Minutes of FUG Meeting with Gordon Duckett, 27th February 2009


Progress Since Last Meeting

  • We asked about progress since the meeting with Marije Ross-Vugts two weeks ago.
  • In this time there has been a meeting of the strategic project committee with the contractors, Balfour Beatty.
  • They addressed four main issues which are seen as priorities:
    • heating
    • ventilation
    • security
    • acoustics
  • Assurances were made at this meeting that the outstanding issues would be rectified.
  • When the Forum was signed over to us, we compiled a list of 'snags' (numbering around 4000). Many of these are very minor.
  • We also have a year from the date of signing to collect a list of 'defects'.
    • These must be rectified within the year, but contractors often like to collect them and then do them all at once.
  • A draft timetable is being prepared, and Mike Fourman and Gordon Duckett will go through this next week and check that it is acceptable.
  • We are holding back some money from the original contract with Balfour Beatty so that if any item on the timetable is not completed on time, we can pay external contractors to finish the work.
  • Once approved, the timetable will be published on the web.


  • There is no further news on security as such.
  • Security-related issues will be in the timetable.
    • There are on-going issues with the out-of-hours doors.
    • More swipe-card readers have been installed.


  • The architects have done a complete report on the acoustics.
    • room-to-room
    • room-to-corridor
  • The report details what does and does not meet the specification.
  • Anything not meeting the specification will be fixed. Where we don't have a spec, changes will be made to rectify any outstanding problems.
  • Required changes will be added to the timetable described above.

  • Some modifications have already been done.
    • There should be a bead of sealant at the top and bottom of internal walls.
    • This is important for the acoustics and in some cases this was found to be missing.
    • The sealant smell should go away soon.
  • There is no standard defined for room-to-corridor noise transfer.
    • In most offices, people don't stand and talk in the corridors!
    • The architects have admitted this was a mistake in their design.

  • Mike F, Gordon D and Marije R-V took a walk around the building on 17th Feb 2009.
    • They noted that some doors have very large gaps at the bottom.
    • This will be pursued with Estates and Buildings as far as possible.

Coat hooks and Coat Stands for Offices

  • Coat hooks and coat stands have now been ordered, and Estates and Buildings have agreed to fit them.
  • Single-occupancy offices will have one (or two?) coat hooks on the back of the door.
  • Multi-occupancy offices will have a choice of which they prefer.

Toilets and Kitchens

  • Coat hooks will also be provided in the toilets.
  • Gordon D will look into getting shelves or baskets of some kind for the toilets (to keep papers/ handbags off the floor).
  • The paper towel dispensers in the toilets were criticised.
    • They are too low.
    • Clean and dirty towels are mixed together.
  • The paper towels themselves are a bad design because they don't separated easily.
  • The paper towels in the kitchen areas are the same bad design.
  • Why are there no towel dispensers in the kitchen areas?
    • Could be a Health and Safety thing?
  • Gordon D will oversee purchase and installation of splashbacks for kitchen bins.

  • It has been agreed that the cleaners will now also clean the fridges and microwaves on a monthly basis in exchange for extra pay.
    • PPLS uses this arrangement and it works for them.
  • Emails will be sent out with further details.


  • The information screens have been installed but are not yet operational.
  • They are intended to give information about location of different institutes, and nearest toilets.
  • No one is quite sure whose responsibility they are -- perhaps the computing support staff?
    • Gordon D will find out.
  • Gordon D will also investigate the purchase of pinboards, e.g., for the photocopy rooms.


  • There is no money left for buying furniture.
  • Some items have been ordered, but there have been problems with the supplier.
  • A list of expected items could be published on the web.
  • The Furniture Office stores unwanted furniture and we may be able to request items from there.
    • They will be reluctant to give us anything until the snagging process is complete.
    • We will have a better chance in 2 - 3 years.
  • There is still a strong desire to have full-height tables available in the Mini Forums.
    • Useful for informal meetings and for eating lunch.
    • May relieve some of the pressure on meeting rooms.
    • Gordon D will find out if it is possible for us to get some.
  • Some items may be paid for by Informatics.
    • Screens for PhD offices.
  • We may have some money left from the building contract once all the snags are fixed.
  • All the money from the original budget must be spent.

Other Minor Fixes

  • Some issues are obviously 'snags', to be rectified by the building contractors; others come under 'ongoing maintenance' which is the reponsibility of Estates and Buildings.
  • For many small issues it is unclear where responsibility lies.
    • The broken toilet seat on the 5th floor which took four months to fix.
    • Problems with taps.
    • The gents toilets on the ground floor, where a broken sink and tap have been waiting for eight months.
  • Once the snagging/ defect process is finished, things should improve.

Use of the Forum by Outside Groups

  • Outside groups using the Forum are not charged any money for using our facilities.
    • They can't be because of the VAT position.
    • They are encouraged to donate to the Byte-Size Giving fund.
  • Since the building opened, there have been a lot of external users.
    • It has now been recognised that this has inconvenienced our own staff, possibly too much.
    • External groups expect help with photocopying/ managing the kitchens
      • our reception staff have to deal with this.
  • There is a new policy that no new external bookings will be accepted unless
    • they have a connection to Informatics, including a 'sponsor' here, or
    • they are considered to be 'strategically important'
      • (this judgement is made by the Head of School and Gordon D)
  • External bookings will be made aware that we are providing only the space, not full conference support.
    • There will be an information sheet detailing
      • the arrangements for caterers.
      • the AV setup.
      • how to arrange janitorial cover for early/ late access.
  • These conditions can be waived for important visitors.

  • The Science Festival will be using our space.
    • This is in accordance with University policy.
    • Talks will be held in the evenings, not during the day, to minimise the disruption.


  • There has been a lot of drilling noise from the InSpace fit-out.
  • It is expected to be intermittent from now on -- the bulk of the work has been done.
  • Those affected have several options:
    • work from home
    • move temporarily to vacant space elsewhere in the Forum or in Appleton Tower
    • request that the work be suspended for important meetings
  • The drilling is supposed to be limited to particular hours.
    • This need to be better enforced.
  • Students need to be told what options are available to them.
    • Gordon D will send out an email.

Low Carbon Building (and other) Awards

  • The Forum has received awards for being a 'low carbon building'.
  • So far, these have been based on the plans and design, not on real measurements.
    • At the design stage, the Forum was rated 'excellent'.
  • The construction process was also assessed and rated 'excellent'.
    • The standard awards points for things like
      • washing truck tyres before leaving the site so the roads didn't get dirty
    • We are the only building in Scotland (so far) to achieve an 'excellent' rating for construction.
  • Actual measurements have now been taken and compared against the BREEAM UK standard ("Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method")
    • The standard awards points for things like
      • insulation
      • rainwater collection for flushing the toilets
    • Thermal imaging and pressure testing have already been done.
    • More measurements are planned.
    • There will be an operational assessment in a couple of years.
  • The Forum will not be entered for any more awards until the remaining major issues have been resolved.
    • This provides a big incentive for the architects to get things fixed!

Action Items

  • These are the actions Gordon Duckett has agreed to undertake:
    • make work time-line available on the web when it is ready (1-3 weeks?)
    • make information re: outstanding furniture orders available on web
    • send an email regarding possible work-arounds for InSpace drilling noise
    • email re: fridge cleaning (Done 03 Mar 2009)
    • check into reverting to old paper towels (Done 03 Mar 2009 - reversion has been ordered)
    • get splashbacks for kitchen bins (Done 03 Mar 2009 - splashbacks have been requested)
    • check into getting shelves in toilets
    • check into why information display monitors don't work and who can fix them
    • check into possibility of full-height tables in MF1/2
Topic revision: r7 - 04 Mar 2009 - 11:29:24 - Main.sgwater
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