The ingress of exterior contaminants into buildings is often assessed by treating the building interior as a single well-mixed space. Multizone modelling provides an alternative way of representing buildings that can estimate concentration time series in different internal locations. A state-space approach is adopted to represent the concentration dynamics within multizone buildings. Analysis based on this approach is used to demonstrate that the exposure in every interior location is limited to the exterior exposure in the absence of removal mechanisms. Estimates are also developed for the short term maximum concentration and exposure in a multizone building in response to a step-change in concentration. These have considerable potential for practical use. The analytical development is demonstrated using a simple two-zone building with an inner zone and a range of existing multizone models of residential buildings. Quantitative measures are provided of the standard deviation of concentration and exposure within a range of residential multizone buildings. Ratios of the maximum short term concentrations and exposures to single zone building estimates are also provided for the same buildings. © 2013 Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.