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Smoke Control Systems for Elevator Fire Evacuation.

pdf icon Smoke Control Systems for Elevator Fire Evacuation. (1172 K)
Klote, J. H.; Tamura, G. T.

NIST SP 983;

Collected Publications Related to the Use of Elevators During Fires. NIST SP 983. May 2002, Bukowski, R. W.; Burgess, S. R.; Reneke, P. A., Editors, 2002. AND American Society of Mechanical Engineers; Council of American Building Officials and National Fire Protection Association. Elevators and Fire. February 19-20, 1991, Baltimore, MD, 83-94 pp, 1991, 2002.

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elevators (lifts); smoke control; evacuation; handicapped; piston effect; doors; pressure differental; computers


Some people cannot use stairwells because of physical disabilities, and for these people fire evacuation is a serious problem. A potential solution to this problem is the use of elevators for fire evacuation. A joint project of the U. S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) was formed to evaluate the feasibility of using elevators for the evacuation of the handicapped during a fire. This project consisted of conceptual studies, full scale fire experiments, and theoretical analysis. This paper summarizes the findings of the joint project that are relevant to the design of smoke control systems for elevators. A method of dealing with elevator piston effect is discussed. All other things being equal, piston effect is considerably greater for single car hoistways than for multiple car hoistways. Different approaches to deal with the pressure fluctuations due to opening and closing of building doors are presented. A method of design analysis is presented with an example analysis. Results indicate that many types of elevator smoke control systems can be designed to provide acceptable levels of pressurization even under severe conditions of doors opening and closing.