Construction Management, Quantity and Building Surveying: UniSA Online: Construction Materials - Assessment 1

Assignment Help

Finding relevant information for your e-reference book

What you need to do

This page will help you find relevant information  from reputable sources so you can complete your e-reference book (Assessment 1).

View your course site's Assessment Information for more detail about the task.

Get Started

Once you have selected your materials, you need to find information from trusted sources including ebooks, journal articles and databases on the:

history, extraction processing, properties, tolerances, construction, maintenance and disposal of building materials used in construction in Australia

You will also be defining the terminology, characteristics and scientific/engineering properties of primary construction materials and appreciating how these materials are correctly used and installed.

Note: The example used in this assignment help is a material relevant for cladding tiles: Steel vs Aluminium. This may be a different material to the one you investigate, but the search strategies shown still apply.

Part A- Find History and Background Information

eBooks and websites can help define terminology, describe characteristics, or explain the history of and current material materials use.  


  • Find ebooks using the Library Catalogue.
  • Enter your material and one or more of the above topics.
  • For example: try searching for history and your type of material:

  • At the results screen, use the left hand menu to refine to ebooks by choosing Resource Type Books and Full text online.


Reputable sites on the internet can also be useful sources of information.
Some useful websites for this part of your assignment include:

AM Materials Information & Handbooks
ASM Handbooks Online provides a comprehensive source of information on metals and materials technology. The ASM Handbook contains peer-reviewed, trusted information in every area of materials engineering. Try searching for your material within it for relevant information.

Part B- Find Material Properties

These databases will help you find material properties for Part B of your assessment.

Knovel's Material Property Search finds numeric data hidden in handbooks, manuals, and databases. It includes thousands of materials and substances (eg metals, polymers, ceramics, chemicals) and over 100 properties (physical, thermodynamic, electrical, corrosion, toxicity, etc). 

 Watch the video tutorial for an overview on how to use

To Find Materials Properties in Knovel

  • Select Property Search (also variably called 'Materials Property Search')
  • Enter the material you wish to find properties for.
  • Then drag and drop your chosen property to the query builder.

 Watch the Video tutorial for an overview on how to use

You can choose to:

  • Compare properties across multiple materials or
  • Find a property value for a single material.

Part C- Find Company and Industry Information

Company and Industry Information databases can help you discover major players in the Australian construction industry, manufacturers and users.

To find IBISWorld industry reports:

  • Enter your industry within the main search box, e.g. steel, then select search.

  • From the results page, filter by Country >Australia/Global 
  • After opening a report, use the left menu to jump to specific sections (such as Supply chain and Demand Determinates)


For more sources of company and industry information, see our dedicated guide .

Part C- Find Standards

The Building Code of Australia and as the SAI Global's Building and Construction Standards web page can help you identify standards that may be useful, as can the Techstreet database.

To view and/or download the standards in their entirety visit Techstreet.

***Note : prior to searching and downloading standards in Techstreet you must set up an individual account. Instructions can be found on the database entry page. 


Search for Standards on Techstreet 

  • Use the database's search box to type in your keywords. Select Search.
  • Tip: A broad topic search is a good way to start if unsure what you need.
  • If you are looking for a specific standard, enter the title here instead.


  • To view a standard select the title then either view online or download.
  • Check you are downloading the Most Recent per the Published field:


Part C- Find Tolerances

Government and organisational websites may include information on tolerances. You can find these via Google. You can also search the Catalogue; or search Techstreet using the methods above.

Google allows you to limit your search to particular websites. In your search, add site: and then specify a url or url suffix. Some useful URL suffixes are: 

  • government (.gov),
  • organisations (.org) or
  • Australia (.au) 

The below example search exclusively finds results about tolerances from Australian government websites (

You can also filter resources by upload date, under the 'Tools' menu on the right.

Tip: Add 'construction', 'building' or the specific material (eg 'concrete') to your searches to make the results more relevant

The library catalogue also includes tolerances handbooks:

Part C- Lead Times: Suppliers and Manufacturers Starter Resources

Some construction products suppliers and manufacturers are below to get you started. You can find more by searching Google or consulting the industry report.

Referencing support

Referencing Roadmap (Harvard)
Need help referencing? Follow the roadmap!

Referencing Roadmap (Harvard)
Help with the Harvard UniSA referencing style. Find in text-citations and reference examples, from different sources such as articles, books & chapters, websites, and more.

Other referencing support tools:

  • Referencing hub
    Information around what is referencing, paraphrasing, referencing rules, referencing styles and Academic Integrity. Also includes a link to the Harvard Referencing Guide UniSA (pdf).
  • Referencing forum
    Discuss referencing, exchange advice and post questions and answers about referencing (facilitated by Student Engagement Unit).

What do you do with all those references you have found?

Use a bibliographic management software to store, organise and cite your references. The Library supports the bibliographic management tool EndNote. There are also many free systems available.