Syllabus academic year 2008/2009
(Created 2008-07-17.)

Higher education credits: 6. Grading scale: TH. Level: A (Second level). Language of instruction: The course will be given in Swedish. Optional for: V4hb. Course coordinator: Professor Lars-Olof Nilsson,, Byggnadsmaterial. Prerequisites: VBM070 Building Materials Science, VBF055 Building Physics and Climate Systems. The course might be cancelled if the numer of applicants is less than 10. The number of participants is limited to 32 Selection criteria: Number of points left before obtaining the degree. Assessment: Minmum 80 % attendance at course lectures and approved project work. Home page:

Design, production and management of buildings and structures are complicated processes that cannot be perfect and cannot be done without some important presumptions missing or not considered correctly. This frequently results in various types of damages and problems in different parts of the service-life of buildings and structures. . To ensure that remedial measures are accurate, and the responsibility for the damage put right, a correct diagnosis is required.

The objective is to give knowledge and ability in analyzing and define problems related to various types of damages in buildings and structures and to investigate and describe the cause of damage. This is to be able to propose measures against the symptoms of the damage and against the cause behind them.

Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must

After the course the student should

· be familiar with alternative damage investigation methods and understand when and why a particular method is applicable

· be familiar with various tools that are used in damage investigations

· know and understand how preconceived assumptions, logic and critical thinking are utilized in damage investigations.

Skills and abilities
For a passing grade the student must

After the course the student should be able to

· analyse and define problems related to various types of damages and technical problems in buildings

· assess observations and statements in connection with investigations of damages

· handle preconceived assumptions, use a logical skill and critically question information on damage history and findings

· investigate and describe the causality between the source of damage and the symptoms

· propose correct remedial measures, based on relevant performance criteria.

Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must

After the course the student should have a questionning view on conclusions about the cause of damage and a significant need for a convincing diagnosis of damages.

The course gives knowledge about how to perform a cursory overview, how to perform fieldwork and laboratory testing, and how to generate a report. Damage cases are from reality are treated individually or in small groups. The results are presented both in a written and oral form.

Nilsson, L-O (1987) Diagnosticering av byggnadsmaterialskador. Kompendium, Chalmers Byggnadsmaterial
Nilsson, L-O (1994) Methods of diagnosing moisture damage in building. Artikel från CIB International Symposium on “Dealing with Defects in Building, Varenna, Italy, 27-30 September 1994.
Nicastro, D Failure Mechanisms in Building Construction.
Josephsson, P-E. Orsaker till fel i byggnadet.
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