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Evaluating Building Ventilation Strategies Using Newly-Developed TRNSYS/CONTAM Simulation Capabilities



William S. Dols, Steven J. Emmerich, Brian J. Polidoro


Building energy analysis tools are available in many forms that provide the ability to address a broad spectrum of energy-related issues in various combinations. Often these tools operate in isolation from one another, making it difficult to evaluate the interactions between related phenomenon and interacting systems, forcing oversimplified assumptions to be made about various phenomena that could otherwise be addressed directly with another tool. One example of such interdependence is that between heat transfer, inter-zone airflow and indoor contaminant transport. In order to better address these interdependencies, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an updated version of the multi-zone airflow and contaminant transport modelling tool, CONTAM, and developed a set of utilities to enable coupling of the full CONTAM model with the TRNSYS simulation tool in a more seamless manner and with additional capabilities than was previously available. This presentation provides an overview of these new capabilities and applies them to simulating a medium-size office building. Simulations address the interaction between whole-building energy, airflow and contaminant transport in evaluating various ventilation strategies including natural and demand-controlled ventilation.
Proceedings Title
CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium-Dublin 2014
Conference Dates
April 3-4, 2014
Conference Location


airflow modelling, CONTAM, contaminant transport, coupled models, energy modelling, multizone modelling, TRNSYS


Dols, W. , Emmerich, S. and Polidoro, B. (2014), Evaluating Building Ventilation Strategies Using Newly-Developed TRNSYS/CONTAM Simulation Capabilities, CIBSE ASHRAE Technical Symposium-Dublin 2014, Dublin, -1, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created April 3, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017