Simulation of pollution transport in buildings: The importance of taking into account dynamic thermal effects

Jonathon Taylor, Clive Shrubsole, Phillip Biddulph, Benjamin Jones, Payel Das, Michael Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The recent introduction of the Generic Contaminant Model in EnergyPlus allows for the integrated modelling of multizone contaminant and dynamic thermal behaviour within a single simulation package. This article demonstrates how dynamic thermal simulation can modify pollutant transport within a building. PM2.5 infiltration from the external to internal environment under dynamic thermal conditions is compared in CONTAM, EnergyPlus 8.0, and Polluto, an in-house pollutant transport model developed in EnergyPlus 3.1. The influence of internal temperature on indoor PM2.5 levels is investigated by comparing results from standard CONTAM simulations and dynamic thermal EnergyPlus 8 simulations. Circumstances where the predictions of such models can diverge are identified.

Practical application:This technical note compares the performance of a new indoor air quality model in EnergyPlus, an EnergyPlus in-house model (Polluto), and an established model (CONTAM). The work then compares the results of indoor air quality models under static and dynamic internal temperature conditions, and demonstrates how predicted indoor pollution levels may deviate significantly if an inappropriate indoor temperature is used. Practically, the work provides confidence in the new models, as well as demonstrating the importance of having a good understanding of the thermal behaviour of a building when modelling indoor air quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-690
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • EnergyPlus
  • Indoor air
  • Polluto

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction


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