Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ventilation Short-Life Working Group minutes: 10 November 2021

Minutes from the meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ventilation Short-Life Working Group on 10 November 2021.

Attendees and apologies


  • Tim Sharpe, Chair, University of Strathclyde
  • Stephen Crawford, Scottish Heads of Property Services
  • Neil Granger, Scottish Property Federation
  • Chris Iddon, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Patrick Mackie, Environmental Health and Trading Standards
  • Bruce Marshall, Scottish Enterprise
  • Tracy McTaggart, Health and Safety Executive
  • Cath Noakes, University of Leeds
  • Fiona Richardson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Euan Ryan, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Michael Swainson, BRE Group
  • Stephen Long, Scottish futures Trust
  • Graham Robertson, Health and Safety Coordinating Group
  • Dougie Collin, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Karen Stevenson, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Scottish Government attendees

  • Stephen Garvin, Deputy Director Building Standards
  • Morag Angus, Chief Surveyor

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed all attendees to the fifth meeting of the Scottish Government’s Covid Ventilation Short Life Working Group. Apologies were noted as above.

Minutes of the previous meeting and review of actions

Paper CV5-1, draft minutes of the meeting of 29 October 2021 had been previously circulated. The Group confirmed the minutes as accurate.


  • some final thoughts on costs have been received
  • some comments have been received on the circulated papers

FE/HE/CLD recommendations

There were some key points which came out in the discussions:

  • some clarity needed between sections, i.e. communication where testing has been undertaken
  • could do with some work on a basic framework to help the user identify where there is a problem
  • look at a recommendation for at least assessing provision in occupied rooms even if measuring flow rates or levels of CO2 isn’t feasible

Group agreed the UCU guidance (paper CV5-2b) shows a good framework and guidance but there is a lack of evidence for its recommendations and some concerns on the impact of thermal comfort. Guidance for room occupants could take various forms.


  • paper to be adjusted and circulated to FE/HE/CLD for comment

SG ventilation guidance review

Group agreed there should be a general summary of the general principles at the start of the document. Ensure that mechanical (including local systems) are covered within the guidance. Useful tips should give more details than just open windows, and identify strategies (small openings/vents, intermittent purging, etc.).


  • members to send their thoughts to be emailed by COP 11 November 2021

SLWG future work programme

Paper CV5-3 had been previously circulated. Discussions focussed around some specific aspects of the items listed, but also about what part the SLWG should play in these medium-longer term items. This SLWG would not undertake the full work, but could consider what is already being undertaken elsewhere, and recommend to SG to commission other work to answer the questions that the SLWG advise are key. There was a request to look at defining a wholesome standard of air (in the same way as we define water). There is a need to set standards and methods for ensuring these can be met, particularly in the context of net zero investments, and these need to address existing buildings and retrofit. There could be a practical discussion on air cleaners, looking to create a practical guide (less technical than the existing CIBSE one). It was suggested that we look at when the SLWG will come to an end, and consider setting up a longer-term group.


  • SG to work with Chair on the timeline for this SLWG, and the potential for subsequently setting up an Expert Advisory Group

Ventilation Fund – final plans

Scottish Government officials gave a presentation on the final plans for the Ventilation Fund and a preview of the applications process.

The group agreed the red level for CO2 value should be changed to 1500 in line with the science.

Further information would be looked at for different types of CO2 monitoring.

Date of next meeting


  • doodle poll to be put out to arrange next meeting in mid-December
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