The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released in September an updated version of a popular computer program that fire investigators, safety officials, engineers, architects and builders can use to simulate the impact of past or potential fires and smoke in a specific building environment.
The version of the software, called Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport (CFAST), until now a DOS program, works with Windows 98, NT, 2000 and XP. It also features easier-to-use software that allows users to simulate multiple fires and ventilation systems in a building.
The CFAST Version 6 package includes NIST's Smokeview program, which visualizes with colored, three-dimensional animations the results of the CFAST simulation of a specific fire's temperatures, various gas concentrations, and growth and movement of smoke layers across multiroom structures.
CFAST Version 6 and supporting documentation can be downloaded free at http://cfast.nist.gov.