Krylov et al Build and Environ 1998 - postprint.pdf (3.12 MB)

Contamination of indoor air by toxic soil vapours: the effects of subfloor ventilation and other protective measures

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journal contribution
posted on 21.01.2013, 10:11 by Victor V. Krylov, Colin C. Ferguson
A steady-state analytical model is derived for estimating the concentration of vapour-phase contaminants in indoor air in houses with subfloor voids, given the contaminant concentration in bulk soil. The model includes the key mechanisms of transport and dispersion—contaminant partitioning into the soil-vapour phase, molecular diffusion, suction flow, stack effect, and ventilation, including contaminant transport by ventilation flow between subfloor void and living space. Using the model, different construction styles are examined from the point of view of their resistance to ingress of soil gases. Model results indicate that indoor air concentration depends strongly on wind velocity and on geometrical parameters of void and living space. Worked examples for houses of different construction styles illustrate the effects of wind velocity and house parameters on the concentration of benzene in soil that would give rise to its maximum permissible concentration in indoor air. Brief consideration is also given to concrete raft foundations and clean cover systems.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


KRYLOV, V.V. and FERGUSON, C.C., 1998. Contamination of indoor air by toxic soil vapours: the effects of subfloor ventilation and other protective measures. Building and Environment, 33 (6), pp.331-347.


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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the journal Building and Environment. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published at:






Loughborough Publications