Building airflow analysis can solve complicated problems
JENSEN HUGHES engineers uses the CONTAM building airflow model to evaluate air movement in large complex buildings for the purposes of evaluating the movement of smoke, or other potentially dangerous substances within buildings. CONTAM can model the impact of wind, stack effect, and building HVAC systems on the movement of air through ducts, shafts, and other leakage paths and determine time dependent zone concentrations of contaminants. Depending on the nature of the problem being modeled, simple air handling systems can be modeled that account for the bulk air flow to and from spaces. For other applications, CONTAM’s detailed ductwork model is used to evaluate air flow through individual ductwork elements, filters and air transfer grilles. CONTAM allows calculation of the complex system of airflows in a building, the components of which cannot easily be resolved using hand calculations.
JENSEN HUGHES has constructed complicated CONTAM models of buildings such as the Pentagon and the new World Trade Center Complex in New York City. These large models consist of thousands of zones, air flow paths, and ductwork elements. Our engineers work with the developers of CONTAM from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to push the capabilities of the model and to test new capabilities of the model as they are developed.
Smoke Movement and Control
CONTAM is ideally suited for evaluating pressurization smoke control system designs, in high-rise buildings, underground structures, hospitals, and other structures. JENSEN HUGHES engineers have constructed CONTAM models for performance-based smoke control evaluations for large complex structures such as the Library of Congress buildings, National Gallery of Art, and U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. CONTAM has also been used to evaluate smoke control systems in numerous high-rise buildings, such as the Millennium Tower in San Francisco (pictured). Modeling is crucial for use in buildings that employ multiple smoke control sequences involving stair pressurization, elevator pressurization, and zoned smoke control.
JENSEN HUGHES has utilized CONTAM to evaluate smoke movement in buildings, ships, residences, and other structures as part of forensic evaluations of fire and smoke spread. Our engineers performed detailed evaluations of smoke spread through the World Trade Center complex in New York City both after the 1993 Bombing and as part of NIST’s investigation into the September 11, 2001 disaster.
Building Airflow Modeling
JENSEN HUGHES engineers have used CONTAM applications that require detailed building airflow modeling. These applications include CBRN and Indoor Air Quality analysis and HVAC system balancing and optimization for laboratory buildings and high-rises. For CBRN and Indoor Air Quality analysis, where accurate representations of time-dependent contaminant concentrations can be critical, complex representation of the HVAC systems are often required in the model using CONTAM’s detailed ductwork feature in order to account for air filtration and transport time via ductwork.
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