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Review of 28 Egress Models.

pdf icon Review of 28 Egress Models. (209 K)
Kuligowski, E. D.

NIST SP 1032; January 2005.

Workshop on Building Occupant Movement During Fire Emergencies. Proceedings. Session 4.4. June 10-11, 2004, Gaithersburg, MD, Peacock, R. D.; Kuligowski, E. D., Editor(s)(s), 68-90 pp, 2005.


occupants; people movement; emergencies; egress; evacuation; life safety; fire models; human behavior; fire data


Evacuation calculations are increasingly becoming a part of performance-based analyses to assess the level of life safety provided in buildings. In some cases, engineers are using back-of-the-envelope (hand) calculations to assess life safety, and in others, evacuation models are being used. Hand calculations usually follow the equations given in the Emergency Movement Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Handbook to calculate mass flow evacuation from any height of building. The occupants are assumed to be standing at the doorway to the stair on each floor as soon as the evacuation begins. The calculation focuses mainly on points of constriction throughout the building (commonly the door to the outside) and calculates the time for the occupants to flow past that point and to the outside. To achieve a more realistic evacuation calculation, engineers have been looking to evacuation computer models to assess a building's life safety. Currently, there are a number of evacuation models to choose from, each with unique characteristics and specialties. A concern with current evacuation models is whether they can accurately simulate the unique scenarios that accompany a certain type of building. How would a user know which model to choose for his/her design?