Building characterization and aerosol infiltration into a naturally ventilated three-story apartment building

Citation

Rodes, C.E., VanOsdell, D.W., Portzer, J.W., Seagraves, J., Hahn, I., Henkle, S.W., et al. (2009). Building characterization and aerosol infiltration into a naturally ventilated three-story apartment building. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 11 (12):2180-2191.

Abstract

Understanding infiltration of outdoor pollutants was an integral part of the Brooklyn Traffic Real-Time Ambient Pollutant Penetration and Environmental Dispersion (B-TRAPPED) study. For this reason, the structural and air exchange properties of the three-story row house in Brooklyn, NY, USA, that was used in the B-TRAPPED experiments were fully characterized. Factors investigated included representativeness of the construction and impact of building design features on the natural ventilation and infiltration of outdoor aerosol. Both blower door and perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) air exchange rate (AER) experiments showed that the ventilation rates of the building were quite typical of similar structures in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area. Indoor/outdoor (I/O) aerosol count ratios by particle size were comparable to a similar vintage naturally ventilated building in Boston, MA, USA. I/O ratio analyses were consistent with literature findings and showed I/O ratios ranging from 0.310 to 0.601, varying across particle sizes (from 0.3 to 0.5 mum) and between first and second floor apartments. An effort to apply the rebound method of Thatcher et al. (Aerosol Sci. Technol., 2003, 37, 847-864) in determining aerosol infiltration rates proved unsuccessful due to unexpectedly long (>60 min) equilibration times after the filtration period. Uninsulated interior wall renovations in the study house created a cavity that resulted in a large intermediate dead volume (for infiltration) that apparently could not be accommodated by a simple infiltration model. Simple two-compartment models evidently have finite application limitations for even modestly complex settings