Predictions and measurements of the stack effect on indoor airborne virus transmission in a high-rise hospital building

Taesub Lim, Jinkyun Cho, Byungseon Sean Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


As the viral diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Influenza A (H1N1) occur in many countries recently, the epidemic of those influenza viruses causes many human casualties. Moreover, the second infection from infected patients particularly within general hospitals frequently takes places due to improperly hospitalized and/or quarantined patients. Accordingly, it becomes a great concern to accommodate safer ventilation system in general hospital wards against such airborne transmitted viruses. It is also a recent trend that many urban general hospitals are designed and constructed as high-rises. If a virus is transmitted through uncontrolled air movement within a hospital and then infected other patients or healthy visitors, it might be impossible to control the spread of the disease. Thus research has been preceded scrutinizing stack effect on the indoor airborne virus transmission in large hospitals by conducting both the field measurement and numerical analysis according to the outdoor temperature and the releasing vertical points of the tracer gas assumed as a viral contaminant. In the field measurement of a high-rise hospital, the indoor airflow was affected by the stack effect of vertical chute of the building. The numerical simulation was verified by comparing its prediction results and the field measurement data. In result, very high possibility has witnessed that the airborne contaminant emitted from the infected patients in the lower floors could be transported to the higher floors through the airflow driven by the stack effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2413-2424
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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