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A Technical Reference for CFAST: An Engineering Tool for Estimating Fire and Smoke Transport



Walter W. Jones, Glenn P. Forney, Richard D. Peacock, Paul A. Reneke


CFAST is a zone model capable of predicting the environment in a multi-compartment structure subjected to a fire. It calculates the time evolving distribution of smoke and fire gases and the temperature throughout a building during a user-specified fire. This report describes the equations which constitute the model, the physical basis for these equations, data which are used by the model, and details of the operation of the computer program implementing the model. The means by which one can add new phenomena are detailed, as are the variables and structure of the model. A set of comparisons between the model and a range of real-scale fire experiments is presented. In general, the CFAST model compares favorably with the experiments examined in this report. Although differences between the model and the experiments were clear, they can be explained by limitations of the model and of the experiments.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1431
Report Number


computer models, computer programs, evacuation, fire models, fire research, hazard assessment, human behavior, toxicity


Jones, W. , Forney, G. , Peacock, R. and Reneke, P. (2003), A Technical Reference for CFAST: An Engineering Tool for Estimating Fire and Smoke Transport, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 25, 2024)


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Created April 1, 2003, Updated June 2, 2021