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A computer simulation model of emergency egress for space planners

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The spatial design of a building affects the movement of occupants. In complex buildings with a large population, such as places of assembly, the movement of people towards the exits under emergency situations is a major concern. Ideally, people should leave the building smoothly under emergency situations. Traditionally the layout design is governed by the building fire codes. However, the building fire codes merely govern the design of the capacity of individual components, and do not guarantee that smooth egress will occur. Full-scale egress exercises may be needed to examine the layout arrangement in order to understand the layout problem. However, such exercises may be time-consuming, or may be impossible when the building has yet to be constructed. Therefore, the use of computer models to simulate the egress pattern can assist not only the building designer, but also the facility manager to plan the spatial arrangement as well as to manage the crowd flow during emergency situations. Discusses the use of a computer model for analysing building layout design.
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Keywords: Accidents; Computer simulation; Fire safety; Space planning

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

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