Airtightness Evaluation of Shelter-in-Place Spaces for Protection against Airborne Chemical and Biological Releases [open pdf - 3MB]
"Due to concerns about potential airborne chemical and biological (chembio) releases in or near buildings, building owners and managers and other decision makers are faced with a number of options for increasing their buildings' level of protection against such events. A wide range of technologies and approaches is being proposed with varying levels of efficacy and cost, as well as varying degrees of applicability to any particular building. In particular, shelter-in-place (SIP) has been proposed as a strategy to protect building occupants from chembio releases, particularly outdoor releases. SIP strategies involve having the building occupants stay in the building, generally in a space designated for such sheltering, until the event is over, the outdoor contaminant levels have decreased, and it is safe to leave the building. SIP is often considered as an alternative to building evacuation under conditions where the outdoor exposure is likely to be higher than the exposure in the shelter. While much guidance is available on the implementation of SIP in buildings, important technical issues remain about the degree of protection provided by a particular space and the factors that determine the level of protection. This project has consisted of the following tasks: conducting a literature review of SIP strategies and performance issues; developing a study plan for testing SIP airtightness evaluation methods; implementing the study plan through a combination of experiments and simulations; and, finally, developing recommendations on SIP evaluation and possible performance criteria for candidate SIP spaces."
EPA 600/R-09/051 NISTIR 7546
Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/