Coronavirus (COVID-19): Ventilation Short-Life Working Group


The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Ventilation Short-Life Working Group (SLWG) was established in August 2021 to provide advice and make recommendations on actions to improve ventilation and support the creation of infection-resilient environments.

Membership includes local authority environmental health specialists, the building sector, business representative bodies and university academics. The programme of work managed by the group provides advice and support underpinning the delivery of critical policy work to optimise the effectiveness of ventilation in non-healthcare settings.

Outputs are considered by Scottish Government officials and ministers and help to address short-to-medium term priorities, develop long-term ambitions, support private and public sector actions and policy development to improve ventilation.


The work of the group includes consideration of the following:

  • provide solutions on what reasonable adjustments could be made to existing premises in the short and medium term and advice on which premises (by use, building characteristic, volume of traffic or another descriptor) should be prioritised for improvement
  • develop a package of measures to support ventilation improvements, with an assessment of likely cost and prioritisation
  • provide advice on, and consideration of, new and emerging air purification or circulation technologies, including UV lighting, air cleaners, air disinfection or air sterilisation

In delivering its purpose the group takes into consideration emerging evidence from SAGE, SAGE EMG and other relevant groups. A separate group within the Health and Social Care Directorate has also been established with a remit focussing on ventilation in healthcare settings, and will report in due course. Findings and learning from this group will also be taken into consideration when considering non-health care settings.


  • Prof Tim Sharpe, University of Strathclyde (chair)
  • Michael Swainson, BRE Group
  • Neil Granger, British Property Foundation
  • Chris Iddon, The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers
  • Fiona Richardson, CoSLA
  • Patrick Mackie, Local Authority Environmental Health, Health and Safety Enforcement
  • Graham Robertson, Local Authority Environmental Health, Health and Safety Coordinating Group
  • Tracy McTaggart/Joanne Carter, The Health and Safety Executive
  • Carol McRae, Public Health Scotland
  • Karen Stevenson, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Euan Ryan, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Dougie Collin, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Bruce Marshall, Scottish Enterprise
  • Stephen Long, Scottish Futures Trust
  • Stephen Crawford, Scottish Heads of Property Services
  • Prof Cath Noakes, University of Leeds

Scottish Government officials

  • Marion McCormack, Judith Ainsley, Paul Fagan, Agnes Robertson, Caroline Leburn, Covid Public Health (CPH)
  • Stephen Garvin, Building Standards Division (BSD)
  • Morag Angus, Chief Surveyor
  • David McPhee, Covid Business Resilience and Support (CoBRaS)


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