Americans spend a large percentage of their lives indoors in homes, offices, and schools. Changes in the design and operations of buildings result in increasingly air-tight indoor spaces to improve energy efficiency. Such conditions increase the risk of people coming into contact with materials and consumer products that generate potentially hazardous airborne nanoparticles. It is not possible to accurately predict indoor exposure to airborne nanoparticles with the current state of transport models given the complex nature of nanoparticle aerodynamics. The goal of this CAREER project is to address this gap by developing a fundamental mechanistic model of indoor aerosol dynamics that accurately predicts the dynamic behavior of nanoparticles in buildings. Successful development of this model will help building designers, engineers, homeowners, and policy makers to understand emission and transport patterns of airborne nanoparticles in different indoor environments. This will allow improved decision-making for achieving healthy and smart buildings that protect human health. As part of this project, the investigator will participate in the United Nations Sustainable Buildings Program to prepare the next generation of global leaders in the built environment profession. The goal of this work will be to develop global standards and guidelines for indoor air quality control and healthy buildings.
The goal of this project is to develop a mechanistic framework for a comprehensive indoor aerosol dynamic model to predict the emission, distribution, and transport of airborne nanoparticles in indoor environments. Specific research objectives to achieve this goal are to: (1) develop a fundamental indoor aerosol dynamic model that characterizes detailed time- and size-resolved source emission and loss mechanisms based on indoor activities and heating, cooling, ventilation operation modes; (2) validate the model and evaluate uncertainties using a series of measurements in a full-scale test building that will examine transient particle size distribution due to conventional and emerging emission sources; and (3) integrate the indoor aerosol dynamic model with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations to study the spatial distribution of airborne particles and breathing zone concentrations under representative indoor air flow and source emission scenarios. This project will open up a new direction for indoor aerosol research and create new knowledge in coagulation, deposition, and primary and secondary nucleation in indoor environments. The analytical model will be validated with measurements in a full-scale test building and integrated with a CFD model for the first time to enable inclusion of building environmental conditions. Experimental validation of the model with a full-scale building will address critical gaps in our understanding of the physical, chemical, and transport characteristics of indoor nanoparticles. Successful completion of the research will allow the assessment of human exposure in a wide range of indoor environments such as residences, schools, and occupational settings. The PI will participate in the United Nations Sustainable Buildings Program to prepare the next generation of global leaders in the built environment profession. Through this effort, the PI will contribute to setting global standards and guidelines for indoor air quality control and healthy buildings.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/20 → 8/31/25|
- National Science Foundation: $409,907.00