Simulating the effect of slab features on vapor intrusion of crack entry

School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence RI02912.
Building and Environment (Impact Factor: 2.7). 01/2013; 59:417-425. DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2012.09.007
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In vapor intrusion screening models, a most widely employed assumption in simulating the entry of contaminant into a building is that of a crack in the building foundation slab. Some modelers employed a perimeter crack hypothesis while others chose not to identify the crack type. However, few studies have systematically investigated the influence on vapor intrusion predictions of slab crack features, such as the shape and distribution of slab cracks and related to this overall building foundation footprint size. In this paper, predictions from a three-dimensional model of vapor intrusion are used to compare the contaminant mass flow rates into buildings with different foundation slab crack features. The simulations show that the contaminant mass flow rate into the building does not change much for different assumed slab crack shapes and locations, and the foundation footprint size does not play a significant role in determining contaminant mass flow rate through a unit area of crack. Moreover, the simulation helped reveal the distribution of subslab contaminant soil vapor concentration beneath the foundation, and the results suggest that in most cases involving no biodegradation, the variation in subslab concentration should not exceed an order of magnitude, and is often significantly less than this.

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May 17, 2014