A study of interunit dispersion around multistory buildings with single-sided ventilation under different wind directions

Z. T. Ai, Cheuk Ming Mak

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the interunit dispersion characteristics in and around multistory buildings under wind-induced single-sided ventilation conditions using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method, under the hypothesis that infectious respiratory aerosols exhausted from a unit can reenter into another unit in a same building through opened windows. The effect of balconies on the interunit dispersion pattern is considered. The RNG k ε model and the two-layer near-wall model are employed to establish the coupled indoor and outdoor airflow field, and the tracer gas technique is adopted to simulate pollutant dispersion. Reentry ratios from each unit to other units under prevailing wind directions are quantified and the possible interunit dispersion routes are then revealed. It is found that many reentry ratios appear to reach around 10.0%, suggesting that the interunit dispersion is an important pollutant transmission route. The interunit dispersion pattern is highly dependent on the incident wind direction and the fact whether the building has protrusive envelope features. On average, the strongest dispersion occurs on the windward wall of the buildings under oblique wind direction, owing to high ACH (air change per hour) values and unidirectional spread routes. Except under a normal incident wind, the presence of balconies intensifies the interunit dispersion by forming dispersion channels to increase the reentry ratios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • CFD
  • Interunit dispersion
  • Multistory buildings
  • Reentry ratio
  • Tracer gas
  • Wind directions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science

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