Friday, 29 April 2016

The GSA recognised in IOSH awards

The Glasgow School of Art and members of staff have been recognised by the West of Scotland branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

Employees who have gone the extra mile to prevent workplace accidents and work-related illnesses have been rewarded by the safety and health profession’s chartered body. They received Certificate of Merit awards from the West of Scotland branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

The IOSH branch presents the awards to non-safety and health professionals who have been nominated by members of the institution for making a valuable contribution to safety and/or health. Twenty-two individual and three group gongs were presented at an awards ceremony at Glasgow’s Hampden Park stadium.

Among the winners was Kathy Molloy, Learning Resources Manager at The Glasgow School of Art (the GSA). She was nominated by the GSA’s Health and Safety Officer, Brian McDade, in part for the role she played after a fire in May 2014.

The nomination from Mr McDade said: “In her line management role she consistently demonstrates commitment to health and safety improvement and personally exhibits and promotes positive safety behaviour.

“Over the last year she has co-ordinated her department's actions in response to a re-instituted active monitoring programme. This has included risk assessment review and staff training.

“While she herself would say she was just one of many, Kathy found herself directly involved in the organisational response to the fire in the Mackintosh Building in May 2014. Subsequently she also contributed to the review of the fire and the effectiveness of GSA's response.”

Kathy’s fellow GSA employees, Exhibition’s Director - Jenny Brownrigg and Cathie Randall - General Manager, GSA Enterprises, also won an award, while a group award was also presented to the institution.

Fraser Allan, executive member of the IOSH branch, helped to coordinate the awards, which were first handed out in the early 1990s.  After this year’s ceremony, held on Thursday 28 April, he said: “Safety and health is a valuable part of any successful business. However it is not just down to ourselves as OSH professionals to ensure that management systems are followed within organisations.

“It needs the buy-in from members of staff at all levels. They must recognise that they are responsible for their own safety and health at work and that of their colleagues.

“There are many ways that employees go above and beyond and play a vital role in making sure there is an OSH culture throughout their company, one which brings real benefits to the bottom line. Recognising what they do is what these awards are about. Once again we had some excellent entries and I congratulate each award recipient.”

- Ends –
Notes for Editors:
IOSH is the Chartered body for health and safety professionals. With more than 44,000 members in 120 countries, we’re the world’s biggest professional health and safety organisation.

We set standards, and support, develop and connect our members with resources, guidance, events and training. We’re the voice of the profession, and campaign on issues that affect millions of working people.

IOSH was founded in 1945 and is a registered charity with international NGO status.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Poor ventilation common in new, airtight homes with significant implications for ill health, new research demonstrates

  • Much ventilation fails to meet minimum standards for air quality.
  • Links between poor ventilation and ill-health are well-established.
  • MEARU Research identifies key areas for improvement.
  • Public awareness film launched

Make sure you ventilate your home is a key message that people need to grasp if we are to help reduce exposure to indoor pollutants and chemicals that contribute to risks of ill health such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). This was emphasised today 26 April 2016 with the launch of an awareness-raising film created by experts in health and wellbeing in buildings in the Mackintosh  Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) at The Glasgow School of Art. The film aims to help more people become aware of the impact of poor ventilation on health and general living environments.

“Poor indoor air quality, particularly in bedrooms, is hard for people to detect,” says Professor Tim Sharpe, Head MEARU which has undertaken detailed research in this area in partnership with Innovate UK. “There are clear links between poor ventilation and ill-health so people need to be aware of the build up of CO2 and other pollutants in their homes and their potential impact on health.”

"Modern homes are increasingly airtight and can also contain a great number of pollutants and chemicals, many of which can have serious health effects. It is clear from this research that buildings are simply not well ventilated and this could seriously impact on occupants health, especially vunerable people such as those with COPD and asthma,” he adds.


Based at the Mackintosh School of Architecture 
at the GSA MEARU has a 15-year track record of high quality research into environmental architecture. 
It operates at a unique interface between architectural design, science based research and building occupants. 
The ventilation research complements work undertaken by MEARU into other impacts on air quality in buildings including the widely reported domestic laundry research

Over 5 million people in the UK are currently
receiving treatment for asthma including 1.1m children

Recently released research by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons on air quality suggested that the issue of indoor air pollution needed research to strengthen the understanding of the key risk factors and effects of poor air quality in our homes, schools and workplaces. It noted: “The drive to reduce energy costs, by creating homes with tighter ventilation, could be making the situation worse.”

MEARU has undertaken research with residents of over 200 households based in properties built to modern airtight standards since 2010. It revealed widespread evidence of poor ventilation, with bedrooms being a particular problem, and there was little awareness of poor indoor air quality and its potential consequences. Further work which looked at mechanical ventilation found that while it can deliver good results, houses are entirely reliant on it and when it goes wrong there is extremely poor ventilation.

The research found that:

  • 83% of Mechanical Extract Systems were underperforming
 with 42% below Building Regulations requirements for moisture control;
  • 63% of trickle vents were kept closed; 
  • Only 20% of people leave bedroom windows open at night;
  • 82% of people had received no advice on ventilation 

  • There was no perception of Indoor Air Quality 

Moisture building up in a poorly ventilated home

Scotland leads the way with CO2 sensors to
be included in all new build housing

Since the research was completed MEARU has had success in changing Building Regulations in Scotland. Going forward all new build properties must be equipped with CO2 sensors to give residents an indication of how well their houses are being ventilated.

A wider public information campaign was launched today with the unveiling of a specially made film to help raise awareness of the issue. The film, which was screened to key players in the housing sector at the Glasgow Film Theatre as part of the GSA’s Research Week events, will be made available to housing association tenants in Scotland as part of their household introduction packs. It will also be available across the UK and internationally via the GSA vimeo site:

“In the past houses some houses had plaques telling people to open their windows and public information films would offer similar advice,” says Prof. Sharpe. “We hope that this film will help people to understand more about the need to ventilate and how best to ensure that they get the best possible indoor air quality so as to avoid problems of ill-health and the associated to cost to our heath system.”

As part of the research MEARU worked closely with Hanover Housing Association, who specialize in housing for the elderly who are more susceptible to infections.

"It has been fascinating working with Professor Sharpe and the team at MEARU and receiving their conclusions has been very helpful," says Kenneth Shepherd, Development Officer with Hanover Housing Association. "Going forward all our new residents will be provided with information on the best way of ensuring that they ventilate their homes properly."

Key Health Stats:

  • There are over 100,000 people in Scotland alone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and this is currently projected to increase by 30% over the next 20 years.
  •   Scotland has many locations with highest admissions COPD 
with 100,000 people suffering from COPD 
 at an estimated cost in Scotland alone is £100M pa 
  •  In Scotland, 368,000 people (1 in 14) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This includes 72,000 children and 296,000 adults. 

  • The projected Increase in COPD in Scotland alone is 30% in next 20 years 
  • Associations between poor air quality and 
hospital admissions 

Poor living conditions and health problems:

  • Microbes, such as moulds and viruses, can contribute to the development of asthma and allergies.
  • Low humidity causes eye irritation, dryness of the skin and the nose, and rashes.
  • High humidity fosters the growth of moulds and dust mites.
  • High temperatures - heat stress, discomfort
  •  Low Temperature - cold, dampness, asthma, rhinitus, heart disease

Polutants in modern Buildings

  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) over 12,000 unique VOC’s most found in buildings
  • Over 55,000 different materials used in buildings
  • Common materials are Formaldehyde, used in pressed wood products such as particleboard, plywood, and medium density fiberboard (MDF), paints, coatings and Phthalates - used to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible or resilient.. These are known to disrupt the endocrine and reproductive systems and have been linked to liver cancer (CDC 2005).  Also associated with increases in persistent symptoms of allergies and diagnoses of rhinitis, eczema, and asthma (Mendell 2007).
  • Particulates: inhaling particulates can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation and can increase the risk for respiratory infections. long-term effects of inhaling ultrafine particles (less than 2.5 μm), because they can travel deep into the lungs where they can remain embedded for years or be absorbed into the bloodstream.


Further information:
Lesley Booth
0779 941 4474

Notes for Editors

Research methodology

Literature review
  •       Health effects and ventilation

  •       Similar studies

  •        What is an accepted measure of ventilation?

Large scale survey
  • Selection of >50 of these properties for detailed monitoring
  • Temp, CO2 and RH for a 48 hour period, along with survey and observations 
  •       Selection of >50 of these properties for detailed monitoring
  •       Temp, CO2 and RH for a 48 hour period, along with survey and observations
 Core survey
  •      Extract data from long term monitoring of 26 houses in TSBP BPE programme
  •        Week long observation of data with occupant diaries
  •       VOC and particulate testing in some properties .


The Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) was established in 1986 within the Mackintosh School of Architecture. MEARU undertakes strategic and applied research into a wide range of aspects of sustainable environmental design, responding to a growing commitment to user-centred, low energy, eco-sensitive architecture in the context of increasing global concerns.

Recent work has led to the significant expansion of MEARU, widening its portfolio of expertise to include: health and wellbeing in buildings; indoor air quality; energy efficient refurbishment; and building performance evaluation.

The unit is well networked with similar European partners, is represented on the International Energy Agency, ISES Europe and publishes regularly at the Eurosun, PLEA, Healthy Buildings and WREC conference circuits.This activity contributes greatly to the learning and teaching culture of The Glasgow School of Art and has also established the Centre as a significant global research player in scientific and architectural circles.

Hanover is a national provider of housing and services for people in later life.

We manage around 19,000 properties for rent, sale and shared ownership in approximately 600 locations. This includes nearly 2,500 Extra Care properties where residents can access 24-hour care on-site. Our services include an around-the-clock emergency response service, Hanover on Call, for those who need it.  We also offer a free and confidential service, Be Wise, which has helped residents save money and access unclaimed benefits worth more than £1.53 million.

Hanover intends to develop 1,250 downsizer homes for people in later life over the next five years to help meet growing demand from our ageing population. Over the next 20 years there will be a 47% increase in the number of people over 65 - compared to an expected increase in the general population of just 15%.
Our 50-year history, expertise and track record in innovation make us a trusted provider for those wishing to live independent, active and fulfilling lives.

We are a not-for-profit organisation - any surplus we make is re-invested into maintaining our properties, improving our services and building more homes for older people.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The GSA unveils major campus development plans

  • Restored Mackintosh Building returns as heart of expanded Garnethill campus.
  • The GSA to extend campus to include the former Stow College site.
  • Stow Building to be refurbished imaginatively, and bring together all pathways in the School of Fine Art in one building for the first time in over 50 years.
  • The Mackintosh Building to return to its original academic configuration.

The Glasgow School Art announced major plans for its campus on Garnethill today, 21 April 2016. The restored Mackintosh Building will be at the heart of an extended campus, with the building returning to its original academic configuration and as a home for all first year students. The plans will also see the GSA purchase the former Stow College site with a first phase bringing together all pathways of the School of Fine Art in a refurbished Stow Building.

The news was announced as the GSA launched the Mackintosh Campus Appeal, a £32m fundraising campaign (£17m already secured) which will enable the institution to recover from the impact of the fire and meet its academic ambitions through a sensitive and authentic restoration of the west wing and upgrading of the east wing of the Mackintosh Building, the purchase of the Stow College site, and the development of studio and workshop space in the Stow Building.

Over the last 10 years the GSA has undertaken phased developments of the campus in Garnethill, refurbishing some buildings, replacing others that were no longer fit for purpose and constructing the Reid Building” says GSA Director, Professor Tom Inns. “The Mackintosh Building fire required the School to pause and reconsider, but we are now moving forward to create a newly extended campus with the restored Mackintosh Building at its heart.”

“The acquisition of the former Stow College site is a fundamental element of our new estate development strategy. It will mean that the GSA can bring together all pathways in the School of Fine Art in one specially-adapted building for first time in over 50 years. It will also mean we can create the space to support collaboration across our disciplines as well as with other academic, third sector and industry partners.”

“This next phase of our campus development will help us achieve our academic aspiration to become a global leader in studio-based learning and research, provide the space to accommodate a 25% increase in our student numbers by 2018, and importantly provide the GSA with space for future growth.”

The GSA is expected to complete the purchase of the former Stow College site in the next few weeks and has appointed Gardiner and Theobald to provide all consultancy services for the conversion. BDP have been appointed as architects for the first phase refurbishment works. Work will begin in summer 2016 with the School of Fine Art moving into the building from autumn 2017.

Page \ Park were appointed as design team lead for the Mackintosh Building in March 2015. They are working with the GSA to develop the plan for the restoration of the west wing and the upgrade of the east wing of the building. The Main Contractor will be appointed in June 2016 and work will begin on site immediately after that. The GSA expects to have access to the building in the 2018-19 Academic year. 


For further information contact:
Lesley Booth  0779941 4474 /

Notes for Editors
·         The first phase of the GSA Garnethill campus development was the Reid Building, a purpose designed building for the School of Design, which replaced the Foulis Building and Newbery Tower, and was completed in 2014.
·         The total cost to the GSA of recovery from the fire, restoration (west wing) and upgrade (east wing) of the Mackintosh Building, and the campus development plans is in the region of £80m.
·         The total cost of restoring and upgrading the Mackintosh Building will be around £51m split roughly two thirds restoration of the west wing and one third upgrading the east wing.
·         The GSA will meet this cost from its own resources (including insurance settlement), disposal of buildings no longer fit for purpose (JD Kelly and Richmond Buildings) and fundraising. £17m has been raised to date (comprising £15m from the UK and Scottish governments and £2m from philanthropic giving).

·         Honorary Patron and Trustees of the Mackintosh Campus Appeal are:

Honorary Patron: The Rt Hon The Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden KT
Trustees: Peter Capaldi, Kelly Cooper-Barr, Dr Kenneth Chrystie, Bob Downes
Ken Ross OBE (Chair), Bryan Ferry CBE, Dr Muriel Gray, Prof Tom Inns
Douglas Kinnaird, MT Rainey, Brad Pitt

The Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) was founded in 1845 as one of the first Government Schools of Design, as a centre of creativity promoting good design for the manufacturing industries of Glasgow.  However, the School’s lineage can be traced to 1753 when Robert Foulis established a school of art and design in Glasgow, which was described as the single most influential factor in the development of eighteenth-century Scottish Art

Today, the GSA is internationally recognised as one of Europe's leading university-level institutions for the visual creative disciplines. Our studio-based approach to research and teaching brings disciplines together to explore problems in new ways to find new innovative solutions. The studio creates the environment for inter-disciplinarity, peer learning, critical inquiry, experimentation and prototyping, helping to addressing many of the grand challenges confronting society and contemporary business.

Stow College
Opened by the then Glasgow Corporation on 26 September 1934 Stow College takes its name from David Stow (1793-1864), a Victorian philanthropist and one of the greatest pioneers in the history of Scottish education.

In the early years, Stow was known as the Trades School, and provided evening courses for workers from the heavy engineering and shipbuilding companies located on the banks of the
Clyde. Following a brief interlude in World War Two when the College operated as a Rolls
Royce production centre manufacturing aero engines for the war effort, the College was left with specialist labs that enabled the development of more advanced courses.

The College quickly established a reputation for providing high quality training and with the expansion of Further Education in the late 1950s and 1960s, Stow College became the centre of FE in Glasgow, acting as the cradle for the development of other Colleges in the city.

In November 2013, the College merged with John Wheatley College and North Glasgow College to form the new Glasgow Kelvin College.

For almost 80 years, then, Stow College played a key role in learning in Glasgow and this continues through Glasgow Kelvin College, whose strong links with its surrounding communities continue to grow and flourish.