Fire-induced pressure and smoke spreading in mechanically ventilated buildings with air-tight envelopes

Simo Hostikka, Rahul Kallada Janardhan, Umar Riaz, Topi Sikanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fire-induced pressures have not been considered dangerous in building fires, but the situation may be changing as building envelopes become increasingly air-tight. In this study, we investigate whether this can change the fire development and pose new risks for structural and evacuation safety. We used experiments to validate the numerical models, and models for simulating the fire development in buildings with different air-tightness levels. The simulations considered air permeability values typical for traditional, modern and Near-Zero buildings. Three different smoke damper configurations were studied, and the fire growth rates were varied from medium to ultra-fast. The results showed that transitioning from traditional and modern buildings to Near-Zero buildings can sufficiently increase the peak overpressures from fast-growing fires to cause structural damage. Conditions were identified for avoiding excessively high overpressures, while preventing smoke from spreading through the ventilation system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
JournalFire Safety Journal
Volume91
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint

smoke
Smoke
Fires
envelopes
air
Air
overpressure
tightness
Air permeability
ventilation
dampers
Ventilation
Numerical models
safety
permeability
damage
causes
configurations
simulation
Experiments

Keywords

  • Pressure
  • Modelling
  • CFD
  • Smoke
  • Airtightness
  • Near-zero buildings
  • High-rise buildings

Cite this

Hostikka, Simo ; Janardhan, Rahul Kallada ; Riaz, Umar ; Sikanen, Topi. / Fire-induced pressure and smoke spreading in mechanically ventilated buildings with air-tight envelopes. In: Fire Safety Journal. 2017 ; Vol. 91. pp. 380-388.
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Fire-induced pressure and smoke spreading in mechanically ventilated buildings with air-tight envelopes. / Hostikka, Simo; Janardhan, Rahul Kallada; Riaz, Umar; Sikanen, Topi.

In: Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 91, 01.07.2017, p. 380-388.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - Fire-induced pressures have not been considered dangerous in building fires, but the situation may be changing as building envelopes become increasingly air-tight. In this study, we investigate whether this can change the fire development and pose new risks for structural and evacuation safety. We used experiments to validate the numerical models, and models for simulating the fire development in buildings with different air-tightness levels. The simulations considered air permeability values typical for traditional, modern and Near-Zero buildings. Three different smoke damper configurations were studied, and the fire growth rates were varied from medium to ultra-fast. The results showed that transitioning from traditional and modern buildings to Near-Zero buildings can sufficiently increase the peak overpressures from fast-growing fires to cause structural damage. Conditions were identified for avoiding excessively high overpressures, while preventing smoke from spreading through the ventilation system.

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