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Performance-Based Design of a Hotel Building Using Two Egress Models: A Comparison of the Results.

pdf icon Performance-Based Design of a Hotel Building Using Two Egress Models: A Comparison of the Results. (292 K)
Kuligowski, E. D.; Milke, J. A.

Human Behavior in Fire: Public Fire Safety - Professionals in Partnership. International Symposium, 3rd. Proceedings. September 1-3, 2004, Belfast, N. Ireland, Interscience Communications Ltd., London, England, 399-410 pp, 2004.


human behavior; fire safety; decision making; hotels; egress; evacuation; computer models; evacuation time; fire protection engienering; scenarios; human response


With the move toward performance-based design, engineers have been looking to evacuation computer models to assess a building's life safety. Many times, the engineer is tasked with the selection of one evacuation model for a specific project. Currently there is a wide variety of evacuation models for engineers to choose from. However, with each model containing its own unique features and simulation capabilities, confusions may arise as to which model is best for the task at hand. The results gained from this work emphasize the importance for users to choose an egress model for each project with the appropriate input features and simulation capabilities. Current evacuation models have the capability of simulating many of the complex behaviors associated with a hotel building evacuation, however, frequently without sufficient behavioral data as a basis. Because of this, model users may choose models containing less behavioral sophistication for their performance-based design. However, model choice is an important step, even among models with less behavioral sophistication. This report compares results from two similar egress models based on documented evacuation movement data. When EXIT89 and Simulex (both only partial-behavioral models) are used to 1) simulate the same design scenarios and 2) perform a bounding analysis of the hotel building, significant differences in egress times were identified. EXIT89's evacuation times were found to be 25-40% lower than Simulex for the design scenarios, attributed to differences in unimpeded speeds, movement algorithms, methods of simulating slow occupants, density in the stairs, and stair configuration input between the models. For the bounding analysis, EXIT89 produced maximum evacuation times 30-40% lower than Simulex, primarily due to the simulation of slower moving occupants.