WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE DESIGN OPTIONS FOR IMPROVING SAFE ESCAPE THROUGH STAIR CORES IN HIGH-RISE APARTMENT BUILDINGS?
Technical Investigation (BIM) & Case Study
Literature Review & Interview Process
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Dr. Sameer Mehra
Fire Safety design that is related to the means of the escape route is very important to save lives and provide access to the firefighters to eliminate the fire. The well-designed ventilation system along with fire-rated doors plays a crucial role to stop the spread of smoke and heat into the stairwell.
This study introduces a proposed complex ventilation system that will extract smoke and heat away from the protected stair core in High-Rise apartment buildings which serve as a final escape route. Fire safety provision including the design of the protected stair core is a very important consideration through the design stage and in the fire safety strategic plan. Extracting heat and smoke away from the protected stair core is critical for the evacuation process and the firefighting operation. Further, the well-designed ventilation system and the related elements such as the fire doors are important to provide clean air and shelters to reduce the heat stress throughout the related elements.
The literature review process provided relevant documents that gave standard information on requirements, and technical guidance on smoke ventilation, on the installation of fire-rated doors, which helped to establish the proposed design system. The interview with professionals provided practical advice on the protected stairwell design, its smoke ventilation, and the related fire-rated doors. Further, the methodology progress included a 3D BIM modeling to illustrate and analyze the design options, and lastly, the CFD software analysis provided information on the building components' thermal performance under elevated temperatures.
This case study research shows the need for an ongoing investigation, analysis and research to drive smoke away from the protected stairwell and minimise the heat radiation throughout the relevant building elements. Also, it is a crucial area to save lives. From the objectives set out at the start, this investigation shows that the time for the evacuation process can be significantly improved in this critical area. The CFD software analysis shows a significant increase in the building elements' thermal performance, reliability, and integrity of the proposed smoke ventilation system.