Welcome to Construction and Environment & Pollution. In this theme, you will learn about the power of the built environment to tackle air pollution, protect and improve the habitats of wildlife, and create sustainable skyscrapers.

Extra Information about Construction and Environment & Pollution – optional

Construction and Materials Sourcing?

As land becomes more and more scarce, we need to think about taller buildings that use less land. But did you know that construction is developing better, smarter ways to make these skyscrapers sustainable and energy-efficient?

Construction and Air Pollution?

Air pollution can have a damaging impact on the health and development of humans and animals, and finding ways to reduce poisonous substances in the air is crucial. How can construction design solutions that reduce air pollution?

Construction and Wildlife Habitats?

Humans, animals and insects are all part of the natural ecosystem, and we must do everything we can to help the environment. How can construction protect the habitats of local wildlife within the built environment?
1. Instructions from your Supervisor


The local authority has a plan to expand the road network of the city, and they’ve asked us to carry out some air quality tests to check pollution levels in the city. We do this by monitoring the lichen on trees, walls and pavements in different traffic zones 

Lichen – little plants that combine algae and fungi – are living monitors of air quality. They can take the cold, the beating sun, lots of water, and incredible dryness. But one thing they can’t handle very well is air pollution.

The burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil releases the gas sulphur dioxide into the air. Lichens are one group of plants which are sensitive to the presence of sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. If air is very badly polluted with sulphur dioxide there may be no lichens present, just green algae may be found. If the air is clean, shrubby, hairy and leafy lichens become abundant. A few lichen species can tolerate quite high levels of pollution and are commonly found on pavements, walls and tree bark in urban areas. The most sensitive lichens are shrubby and leafy while the most tolerant lichens are all crusty in appearance.

There are three types of lichen: Crusty Leafy Shrubby

There are many different lichens in each group. The presence or absence of each type of lichen indicates the level of air pollution.

I have a task that needs completing, and I’d really like your help.

I would like your help to complete an online environmental study with the information we have gathered about sulphur dioxide levels and types of lichen.

I’ve included the resources you need to complete the task, including documents, images, videos and templates. They should give you plenty of ideas and information.

Follow the instructions, and when you’re ready, complete your task. All this should take you about 45 minutes.

When you’re finished with your task, you can learn more about the employers, job roles and projects in this area of construction.