Development And Evaluation Of The ADMS Buildings Effects Module

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The ADMS building effects module (Robins et al, 1997) treats many of the special features of dispersion near buildings, e.g.: plume impact on building surfaces, entrainment into a well mixed, recirculating, near-wake, rapid dispersion of material released into the near-wake, plume height changes due to mean flow deflections over the building and its wake, modified dispersion due to reduced velocities and enhanced turbulence in the wake, modified plume rise, and deposition.

The relative importance of these processes depends on the source location, the emission properties, the building geometry and orientation, and the meteorological conditions.  Consequently it is important to test any building effects model in a wide variety of circumstances so as to obtain a true overall view of its performance. At the same time a full appreciation of the sensitivity of predictions to changes in input conditions must be established. This activity, together with feedback from practical applications, feeds a development cycle as deficiencies are brought to light when the model is applied in more and more extreme circumstances.

The nature of the ADMS building effects model is first summarised, paying particular attention to the origins and basis of the algorithms used. The performance and applicability of the current model is then assessed against a wide range of experimental studies. Some matters that arose in model development and application are then discussed. Finally, some outstanding modelling and evaluation issues are discussed, together with the inherent limitations of building effects modelling in ‘regulatory’ dispersion models.

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