Buildings: Ventilation

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 21st December 2020.

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Photo of Graham Brady Graham Brady Chair, Conservative Party 1922 Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to update the ventilation standards for buildings in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

SAGE (the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) have considered evidence on aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2. SAGE provides scientific and technical advice to support government decision makers during emergencies. During the coronavirus pandemic, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) and the Environmental and Modelling Group (EMG) provided advice to SAGE on this matter.

A paper on ventilation and Covid-19 has been prepared by SAGE EMG:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emg-role-of-ventilation-in-controlling-sars-cov-2-transmission-30-september-2020.

SAGE EMG and NERVTAG have also published a paper on aerosol transmission which includes comments on ventilation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nervtagemg-role-of-aerosol-transmission-in-covid-19-22-july-2020.

We are planning to consult on changes to the Building Regulations ventilation standards, including a number of measures to enhance the ventilation provision for non-domestic buildings to mitigate the risk of transmission of infectious agents. This work has been informed by discussions with public health and ventilation experts. The Building Regulations apply when a new building is constructed, or when significant work takes place on an existing building.

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