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Using CFD Capabilities of CONTAM 3.0 for Simulating Airflow and Contaminant Transport In and Around Buildings



Wang Liangzhu, William Stuart Dols, Qingyan Chen


CONTAM is a multizone building airflow and contaminant transport computer program often used for ventilation and indoor air quality analysis. The program was recently enhanced to incorporate CFD capabilities for both external and internal environmental analysis. This paper introduces the CFD features implemented within the most recent version, CONTAM 3.0. The external CFD link predicts wind pressure coefficients and contaminant concentrations for airflow paths at the building surface. A converter computer program translates the wind pressure coefficients to the CONTAM data format. This external CFD link is useful for parametric studies of the impact of outdoor air quality on indoor environment when considering different wind directions or contaminant locations, especially simulations at transient state. The ability to embed single CFD zone within a CONTAM network model has also been implemented. This enables the detailed modeling of a zone in which the well-mixed multizone assumption is too broad but uses the multizone approach for the rest of a building, thus capturing the local distribution of air and contaminant properties in a zone, and their impacts on other zones of a building. CFD capabilities are demonstrated using a generic residential house model to show how these two new CFD features enrich the existing CONTAM capabilities for both indoor and outdoor air quality analysis.
Hvac&R Research


Multizone, CFD, CONTAM 3.0, Indoor air quality, Wind pressure, Contaminant transport


Liangzhu, W. , Dols, W. and Chen, Q. (2010), Using CFD Capabilities of CONTAM 3.0 for Simulating Airflow and Contaminant Transport In and Around Buildings, Hvac&R Research, [online], (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created November 3, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021