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Investigating the use of elevators for high-rise building evacuation through computer simulation

Interscience Communications Ltd.
Publication Date
  • Th Building Construction
  • Ta Engineering (General). Civil Engineering (General)
  • Qa76 Computer Software


This paper presents a description of a new agent based elevator sub-model developed as part of the buildingEXODUS software intended for both evacuation and circulation applications. A description of each component of the newly developed model is presented, including the elevator kinematics and associated pedestrian behaviour. The elevator model is then used to investigate a series of full building evacuation scenarios based on a hypothetical 50 floor building with four staircases and a population of 7,840 agents. The analysis explores the relative merits of using up to 32 elevators (arranged in four banks) and various egress strategies to evacuate the entire building population. Findings from the investigation suggest that the most efficient evacuation strategy utilises a combination of elevators and stairs to empty the building and clear the upper half of the building in minimum time. Combined stair elevator evacuation times have been shown to be as much as 50% faster than stair only evacuation times.

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