Electrical Services (DESC9040)


The aim of this unit is to present basic principles of electricity and magnetism as necessary for an understanding of the application of electrical services in buildings; to introduce students to the applications of these principles to electrical distribution in buildings; to outline the principles of electric motors, transformers and switchboard design; and to introduce elementary principles of illumination and daylighting. An understanding of electrical services is an essential requirement for building services practitioners involved in the design professions and the construction and building management industries. The unit is designed to provide an introduction to these services for recent graduates or diplomates in engineering, architecture or science, and for people involved at a professional level in the building industry who do not possess a background in electrical engineering. By the conclusion of the unit it is expected that students will gain basic knowledge of components of the electricity generating and distribution network external to, and within buildings; the types and use of cables and enclosures in and around buildings; methods of assessment of loads and cable sizes; principles of operation of transformers and motors and the design of switchboards and earthing, emergency evacuation lighting and early warning information systems; an introduction to the fundamental principles of lighting design for interior and exterior applications; and a basic understanding of data transmission via copper wire and optical fibre. Assignments will test acquired skills in electrical load estimation and the design of simple electrical distribution and artificial and day lighting systems.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


5 day intensive (9am-5pm)


2 Assignments (40%) & (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.