Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Contemporary Architecture is significantly reducing whole building life cycle energy demand through improvements within buildings and structures. This unit studies bio-based materials (BBM) (those derived from agricultural and forestry feedstock) that have been used in the construction of our buildings throughout history, from an environmental and socio-economic perspective. The use of bio-based materials, such as strawbale, bamboo, timber or hemp in construction offers a renewable resource that has the potential of negative embodied carbon as energy efficiency increases with stricter codes and regulations. The application and extended possibilities for bio-inspired design experimentation in these contexts are explored in this unit as the needs are significant. The industrialization potential of BBM is investigated. Standardization and certification procedures, rationale and future scenarios are discussed. Site visits, practical workshops are set for students to engage with BBM production and construction requirements within the context of an international and Australian design industry scenario

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) employ BBM construction techniques to demonstrate its integrated environmental, socio-economic challenges and benefits; (2) critically analyse BBM design and construction processes in light of its historical uses in traditional and contemporary settings; and (3) generate design proposals through acquired knowledge of the integrated social, cultural, environmental and ethical benefits and/or potential setbacks of BBMs.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) diary & drawings and (2) drawings (group). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Rosangela Tenorio
Unit rules
Approved quota: 30—academic merit and seniority for enrolment at a set date, if the date is to adversely affect international student enrolment then the five places (20%) of the total number will be set aside for enrolment by international students
Incidental fees
Incidental student fees and charges are costs incurred by students as part of their studies at UWA that are in addition to their tuition fees (further information is available here).
Participation in this unit will incur the following incidental fee(s):
(1) Field trip (estimated cost - 180)
(2) Third party workshop (estimated cost - 300).
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour
workshop/practical classes
2 hours for up to 12 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.