Using Coupled Energy, Airflow and IAQ Software (TRNSYS/CONTAM) to Evaluate Building Ventilation Strategies

Published: December 10, 2015


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 phenomena 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 the interaction 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 that were previously not available. This paper 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.
Citation: Building Services Engineering Research and Technology
Pub Type: Journals


airflow modeling, CONTAM, contaminant transport, coupled models, energy modeling, multi-zone modeling, TRNSYS
Created December 10, 2015, Updated November 10, 2018