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

    10 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

    Keywords

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

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