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Construction, Surveying and Real Estate


This is an image of a person looking on the library shelves for books.

                                                                                                                                                          Photo credit: Sheffield Hallam University

Many of the books relevant to construction, surveying and real estate are available at Adsetts Library.

  • The majority of books related to the Built Environment can be found on Level 5 of the Adsetts Library.

  • Real Estate and the Law collection can be found on Level 3 of the Adsetts Library.

There may be other books in the Library related to your subject area and you will need to use Library Search to search the library collections for other subject areas.

You will need to use Library Search to find the location and shelfmark of print books.

For example the following book is shelved at Adsetts Library and shelved in the Main Collection at 721.0448 MI (Level 5).

How to find eBooks in Library Search

Read eBooks online or off line if the download option is enabled.

You can search for eBooks using Library Search and here is how you do this:.

  • Search for your keywords in Library Search.
  • In the Refine my results section, click on Online and Books / eBooks.
  • You have now limited your results to eBooks.
  • You can now read the eBook by choosing a book and follow the link(s) available under Find Online and click on the name of the eBook provider.

Using eBooks

How you can use an eBook depends on terms and conditions set by the publisher.  In most cases, you will be able to choose between reading online and downloading the eBook for a limited period to your own device. When downloaded eBooks expire you can download them again.

Most eBooks can be read by more than one reader at a time. However, some eBooks can only be read by one person at a time due to the eBook license set by the publisher. You can search within individual eBooks, add notes and print or copy a limited number of pages from most eBooks.

Does the Library have the eBook version of each print book in the collection?

If possible, the Library will stock both the eBook and print versions of books to make sure you can access the book whether you are on or off campus. Unfortunately publishers do not always offer an eBook in a format suitable for library use, or it is not available at the time we order the print version.

You can find more information about using eBooks, Library resources by using the help guides below:

How to find a print book in the Library

All the books in the Library are shelved using the Dewey Decimal System. 

You can browse the Library shelves at the shelfmark related to your subject to look at the physical items in the library collection or you can search within Library Search using keywords e.g. concrete to view all types and formats of information related to your subject.

Building estimates 
Building law
Building information modelling (BIM)
Building materials 
Construction contracts
Housing policy
Project management planning
Real estate economics 


In the Library, we use the Dewey Decimal system to arrange and classify the library collections.

Dewey is a numerical system which groups a library’s material into ten main areas of knowledge. You can see a break down of Dewey numbers and sections below:

  • 000 Computer science, information and general work

  • 100 Philosophy and psychology

  • 200 Religion

  • 300 Social sciences

  • 400 Language

  • 500 Science

  • 600 Technology

  • 700 Art and recreation

  • 800 Literature

  • 900 History and geography

Each of these ten areas are further divided to create more specific subject numbers. Dewey can be more subject specific by adding numbers after the decimal point. You can see an example of this in a section of the 600s below:

  • 690      covers the construction of buildings
  • 691      covers building materials
  • 691.1   covers timber
  • 691.15 cover treatment for fire resistance
  • 691.3   covers concrete and artificial stones
  • 691.6   covers glass

When looking for a print book that has numbers after the decimal point, you need to know that after the decimal point the numbers are filing digit by digit, not by the whole number. For example, 691.15 is before 691.3 as it is a 1 then 5, not 15 and is therefore lower than the 2.

The letters that follow the number are usually the first letters of the author’s surname. Letters are used to break up the quantity of books with the same number on the shelves and make it easier for the user to find the specific book they need.

Putting your skills into practice

What to do if a book is not available in the Library

If there's a book which you need but which we don't have in stock, we can ask another library to loan you a copy, or to email you a copy of an individual  chapter or section. This can be done through our document supply service.

If you think a book may be useful for other students or staff as well as yourself, you can also request that the Library buys a copy. We can't promise to buy everything, but will do what we can for feasible requests which are relevant to courses at Sheffield Hallam.


Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Build your knowledge

If you find words or terms that are new to you, look them up using the encyclopedia AccessScience or subject specific dictionaries within the Oxford Reference Online collection.

Price and data books

Here are a few examples of books full of technical data related to the Built Environment.

You can find other books like this in Library Search.

eBook collections

The Library have a range of eBook collections. 

You can search Library Search to find eBooks about many different subjects and that approach may be quicker than searching individual collections.

You can also browse the collections and you can do this by going to the collection and browsing by subject.

ebook collections related to New Engineering Contracts (NEC).

eBook collections that cover many different subjects.

What are Reading Lists?

Most reading lists for the Built Environment are available in the University's Reading List Online (RLO) system.

This means that you have one list for each module which includes links to the resources your lecturers recommend for each module including:

  • information about books’ availability
  • links to our online resources, including e-books and journal articles
  • scanned extracts of key readings

You can find links to your reading list from the homepage of your Blackboard module/course content.

Think of the reading list as your starting point within each subject! It has been designed to develop your subject knowledge and you can develop further by searching in Library Search for other resources related to your module.

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