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Computational fire engineering - do we have what we need?

Computational fire engineering - do we have what we need?

Galea, Edwin (2004) Computational fire engineering - do we have what we need? In: 3rd International Symposium on Human Behaviour in Fire: Conference Proceedings. Interscience Communications Ltd., Greenwich, London, UK, pp. 21-22. ISBN 095412166X

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Abstract

This presentation will attempt to address the issue of whether the engineering design community has the knowledge, data and tool sets required to undertake advanced evacuation analysis. In discussing this issue I want to draw on examples not only from the building industry but more widely from where ever people come into contact with an environment fashioned by man. Prescriptive design regulations the world over suggest that if we follow a particular set of essentially configurational regulations concerning travel distances, number of exits, exit widths, etc it should be possible to evacuate a structure within a pre-defined acceptable amount of time. In the U.K. for public buildings this turns out to be 2.5 minutes, internationally in the aviation industry this is 90 seconds, in the UK rail industry this is 90 seconds and the international standard adopted by the maritime industry is 60 minutes. The difficulties and short comings of this approach are well known and so I will not repeat them here, save to say that this approach is usually littered with “magic numbers” that do not stand up to scrutiny. As we are focusing on human behaviour issues, it is also worth noting that more generally, the approach fails to take into account how people actually behave, preferring to adopt an engineer’s view of what people should do in order to make their design work. Examples of the failure of this approach are legion and include the; Manchester Boeing 737 fire, Kings Cross underground station fire, Piper Alpha oil platform explosion, Ladbroke Grove Rail crash and fire, Mont Blanc tunnel fire, Scandinavian Star ferry fire and the Station Nightclub fire.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: 3rd International Symposium on Human Behaviour in Fire: Conference Proceedings
Additional Information: [1] This paper was first presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Human Behaviour in Fire: Public Fire Safety - Professionals in Partnership (Human Behaviour in Fire 2004) held from 1-3 September 2004 in Belfast, UK. It was given as a keynote paper.
Uncontrolled Keywords: computational fire engineering, CFE, computer software, evacuation behaviour
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis
School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis > Fire Safety Engineering Group
School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences > Department of Mathematical Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:02
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/809

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