of administration and management procedures and professional formalities.
  • 30 - To acquire knowledge of the organisation of professional offices.
  • 31 - To acquire knowledge of measurement, valuation and expert appraisal methods.
  • 32 - To acquire knowledge of how to plan health and safety on site.
  • 33 - To acquire knowledge of management and administration porcedures in real estate agencies



1.1. Introduction to the material: Properties, manufacture, products and systems.

1.2. Paving: Requirements, products, installation phases.

1.3. Roofs and tiling: The parts of a roof, types of tiles, fixing materials and supports.

1.4. Wall coverings: Development, products and systems.

1.5. Masonry walls: Requirements, bricks, mortar, accessories, installation, unique factors, types of sealing methods.

1.6. Thermo-clay blocks and prefabricated panels: characteristics of thermo-clay blocks, installation of prefabricated panels.

1.7. Reinforced ceramics: walls and laminated roofs.


2.1. Introduction to the material.

Basic and specific characteristics.

The differences between types of steel.

Metals: origin, mining, metallurgy process, procurement, properties, the most common alloys, commercial products.

Uses and systems.

The concept of alloys.

The main alloys: bronze, brass, duralumin...

Other metals used in construction: titanium, chromium, nickel, “gold”

The main metals used in construction: lead, copper, zinc, aluminium.

2.2. Sheet metal roofs in non-ferrous metals.

2.3. The façade as a lightweight shell; the tightness of the seal.

2.4. The window, carpentry items, laminated profiles and extruded profiles.


3.1. The material: Origin and historical development, composition and properties of glass, classification of glass, production systems

3.2. Glass products and the commercial structure of glass

3.2.1. Transparent sheets of glass

3.2.2. Mirrors

3.2.3. Translucent sheets of glass

3.2.4. Opaque sheets of glass

3.2.5. Safety glass

3.2.6. Corrugated glass (coming soon)

3.2.7. Moulded glass

3.2.8. Fibreglass

3.2.9. Insulating glass

3.2.10. Soundproof glass

3.3. Defects in glass

3.4. Principles of installation

Teaching and learning activities

In person

The course comprises three theory blocks corresponding to each section of the syllabus. Each theory block begins with the announcement of the corresponding practical exercise and ends with a full session devoted to executing that practical assignment in the relevant classroom.

The theoretical aspects are always based on a specific material and its ancillary elements, or with images of its use, and are completed with an analysis of examples in paradigmatic buildings. The objective is to show the physical reality of the theoretical concepts being presented while, at the same time, students become familiar with the products available in the construction market and learn to question the documentation attached to them.

The proposed practical assignments are designed to allow students to be assessed on their capacity for analysis as well as their assimilation of the course material and they are based on the search for systems, their interpretation and the how this interpretation may be used in other applications than those recommended by the manufacturer.

Class exhibition
12-T 13-T 14-T 15-T 16-T 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 1,25
Class participation
12-T 13-T 14-T 15-T 16-T 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 0,12
Clase practice
12-T 13-T 14-T 15-T 16-T 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 0,42
12-T 13-T 14-T 15-T 16-T 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 0,71
Individual or group study
12-T 13-T 14-T 15-T 16-T 17 18 19 20 21 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 2,5

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

  • Assessment is based on course attendance and the marks for each of the practical assignments completed, as well as an end-of-term examination.
  • Students’ ability to assimilate concepts and demonstrate a consistent, positive and progressive sense of logic will also be evaluated.
  • The second examination will entail a written examination and a complementary practical exercise if considered necessary.

Bibliography and resources

  • Chevalier, B., Les vitrages: fonctions, propriétés, évolution des produits, CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment), 1997.
  • Fontan, J., Le bâtiment à l’âge du verre: de l’enveloppe à la structure, CSTB (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment), 1997.
  • HISPALYT: Manual de ejecución de fachadas con ladrillo de cara vista. Madrid, 1998.
  • REVISTA NA. Nueva arquitectura con arcilla cocida. Nº 1-10. Madrid, Faenza Editrice Ibérica, S.L.
  • DIESTE, Eladio, La estructura cerámica. Colección Somosur. Bogotá, Colombia 1987.
  • ALAMAN, Aurelio, Materiales metálicos de construcción, Madrid, Publicaciones ETS Ingenieros.
  • LANE, John, Aluminium in building, Ashgate, 1979.
  • PARICIO, Ignacio, Las cubiertas de chapa, Barcelona, Visagra, 1998.
  • CITAV. Manual del vidrio, Madrid, 1996.
  • REVISTA TECTÒNICA, Vidrio (I) nº. 10, Madrid, ATC Ediciones, 1999.

Teaching and learning material