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Modeling the IAQ Impact of HHI Interventions in Inner-City Housing



Steven J. Emmerich, Cynthia H. Reed


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has identified a need to improve urban housing conditions to protect children s health through its Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI). One critical area within this program is to address a wide range of indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns (e.g., inadequate ventilation, moisture, combustion by-products, etc.) with an effective intervention strategy. To evaluate the impact of different interventions on indoor contaminant concentrations and occupant exposures, a simulation study was conducted with the multizone airflow and contaminant dispersal model CONTAM. This study modeled the exposures of a family of five to concentrations of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, water vapor, 0.3 mm to 10 mm particles, radon, and volatile organic compounds in a three-story townhouse. To investigate the intervention impacts over a wide range of environmental conditions, the townhouse was modeled with weather conditions from all four seasons in Boston, MA, Miami, FL, and Seattle, WA. The model included outdoor and indoor sources of the contaminants as well as adsorption and deposition loss mechanisms. CONTAM predicted ventilation rates, contaminant concentrations and occupant exposures for a baseline case and eight different interventions in each city/season combination. The interventions for this project included properly venting a space heater, replacement of a faulty stove, upgrading particle furnace filter, installation of air conditioning, operation of kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans, ceasing the practice of using gas oven to heat house, tightening the house s envelope, and installation of mechanical ventilation. Intervention strategies were compared on an individual basis and
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7212
Report Number


air cleaning, contaminants, exposure, indoor air quallity, modeling, residential building, ventilation


Emmerich, S. and Reed, C. (2005), Modeling the IAQ Impact of HHI Interventions in Inner-City Housing, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed February 23, 2024)
Created March 1, 2005, Updated February 19, 2017