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A systems approach to the optimal design of safe-rooms for shelter-in-place scenarios.

Bennett J
VENT 2006: 8th International Conference on Ventilation, May 13-18, 2006, Chicago, Illinois. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2006 May; :74
The protection of building occupants from hazardous outdoor releases can involve many strategies of varying cost and complexity. One method is known as "shelter-in-place," in which a space within the building is isolated to a practical degree from ambient and the remaining building air. The design of such a space involves decisions about size and level of permeability. An obvious issue is the comfort and health of occupants during the event. Because a design cannot satisfy all needs entirely, engineering the space becomes an optimization problem. This research provides an analytical framework for considering the effects of the variables volume, air exchange or ventilation rate, concentration, and time. Intuition suggests that the room should be as large as possible to keep the balance of O2 and, CO2 at safe levels. However, the current work quantifies the optimal room size using a systems analysis of a three-compartment building model consisting of ambient, building, and safe-room zones. The results provide the optimal safe-room volume as a function of ambient, building, and safe-room concentrations, ambient building and building/safe-room air exchange rates, contaminant generation rate within the safe-room, and building volume. Also, the analysis can be used to rank the importance of the variables affecting safe-room concentration so that control efforts can be efficiently applied. This information will be helpful in choosing among existing rooms to use for shelter, making room modifications, or for designing a new space.
Hazards; Outdoors; Indoor-environmental-quality; Environmental-hazards; Air-samples; Air-contamination; Air-monitoring; Air-quality-control; Air-quality-monitoring; Air-flow; Air-quality; Respiratory-irritants; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Safety-climate; Safety-engineering; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems
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VENT 2006: 8th International Conference on Ventilation, May 13-18, 2006, Chicago, Illinois
Page last reviewed: July 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division