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Design of Occupant Egress Systems for Tall Buildings



Erica D. Kuligowski, Richard W. Bukowski


This paper presents an overview of current work and a discussion of the features of protected elevator systems that can provide safe and reliable operation both for fire service access and for occupant egress during fires. These features include water tolerant components, fail-safe power, lobbies on each floor designed as areas of refuge, smoke protection, occupant communications, and real time monitoring of the elevator position and operating conditions from the fire command center. Egress simulations will be used to quantify the improvements in efficiency that can be realized by incorporating elevators into the access and egress procedures for tall buildings. Finally, operational procedures will be discussed for the most appropriate use of vertically zoned elevator systems that are found in most tall buildings. These procedures would form the basis for the elevator control software that needs to be developed for such systems.
CIB World Building Congress


elevators (lifts), emergencies, fire fighters, occupants, evacuation, egress, codes, high rise buildings, fire departments, refuge, building codes


Kuligowski, E. and Bukowski, R. (2004), Design of Occupant Egress Systems for Tall Buildings, CIB World Building Congress (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created April 19, 2004, Updated February 19, 2017