Welcome to Construction and Growing Cities. In this theme, you will learn about the power of the built environment to improve existing buildings for a growing population, and make sure our growing cities can be safely accessed by emergency services.

Extra Information about Construction and Growing Cities – optional

Construction and Retrofitting?

80% of the buildings we will need by 2050 already exist, but some of them are in need of repair or retrofitting to make them suitable for new uses. How can construction make these buildings suitable for modern life?

Construction and Land Use?

How we use the land that is available to us has a huge impact on the communities and wildlife of that area, and people can object to some developments. How can construction make sure that we grow our cities responsibly?

Construction and Emergency Services?

Keeping our population safe is essential, and part of that safety means that emergency services like ambulances and fire engines must be able to reach people. How can construction design growing cities that are easily accessible?

Construction and Hotel Refitting – Avi Contracts?

Try your skills as part of the Quantity Surveying team at the exciting multi-million-pound upgrade of the 5* Hotel Russell in London
1. Instructions from your Supervisor


A cavity wall is a type of wall that has a hollow centre. They can be described as consisting of two “skins” separated by a hollow space or cavity. The skins are typically masonry, such as brick or cinder block. Cavity walls existed in Greek and Roman times, but only developed as a component of more recent construction in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Cavities are ventilated to ensure that any accumulating moisture is able to evaporate and vent to the outside. Cavities can also provide a space for thermal insulation, and as the requirement to reduce the passage of heat between the inside and outside of buildings has increased, so the width of cavities has also tended to increase.

This means that older buildings tend to transfer more heat between the inside and outside and so they can be colder in the winter, hotter in the summer, can suffer condensation, can be expensive to run, are high emitters of carbon and may not provide very good levels of thermal comfort.

Cavity walls that are not insulated can have insulation retrofitted by drilling small holes at regular intervals in the external skin and then ‘blowing’ or ‘injecting’ insulation into the cavity from the outside. Typically, water-repellent insulation is used. Our client is a landlord who would like to improve the insulation for her tenants, and would like us to confirm whether the types of properties she owns would be suitable for retrofitted cavity wall insulation. 

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

I would like you to review the two main types of property that our client owns and confirm whether they are suitable for cavity wall insulation based on the information provided. Complete the online forms with your answers.

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.