COVID-19 dispersion in naturally-ventilated classrooms: a study on inlet-outlet characteristics

Abbas G. M., Gürsel Dino I.

Journal of Building Performance Simulation, vol.15, no.5, pp.656-677, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/19401493.2022.2063946
  • Journal Name: Journal of Building Performance Simulation
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.656-677
  • Keywords: Integrated contamination analysis, COVID-19, opening characteristics, natural ventilation, CFD simulation, RISK-ASSESSMENT, INFECTION RISK
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA).Infectious aerosol dispersion poses significant infection risks (i.e., COVID-19) in classrooms due to dense and long occupancy. Natural ventilation is an effective strategy to reduce airborne infection transmission. The building-related parameters, particularly openings, determine the natural ventilation effectiveness in reducing contaminant dispersion, necessitating an inquiry due to complex dispersion and airflow patterns. This paper investigates the correlation between window height, natural ventilation, and COVID-19 dispersion. A simulation pipeline involving a parametric 3D design environment, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and energy simulations is developed and implemented on nine design scenarios representing different inlet-outlet heights of a free-running (no heating, cooling or mechanical ventilation) classroom. The inlet height and the inlet-outlet height difference have a considerable impact on indoor infection risk confirming that stack ventilation and the Bernoulli effect decrease indoor contaminant concentration. Proximity to openings does not ensure lower contamination levels. Proximity to the contaminant does not result in higher contamination levels.