Identifying Shelter Locations and Building Air Intake Risk from Release of Particulate Matter in a Three-Dimensional Street Canyon via Wind Tunnel and CFD Simulation Public

This study aims to identify lower risk exterior shelter areas and building air intake locations by modeling particulate matter (PM) dispersion in a three-dimensional street canyon from a point source and comprises a wind tunnel experiment and a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation. The model street canyon was a two-by-two building array of constant height with aspect ratios of 0.35, 0.70, and 1.05. A PM emission source external to the street canyon was simulated with water droplets from an ultrasonic humidifier in the wind tunnel. The CFD simulation, using the standard turbulence k-ϵ turbulence model and the Discrete Phase Model, showed that, inside the street canyon, the sidewalks had the lowest PM concentration at the breathing level of 1.5 m above the ground. Regardless of wind direction, PM source location, the roofs had the lowest PM concentration among all building surfaces with access to the internal intersection. Therefore, if an accidental point release of PM outside the street canyons occurs, pedestrians that could not enter buildings should stay on the sidewalks. For building construction and renovation, new ventilation air intakes should be installed on the roofs, and the intakes that are already installed on other building façade surfaces should be advised to be closed during such episode.

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