Multizone Airflow and Contaminant Transport Analysis Software (CONTAM)

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This page provides a description and a link to a "Multizone Airflow and Contaminant Transport Analysis Software (CONTAM)" modeling tool that can be used for modeling exposure levels or information needed in exposure assessment.

Short description

CONTAM is a multizone indoor air quality and ventilation analysis computer program designed to help you determine:

  • (a) airflows: infiltration, exfiltration, and room-to-room airflows in building systems driven by mechanical means, wind pressures acting on the exterior of the building, and buoyancy effects induced by the indoor and outdoor air temperature difference.
  • (b) contaminant concentrations: the dispersal of airborne contaminants transported by these airflows; transformed by a variety of processes including chemical and radio-chemical transformation, adsorption and desorption to building materials, filtration, and deposition to building surfaces, etc.; and generated by a variety of source mechanisms, and/or
  • (c) personal exposure: the predictions of exposure of occupants to airborne contaminants for eventual risk assessment.

CONTAM can be useful in a variety of applications. Its ability to calculate building airflows is useful to assess the adequacy of ventilation rates in a building, to determine the variation in ventilation rates over time and the distribution of ventilation air within a building, and to estimate the impact of envelope air tightening efforts on infiltration rates. The prediction of contaminant concentrations can be used to determine the indoor air quality performance of a building before it is constructed and occupied, to investigate the impacts of various design decisions related to ventilation system design and building material selection, and to assess the indoor air quality performance of an existing building. Predicted contaminant concentrations can also be used to estimate personal exposure based on occupancy patterns in the building being studied. Exposure estimates can be compared for different assumptions of ventilation rates and source strengths.


Key words

indoor air, modeling, ventilation, exposure