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Built Environment

Key Subject Resources

The tabs in this box provide links to the key resources (databases) available via the Library for Built Environment which you will be expected to become familiar with during your studies. 

Whilst Library Search is a good starting point to search, you may be overwhelmed by the number of results and may find you get more relevant results by searching the databases which have an emphasis on Built Environment content.  The databases identified on each tab aren't the only ones to search; we have just highlighted the most relevant. You can find a full list of all databases for the wider built and natural environment subject areas on the tab labelled All Built Environment databases if you would like to explore further.

You can find more information about Library Search from the Finding Articles tab to the left.

You need to have logged into UDo to use the databases and can access them both in the University and off campus.  Where there are special conditions for off-campus use which may require a different log in, information will be provided in the NOTES section of each tab.


Not all databases are searched by Library Search, so it's good to become familiar with the individual sites shown on this page.


You will be able to read many of the articles you find from these databases, in full text online, or download a PDF copy to keep.  On some sites you may see just the 'Abstract' or description of the article; in these cases, if we do not have a subscription to the relevant journal, you may be able to get the full article through our Inter Library loan service.


BCIS For off campus use you will need a specific username and password.  Details are given when you click on the link to the resource.

British Standards Online (BSOL) have recently introduced a new security feature which requires users to install a plug-in to download any standards documents from the site. More information and instructions for how to download the plug-in onto personal devices can be found here:

There is an additional guide below giving more complete information about using the the Fileopen Plug-in and updating Chrome settings in order to download and open PDF documents from BSOL.

ITS have added the plug-in to all student PCS on-campus and staff are able to download the plug-in from the Software Centre.

Construction Information Service (CIS)  is an updated database of documents, reports and publications from construction related professional bodies, associations and organisations. It is one of the key information sources for all Built Environment courses and is useful to search when looking for any information for your course.  See the step-by-step guide below for information about accessing CIS.

It includes the Metric Handbook, Building Regulations Approved Documents, Architects Journal, all Building Research Establishment publications and some books in full.
Note that it lists British Standards relevant to construction (including Eurocodes) but to view standards in full, you need to look in British Standards Online.

ISURV is available on and off-campus.  For off campus use you will need a specific log in; details are given when you click on the link to the resource.

Construction Information Service: short step-by-step guide to accessing CIS and finding documents.  You can download the slides as a PDF below.

In addition to the key databases identified in the tabs on this page, you can search across a broader range of databases that include built and natural environment topics.  You can see the full list from the drop down box above.

Many of the database providers have their own help guides which you can find on their websites or on Youtube.  We have also created video guides to some of the key databases for Built Environment which you can find here.


The ICE Virtual Library video below has no narration.