Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ventilation Short-Life Working Group minutes: 2 March 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ventilation Short-Life Working Group on 2 March 2022.


Attendees and apologies

Attendees

  • Tim Sharpe, Chair, University of Strathclyde 
  • Chris Iddon, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Michael Swainson, BRE Group
  • Stephen Long, Scottish Futures Trust
  • Graham Robertson, Aberdeenshire Council
  • Fiona Richardson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Bruce Marshall, Scottish Enterprise
  • Neil Granger, Scottish Property Federation
  • Dougie Collin, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Euan Ryan, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • Alexander Tsavalos, Health and Safety Executive
  • Stephen Crawford, Scottish Heads of Property Services

Scottish Government Attendees

  • Marion McCormack, Deputy Director Covid Ready Society
  • David McPhee, Deputy Director Covid Business Resilience and Support
  • Stephen Garvin, Deputy Director Building Standards
  • Covid Ready Society Policy Officials

Apologies

  • Carol McRae, Public Health Scotland
  • Patrick Mackie, Argyll and Bute Council
  • Cath Noakes, Leeds University
  • Karen Stevenson, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

The Chair welcomed all attendees to the seventh 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

Draft minutes of the meeting of 25 January 2022 had been previously circulated. The group confirmed the Minutes as accurate.

The New Strategic Framework

The Strategic Framework was circulated to members. A Scottish Government (SG) official gave an overview of the strategic framework and SG’s short and long term goals in regards to living safely with COVID-19.

The group discussed items they would like to see happen in the future such as standards for air quality, room/venue occupancy based on ventilation capabilities rather than just based on fire safety.

It was also discussed how to maintain COVID-19 awareness and ensure that things did not simply return to how they were before COVID-19. E.g. HSE are encouraging businesses to continue assessing spaces.

Update on the Business Fund

An SG official gave an overview of the progression of the fund and what types of measures have been claimed for to date. They stated that a full evaluation would take place after the fund closes at the end of March.

The group noted that it would be beneficial to see what spaces the funding were used in and what measures they applied for funding for.

It was noted that there has been a low uptake in the fund. The group discussed the importance of on-boarding businesses and how to approach this in the future.

Case studies from this fund would be beneficial if a similar fund was set up in the future.

Action: When available the evaluation of the Business Fund will be circulated to members.

Review of the final report

The group agreed with the recommendations on the final report. It would like to see another Business Fund for the coming financial year added to the list.

A future group following on from the SLWG was discussed.

Members suggested this future group act as a sounding board that could review/feedback across SG on policies that have an effect on ventilation/air quality.

Questions were raised on the resource and funding capacity of a future group. This included whether there be capacity to commission work. SG officials confirmed that this is something they are considering and would be subject to budgets, and ministerial approval.

AOB

Chair thanked all members for volunteering their time and thanked SG for setting up the group.

SG official thanked members and chair for all their work and for helping SG get to the this point in ventilation policy. Encouraged members to contact SG if they identified any gaps in the process during their time on the group.

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