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Protected Elevators for Egress and Access During Fires in Tall Buildings.

pdf icon Protected Elevators for Egress and Access During Fires in Tall Buildings. (251 K)
Bukowski, R. W.

Strategies for Performance in the Aftermath of the World Trade Center. CIB-CTBUH Conference on Tall Buildings. Proceedings. Task Group on Tall Buildings: CIB TG50. CIB Publication No. 290. October 20-23, 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Shafii, F.; Bukowski, R.; Klemencic, R., Editor(s)(s), 187-192 pp, 2003.


World Trade Center; high rise buildings; elevators (lifts); emergencies; evacuation; fire departments; fire fighters; occupants; egress


The events of September 11 have generated renewed interest in the use of protected elevators for egress and access. U.S. building codes contain requirements for accessible elevators for assisted evacuation of people with disabilities. Firefighter lifts, required in tall buildings in some countries, are being discussed to improve both the safety and efficiency of firefighting operations. The desire for increased egress capacity of tall buildings to facilitate simultaneous evacuation has rekindled interest in elevators as a secondary means of egress for all occupants. Elevators used for each of these purposes share many of the same design characteristics and the need for an extraordinary level of safety and reliability. This paper will review the technology, safety, and reliability issues associated with the use of elevators during fire emergencies for all three of these purposes and the solutions being considered to address them. Operational procedures and arrangements that influence system design considerations will be suggested. An innovative system for operating the elevators under the remote, manual control of the fire service will be described. Important human factors issues including communication, signage, and training will be identified. Initial plans for a demonstration project in a U.S. government building, as a proof-of-concept will be presented.