Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ventilation Short-Life Working Group minutes: 25 January 2022

Minutes from the meeting of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Ventilation Short-Life Working Group on 25 January 2022.


Attendees and apologies

Attendees

  • Tim Sharpe, Chair, University of Strathclyde    
  • Chris Iddon, Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
  • Joanne Carter, Health and Safety Executive
  • Michael Swainson, BRE Group
  • Stephen Long, Scottish futures Trust
  • Karen Stevenson, Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland
  • Graham Robertson, Aberdeenshire Council
  • Fiona Richardson, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
  • Bruce Marshall, Scottish Enterprise
  • Cath Noakes, Leeds University   
  • Neil Granger, British Property Foundation

Scottish Government attendees

  • Morag Angus, Chief Surveyor
  • Covid Ready Society Policy Officials                

Apologies     

  • Carol McRae, Public Health Scotland
  • Patrick Mackie, Argyll and Bute Council
  • Dougie Collin, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
  • Euan Ryan, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

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 16 December 2021 had been previously circulated. The group confirmed the Minutes as accurate.

An update was provided by Scottish Government officials on the Business Ventilation Fund regarding the number of applicants who had requested funding for air filters/purifiers, CO2 monitors, etc. Additionally, it was noted that the Business Ventilation Fund was looking at expanding to moderate and low risk settings.

Action: a further update on the fund to be given at meeting 8. More details around the type of items being bought and more qualitative data will be sought as part of the fund evaluation process.

Producing text on air cleaners / air filters practical guide

The group discussed air cleaners guidance and highlighted the longer term work that they felt needed to be explored such as standards for air cleaners and issues of maintenance.

They agreed a guide would be helpful which would explain to users in what situations air cleaners could be useful, explaining the different types available and what to avoid. A flow chart could be produced which looks at how a space is ventilated, and directs to when could use a CO2 monitor, when to consider an air cleaner, etc.

Action: Tim Sharpe, Cath Noakes, and Chris Iddon will look at what text already exists and compile information for a guide to be produced.

Producing recommendations

The group had a discussion about the type of recommendations they would like to make.

Action: members to send suggestions to Secretariat, who will use these suggestions to compile a final report.

Signage scheme

Officials gave an introduction to the initial idea of a Covid Safety Signage Scheme and asked for input from the group.

There were some concerns about building occupants having the lack of knowledge to accurately complete a self-assessment.

The group agreed that a consistent set of to help consumers make informed decisions would be a step in the right direction and considered that the scheme should focus solely on ventilation at least in the early stages.

Action: Secretariat will feed the group’s views back into further internal discussions within Scottish Government.

Future group

Group discussed different options for groups and activities and the different purposes could be used for.

Potential focus could be related to current work on infection resilient environments or more general indoor air quality

The group identified a few policy areas that ventilation would impact on such as:

  • climate change and energy
  • health
  • building standards

Work could also be undertaken about the retrofit challenge and provide guidance for policy and funding of retrofit to ensure that ventilation is included in strategies.

A group to bridge the gap between dealing with more immediate COVID-19 pressures and more long term thinking, with the ability to commission work.

Action: members to email thoughts to secretariat and express interest in being on a future group.

Scottish Government will feed these into further discussions internally about what any future group would look like

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