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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 7, 2019

Building science approaches for vapor intrusion studies

Elham Shirazi, Sweta Ojha and Kelly G. Pennell


Indoor air concentrations are susceptible to temporal and spatial variations and have long posed a challenge to characterize for vapor intrusion scientists, in part, because there was a lack of evidence to draw conclusions about the role that building and weather conditions played in altering vapor intrusion exposure risks. Importantly, a large body of evidence is available within the building science discipline that provides information to support vapor intrusion scientists in drawing connections about fate and transport processes that influence exposure risks. Modeling tools developed within the building sciences provide evidence of reported temporal and spatial variation of indoor air contaminant concentrations. In addition, these modeling tools can be useful by calculating building air exchange rates (AERs) using building specific features. Combining building science models with vapor intrusion models, new insight to facilitate decision-making by estimating indoor air concentrations and building ventilation conditions under various conditions can be gained. This review highlights existing building science research and summarizes the utility of building science models to improve vapor intrusion exposure risk assessments.

Funding source: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Award Identifier / Grant number: P42ES007380

Funding source: National Science Foundation

Award Identifier / Grant number: 1452800

Funding statement: The project described was supported by grant number P42ES007380 (University of Kentucky Superfund Research Program, funder Id: from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and by grant number 1452800 from the National Science Foundation (funder Id:

  1. Conflict of interest: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  2. Informed consent: The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institutes of Health or the National Science Foundation.

  3. Ethical approval: The conducted research is not related to either human or animal use.


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Received: 2019-03-15
Accepted: 2019-06-17
Published Online: 2019-09-07
Published in Print: 2019-09-25

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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