Air Quality/Pollution Dispersion Studies

Posted on November 26, 2018


Air quality and pollution dispersion studies are undertaken to investigate the dispersion of exhaust gases from proposed or existing developments or nearby high density use roadways. This type of study is particularly important should the exhaust gases be harmful to pedestrians or occupants of the proposed development. They can also be used to investigate whether exhaust gases are likely to recirculate into any of the developments outdoor areas or fresh air-intakes of if they are likely to generate any undesirable effects.

Windtech are able to offer both flow visualisation and spectrometry techniques, to assist in understanding the dispersion patterns of the gases and to accurately measure their concentrations. The spectrometry technique can further provide detailed information on the expected concentration levels of any exhaust gases at the impact zones, which can be compared to relevant exposure standards.

Below are sample case studies where Windtech has recently undertaken wind tunnel modelling for air quality assessments:

Fort Cambridge, Malta

This study investigated the impact of the proposed Fort Cambridge development on the natural dispersion of vehicle exhausts from the 3 most heavily used road intersections in the area. Flow visualisation was undertaken to identify critical wind directions for use in spectroscopic assessment of the levels of NO2 and PM10 at the development location.

This allowed a comparison to both existing site conditions and the annual, daily and hourly standards. It was found that the inclusion of the development had minimal impact on the air quality adjacent to and surrounding the development.

Hallets Point Buildings 6 & 7, Queens, New York

This project involved the modelling of gas dispersion from an existing boiler stack located between Buildings 6 & 7 of a proposed development at Hallets Point, New York. Flow visualisation techniques were used to assess the impact on the buildings on the dispersion patterns for different wind directions. It was found that the exhaust gases intermittently impacted the proposed buildings as well as certain ground level pedestrian trafficable areas. The analysis was also able to review the impact of various exhaust speeds to indicate which scenario provided the most beneficial outcomes.

The next phase involved accurate, quantitative assessment of the exhaust concentrations against New York City criteria. Recommendations included replacement of the existing boiler appliance with a new appliance that would emit significantly lower concentrations of NOx gases.

Windtech can undertake Air Quality studies using either a physical scale models or Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Common applications of this type of study include:

  • The study of the propagation of odour from sources such as sewerage effluent, treatment ponds and chemical wastes.
  • The dispersion of emissions from power generators or ventilation stacks.
  • The dispersion of air pollution emitted from vehicle exhausts (e.g. a new bus stand or a proposed freeway).

The re-entry of air-conditioning exhaust into the system, potentially leading to the fatal Legionnaires disease.

For more information, or if you would like to discuss a current project please email us at

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