HNC/HND Construction and the Built Environment 2
Higher National Certificate/Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment
You are employed by a large design and build contractor, as a design build technician. Your supervisor has
recognised that this mathematical unit would benefit and support you both in terms of completing your Higher
National studies but also in understanding how mathematical techniques could be applied to varying construction
Your supervisor also recognises that some advanced mathematical techniques will be needed in future studies and
therefore has developed a series of tasks to support you in the understanding of techniques included within tasks
are advanced , it is hoped that all tasks will be attempted.
Unit Learning Outcomes
LO1 Identify the relevance of mathematical methods to a variety of conceptualised construction examples
L02 Investigate applications of statistical techniques to interpret, organise and present data by using appropriate
computer software packages
LO3 Use analytical and computational methods for solving problems by relating sinusoidal wave and vector
functions to their respective construction applications.
LO4 Illustrate the wide -ranging uses of calculus within different construction disciplines by solving problems of
differential and integral calculus
Assignment Brief and Guidance
HNC/HND Construction and the Built Environment 3
You have been contracted as a mathematical consultant to solve and confirm a number of mathematical
problems/solutions for projects on a major contract
1. A building services engineer is to design a water tank for a project. The tank has a rectangular area
of 26.5m2. With the design specifics of the width being 3.2m shorter than the length, calculate the
length and width to 3 significant figures for resource requirements.
2. As an employee of company JR construction you have received a letter regarding the project your
company is working on. It has a penalty clause that states the contactor will forfeit a certain some of
money each day for late completion. (i.e. the contractor gets paid the value of the original contract
less any sum forfeit). If she is 5 days late she receives £4250 and if she is 12 days late she
receives £2120. Calculate the daily forfeit and determine the original contract.
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You have asked to convert various dimensional parameters using the following table
(i) In fluid dynamics the formula for drag force is given by
FD = ó u2 CD A
FD is Drag Force
u is velocity
CD is drag coefficient and A is area
Show that this equation is dimensionally correct.
(ii) The power P delivered to a pump depends on the specific weight w of the fluid pumped, the
height h to which the fluid is pumped, and the fluid flow rate q. Use dimensional analysis to
determine an equation for power. Below are the listed dimensions.
P ML2T -3
w ML-2T -2
q L3T -1
Determine the units of the lift produced by an aircraft wing. The lift is directly proportional the product of the
air density, the air speed over the wing and the surface area of the wing.
Lift = k V 2 A
A = Area of the wing in meter2
= Air density in Kg/meter3
A = Area of the wing
k has no dimensions
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You have asked to investigate the following arithmetic sequences
1. An arithmetic sequence is given by b,
• Determine the sixth term
• State the kth term
• If the 20th term has value of 15 find the value of b and the sum of the first 20 terms
2. For the following geometric progression 1,
• The 20th term of the progression
• The value of the sum when the number of terms in the sequence tends to infinity and explain why
the sequence tends to this value S = ar
3. Solve the following Equations for x :
(a) 2Log (3x) + Log (18x) = 27
(b) 2LOGe(3x) + LOGe(18x) = 9
(c) Solve the following Hyperbolic Equations for the variables involved:
(i) Cosh(X) + Sinh(X) = 5
(ii) Cosh(2Y) – Sinh(2Y) = 3
(iii) Cosh(K) * Sinh(K) = 2
(iv) Cosh(M) / Sinh(M) = 2
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L02 Investigate applications of statistical techniques to interpret, organise and present data by
using appropriate computer software packages
You have been asked to investigate the following data for a large building services company
Revenue Number of customers
Number of customers
Less than 5 27 22
5 and less than 10 38 39
10 and less than 15 40 69
15 and less than 20 22 41
20 and less than 30 13 20
30 and less than 40 4 5
a) Produce a histogram for either of the distributions scaled such that the area of
each rectangle represents frequency density and find the mode.
b) Produce a cumulative frequency curve for each of the distributions and find the median, and
c) For each distribution find the:
• the mean
• the range
• the standard deviation
(A) In the new Epiphyte Engineering factory 5000 light bulbs Type A are installed. Their lengths of life are
normally distributed with a mean of 360 days and a standard deviation of 60 days.
a) If it is decided to replace all bulbs at one specified time, what interval must be allowed between
replacements if not more than 10% of bulbs should fail before replacement?
b) What practical considerations might dictate such a replacement policy?
c) The supplier offers a new type of bulb, Type B, that has a mean life of 450 days and the same
standard deviation (60 days) as the present type. If these bulbs were to be used how would the
replacement time be affected?
d) Determine whether the new type of bulb is preferable given that is costs 25% more than the
HNC/HND Construction and the Built Environment 7
existing Type A. Present and explain your conclusions.
f) A rival supplier now offers a third type of bulb, Type C, that has a mean life of 432 days and a
standard deviation of 45 days. If these bulbs were to be used how would the replacement time be
How should the Type C bulb compare for costs if it is to be adopted? Present and explain your
(B) A simple random sample of 10 people from a certain population has a mean age of 27 years. Can we
conclude that the mean age of the population is not 30 years? The variance of the populate ages is
known to be 20. Test your chosen hypothesis at a 5% level of significance using both a two tailed test
and a one tailed test and explain your conclusions.
L03 Use analytical and computational methods for solving problems by relating sinusoidal wave and
vector functions to their respective construction applications
A support beam, within an industrial building, is subjected to vibrations along its length; emanating from two
machines situated at opposite ends of the beam. The displacement caused by the vibrations can be modelled
by the following equations.
x1 = 3.75 sin (100πt + 2𝜋/9)
𝑥2 = 4.42 sin (100𝜋𝑡 − 2𝜋/ 5 )
i. State the amplitude, phase, frequency and periodic time of each of these waves.
ii. When both machines are switched on, how many seconds does it take for each machine to produce
its maximum displacement?
iii. At what time does each vibration first reach a displacement of −2𝑚𝑚?
iv. Use the compound angle formulae to expand 𝑥1and 𝑥2 into the form 𝐴 sin 100𝜋𝑡 ± 𝐵 cos 100𝜋𝑡, where
A and B are numbers to be found.
v. Using your answers from part iv, express x1 + x2 in a similar form. Convert this expression into the
equivalent form Rsin(100πt + ∝).
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A pipeline is to be fitted under a road and can be represented on 3D Cartesian axes as below, with the x- axis
pointing East, the y-axis North, and the z-axis vertical. The pipeline is to consist of a straight section AB directly
under the road, and another straight section BC connected to the first. All lengths are in metres.
i. Calculate the distance AB.
The section BC is to be drilled in the direction of the vector 3i+ 4j+ k
ii. Find the angle between the sections AB and BC.
The section of pipe reaches ground level at the point (a,b,0).
iii. Write down a vector equation of the line BC. Hence find a and b.
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L04 Illustrate the wide-ranging uses of calculus within different construction disciplines by solving
problems of differential and integral calculus
You have asked to investigate the following :
Plot the bending moment and determine where the bending moment is zero .
(a ii) Investigate and state the range of values where the above Bending Moment Function ls maximum or
Minimum, decreasing or increasing or neither.
Determine the range of the temperature for positive t
(c) Note that in the thermodynamic system provided herein, the expression given is equated to 0 to solve
the problem given to be solved.
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Also determine the rate of change of V when P changes at regular intervals of 10 N/mm2 from 60 to
100N/m2 and the variable n=2.
Righton Refrigeration specialises in the production of environmental engineering equipment. The
cost of manufacture for a particular component, £C, is related to the production time (t)minutes, by
the following formula
Investigate the variation of cost over a range of production times from 1 minute to 8 minutes:
a) Plot the cost function over the given range
b) Explain how calculus may be used to find an analytical solution to this problem of optimisation.
c) Use calculus to find the production time at which the cost is at a turning point.
d) Show that the turning point is a mathematicalminimum.
Discuss whether there would still be a minimum cost of production.
The heat flow within a building is increasing or decreasing exponentially E to power 3t in line with
temperature difference which is t degrees ( C) with the outside surroundings.
Estimate and explore the growth rate graphically when the temperature difference changes from –
20degrees to + 20 degrees (C)
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Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria
Pass Merit Distinction
LO1 Identify the relevance of mathematical methods to a variety ofconceptualised
D1 Present statistical data in a
method that can be understood by
a non – technical audience.
P1 Apply dimensional analysis techniques
to solve complex problems.
P2 Generate answers from contextualised
arithmetic and geometric progressions.
P3 Determine the solutions of equations
using exponential, trigonometric and
M1 Apply dimensional analysis to derive
LO2 Investigate applications of statistical techniques to interpret, organise and present
data by using appropriate computer software packages
P4 Summarise data by calculating mean
and standard deviation, and simplify data
into graphical form.
P5 Calculate probabilities within both
binomially distributed and normally
distributed random variables.
M2 Interpret the results of a statistical
hypothesis test conducted from a given
LO3 Use analytical and computational methods for solving problems by relating
sinusoidal wave and vector functions to their respective construction applications.
D2 Model the combination of sine
waves graphically and analyse the
variation between graphical and
P6 Solve construction problems relating to analytical methods.
P7 Represent construction quantities in
vector form, and apply appropriate
methodology to determine construction
M3 Apply compound angle identities to
separate waves into distinct component
LO4 Illustrate the wide -ranging uses of calculus within different construction
disciplines by solving problems of differential and integralcalculus
D3 Analyse maxima and minima of
increasing and decreasing
functions using higher order
P8 Determine rates of change for
algebraic, logarithmic and circular
P9 Use integral calculus to solve practical
problems relating to engineering.
M4 Formulate predictions of exponential
growth and decay models using