Characterization of emission sources in buildings and HVAC systems: Quantification and uncertainty

S. Batterman, Marianna Luoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Emission sources in buildings and HVAC systems must be characterized to assess their contribution to indoor air quality and to determine whether mitigation is needed. In comparison with other source characterization approaches, in situ mass balance techniques have the potential to quantify emissions from specific sources under actual building conditions, thus providing representative results.
These techniques utilize flow and concentration measurements taken in the building or the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system from which contaminant fluxes and emissions are computed. However, measurement errors and temporal and spatial variability in observed concentrations and flows may lead to highly uncertain results. This study examines these issues using error propagation techniques, typical concentration and flow uncertainties, models of ventilation systems, and statistical criteria.
Results show the required measurement accuracies for various source and building conditions. Steps to improve the characterization of emission sources using mass balance methods are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1089
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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