NIST logo

Publication Citation: Accounting for Emergency Response in Building Evacuation: Modeling Differential Egress Capacity Solutions

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): Jason D. Averill; Weiguo Song;
Title: Accounting for Emergency Response in Building Evacuation: Modeling Differential Egress Capacity Solutions
Published: April 01, 2007
Abstract: The impact of firefighter response on the progress of the building evacuation is not typically considered. The emergency response can significantly increase total building evacuation time. In order to account for emergency response, this analysis considered whether adding capacity through extra stairwell width was equivalent to providing the same total egress capacity through an extra stairwell. An egress simulation with a counterflow submodel was validated against recent fire-drill experimental results to demonstrate the capability of the model to produce meaningful evacuation results. The model was then applied to a hypothetical 50 story office building with 350 occupants per floor. When comparing equivalent total width, additional stairwells outperform wider stairwells from the perspective of evacuation performance, as well as firefighter ascent times. A third stairwell can completely mitigate the effect of firefighter response or even improve the building evacuation time compared to two stairwells with no firefighter response.
Citation: NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7425
Pages: 14 pp.
Research Areas:
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (158KB)