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CONTAMW 1.0 User Manual: Multizone Airflow and Contaminant Transport Analysis Software



William S. Dols, George Walton, K R. Denton


This manual describes the use of the computer program CONTAMW developed by NIST. CONTAMW is a multizone indoor air quality and ventilation analysis program designed to help you determine: air flows--infiltration, exfiltration, and room-to-room air flows in building systems driven by mechanical means, wind pressures acting on the exterior of the building, and buoyancy effects inducted by temperature differences between the building and the outside; contaminant concentrations--the dispersal of airborne contaminants transported by these air flows and transformed by a variety of processes including chemical and radio-chemical transformation, adsorption and desorption to building materials, filtration, and deposition to building surfaces; and/or personal exposure--the prediction of exposure of building occupants to airborne contaminants for eventual risk assessment.CONTAMW can be useful in a variety of applications. Its ability to calculate building air flows is useful to assess the adequacy of ventilation rates in a building, to determine the variation in ventilation rates over time, to determine 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 buildings before they are constructed and occupied, to investigate the impacts of various design decisions related to ventilation system design and building material selection, to evaluate indoor air quality control technologies, and to assess the indoor air quality performance of existing buildings. Predicted contaminant concentrations can also be used to estimate personal exposure based on occupancy patterns. Exposure estimates can be compared for different assumptions of ventilation rates and source strengths.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6476
Report Number


airflow analysis, building technology, computer program, contaminant dispersal, indoor air quality, multizone analysis, smoke control, ventilation


Dols, W. , Walton, G. and Denton, K. (2000), CONTAMW 1.0 User Manual: Multizone Airflow and Contaminant Transport Analysis Software, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created June 1, 2000, Updated February 19, 2017