Contaminant ingress into multizone buildings: An analytical state-space approach

Simon Parker, Chris Coffey, Jens Gravesen, James Kirkpatrick, Keith Ratcliffe, Bryan Lingard, James Nally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The ingress of exterior contaminants into buildings is often assessed by treating the building interior as a single well-mixed space. Multizone modelling provides an alternative way of representing buildings that can estimate concentration time series in different internal locations. A state-space approach is adopted to represent the concentration dynamics within multizone buildings. Analysis based on this approach is used to demonstrate that the exposure in every interior location is limited to the exterior exposure in the absence of removal mechanisms. Estimates are also developed for the short term maximum concentration and exposure in a multizone building in response to a step-change in concentration. These have considerable potential for practical use. The analytical development is demonstrated using a simple two-zone building with an inner zone and a range of existing multizone models of residential buildings. Quantitative measures are provided of the standard deviation of concentration and exposure within a range of residential multizone buildings. Ratios of the maximum short term concentrations and exposures to single zone building estimates are also provided for the same buildings. © 2013 Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
JournalBuilding Simulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 13 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUK-C1-013-04
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by the Dstl Research Scholarship scheme. We would like to thank the organisers of, and participants in, the European Study Group with Industry 80, Cardiff 2011 where the analytical state-space problem was presented and worked upon. Thanks are also expressed to David Allwright at the Smiths Institute, Oxford for discus-sions on the mathematical treatment, including suggestions for an alternative route to the solution of the exposure equation. James Kirkpatrick was a member of the Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics (OCCAM) where his work was supported by Award No. KUK-C1- 013-04, made by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. This work was made possible by the availability of the database of residential multizone models provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The authors are grateful for the constructive comments of the two anonymous reviewers which have greatly improved the manuscript.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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