Evacuation analysis for a commercial complex with the use of the software simulex

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Evacuation analysis for a commercial complex with the use of the software simulex


Author: Wong, Chi-ying
Title: Evacuation analysis for a commercial complex with the use of the software simulex
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Buildings -- Evacuation -- Simulation methods
Industrial buildings -- Evacuation -- Simulation methods
Fire escapes -- Safety regulations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Building Services Engineering
Pages: vi, 76, [68] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1661041
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2712
Abstract: As the increasing building space and geometric complexity in modem building design, building evacuation becomes a more significant and complicated issue in the overall fire safety performance. In this thesis, evacuation analyses have been performed by adopting computer modelling using an evacuation software, Simulex. The results have been compared with a traditional hand calculation evacuation analysis. For an appropriate application of the software in evaluating evacuation, theoretical backgrounds of evacuation have been gathered in the literature review. Published papers and research reports are appreciated and evaluated. A thorough understanding of the methodology used in the computer software and its background theories governing evacuation modelling has been established and compared with other research literatures. The analysis has looked into the evacuation process by dividing it into four consecutive phases which are the detection time, the response time, the coping time and the travel time. A commercial complex is used as a study example. The results has shown that traditional hand calculation is insufficient in showing the detection, response, and coping times and the evacuation time determined from the travel speed and flow rate would be generally categorised in the travel time. Its optimistic computation on the evacuation time by assuming occupants as a homogenous group evenly distributed among the exits with regard to their discharge values offers a minimum travel time within a structure. Due to the structure complexity, the results obtained might have a significant variation from the actual situation. Simulex also cannot effectively include the detection, response, and coping factors into the modelling. However, the software does provide comprehensive simulations on the activities, such as the interaction of occupants, path finding, communication, variation on travelling speed etc., during an evacuation which gives a better calculation on travel time by considering each occupant as an individual identity. The research has also demonstrated that a more comprehensive overall evacuation time can be obtained by combing the Simulex results with the detection time, response time and coping time which are computed based on the suggestion of Australia Fire Engineering Guideline. Satisfactory results were achieved and can be adopted to give a dedicated RSET of a structure for safe evacuation. The visual illustration of the evacuation pattern and detailed occupants flow rate on exits and doorways shown by Simulex can further be adopted to provide solutions to understand the evacuation pattern and occupants flow with regards to the occupant characteristics, building geometric, exit route layouts, exit width and location etc. That can be further adapted for evacuation design optimisation. Several scenarios were established accordingly, the evacuation time of the proposed commercial complex has been improved through the modification.

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