CONTAM is a multizone indoor air quality and ventilation analysis program designed to help you determine airflows, contaminant concentrations, and personal exposure in buildings. Airflows include infiltration, exfiltration, and room-to-room airflows and pressure differences in building systems, and can be driven by mechanical means, wind pressures acting on the exterior of the building, and buoyancy effects induced by temperature differences between zones, including the outdoors. Contaminant concentrations include the transport and fate of airborne contaminants, due to airflow, chemical and radio-chemical transformation, adsorption and desorption to building materials, filtration, and deposition to and resuspension from building surfaces. Personal exposure includes the exposure of building occupants to airborne contaminants, for eventual risk assessment.
CONTAM can be useful in a variety of applications. Its ability to calculate building airflow rates and relative pressures between zones of the building is useful for assessing the adequacy of ventilation rates in a building, for determining the variation in ventilation rates over time, for determining the distribution of ventilation air within a building, for estimating the impact of envelope air-tightening efforts on infiltration rates, and for evaluating the energy impacts of building airflows. The program has also been used extensively for the design and analysis of smoke management systems. The prediction of contaminant concentrations can be used to determine the indoor air quality performance of buildings before they are constructed and occupied, to investigate the impacts of various design decisions related to ventilation system design and building material selection, to evaluate indoor air quality control technologies, and to assess the indoor air quality performance of existing buildings. Predicted contaminant concentrations can also be used to estimate personal exposure based on occupancy patterns.
- Version 3.2 added an ultra-violet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) filter model, contaminant exfiltration result files, a SQLite database result file, and co-simulation between the EnergyPlus whole building energy analysis program and CONTAM.
- Version 3.1 introduced a variable time step ordinary differential equation solver (VODE) for solving the contaminant equations and coupling between the TRNSYS energy simulation program and CONTAM to enable combined energy, airflow and contaminant transport analysis.
- Version 3.0 added a deposition with resuspension source/sink model, a self-regulating vent airflow model, and integrated coupling between Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and multizone modeling.
- Version 2.4 introduced two new deposition sink models, a one-dimensional convection/diffusion contaminant model for ducts and user-selectable zones, new contaminant filter models, control super nodes, super filters, a duct balancing tool, building pressurization and model validity tests and several other usability enhancements.
- Version 2.1 introduced more new features including the ability to account for spatially varying external contaminants and wind pressures at the building envelope, more new control elements, particle-specific contaminant properties, total mass released calculations and detailed program documentation.
- Version 2.0 contained several new features including: non-trace contaminants, practically unlimited number of contaminants, contaminant-related libraries, separate weather and ambient contaminant files, building controls, scheduled zone temperatures, improved solver to reduce simulation times and several user interface related features to improve usability.