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Questioning the Linear Relationship Between Doorway Width and Achievable Flow Rate

Published

Author(s)

Steve M. Gwynne, Jessica Kratchman, Erica D. Kuligowski, James A. Milke

Abstract

This paper suggests that the currently assumed linear relationship between exit width and achievable flow is a simplification that may lead to an overly optimistic view of the achievable flow rates. Analyzed data is presented from several sources in order to demonstrate the impact that the actual use of the exit and its design can have upon the flow rate. This data is then supported by the use of simulation work in order to demonstrate the impact that this overestimation can have upon the design process. It is contended that the specific flow rate assumed for an exit should not only take into consideration the width of the exit, but the design of the exit (i.e. the opening mechanism of the exit) and how evacuees behave in response to it. The issues raised may have implications for the governing regulations, engineering guidance and on the development of future computational egress models.
Citation
Fire Safety Journal
Volume
44
Issue
1

Keywords

door, effective width, egress models, exit, flow rate

Citation

Gwynne, S. , Kratchman, J. , Kuligowski, E. and Milke, J. (2009), Questioning the Linear Relationship Between Doorway Width and Achievable Flow Rate, Fire Safety Journal, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861412 (Accessed May 23, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created December 31, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021