Enlightenment of re-entry airflow: The path of the airflow and the airborne pollutants transmission in buildings

C. W. Tung, C. M. Mak, J. L. Niu, K. Hung, Yan Wu, Nam Tung, H. M. Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Viable aerosols in the airflow may increase the risk of occupants contracting diseases. Natural ventilation is common in buildings and is accompanied by re-entry airflow during the ventilation process. If the re-entry airflow contains toxic or infectious species, it may cause potential harm to residents. One of the Covid-19 outbreaks occurred in a public residential building at Luk Chuen House (LC-House) in Hong Kong. It is highly suspected that the outbreak of the disease is related to the re-entry airflow. The study attempts to explain and discuss possible causes of the outbreak. In order to understand the impact of airflow on the outbreak, a public residential building similar to LC-House was used in the study. Two measurements M − I and M − II with the same settings were conducted for a sampling unit in the corridor under low and strong wind conditions respectively. The sampling unit and the tracer gas carbon dioxide (CO2) were used to simulate the index unit and infectious contaminated airflow respectively. The CO2 concentrations of the unit and corridor were measured simultaneously. Two models of Traditional Single-zone model (TSZ-model) and New Dual-zone model (NDZ-model) were used in the analysis. By comparing the ACH values obtained from the two models, it is indicated that the re-entry airflow of the unit is related to the corridor wind speeds and this provides a reasonable explanation for the outbreak in LC-House, and believes that the results can help understand the recent frequent cluster outbreaks in other residential buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107760
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2021


  • Apparent air changes per hour
  • Fade-out index
  • New dual-zone model
  • Re-entry airflow
  • Semi-open corridor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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