Paul Wijnhoven and Martin Klein - DGMR
More often engineers use evacuation models to assess and optimize safe escape possibilities, especially in buildings with grandstands. Point of attention by using these models is the reliability of the results and the scope of application. This article presents a comparison between three evacuation models (Simulex, BuildingEXODUS and Pathfinder) and basic flow capacity calculations. The simulation models and flow calculations are validated by comparing the results with video footage of people leaving a room with grandstands in a normal situation (no evacuation). Three cases are presented; a lecture hall, a sports facility and a theater. The main differences between a nonemergency situation and a real evacuation are appointed. Taking into account these differences, an analysis is made to determine if the results of the basic calculations are in line with the recorded phenomena. The same question is answered for the simulation models. Besides analyzing the evacuation time of each room, the movement patterns and route selection of occupants around each bottleneck on the escape route are analyzed and replicated in the models. The input of the models is optimized based on this analysis. This research results in an overview of the accuracy of each model and considers the necessary effort to use the model. The advantages and disadvantages of each model are listed and recommendations are given for obtaining the input values that lead to the most realistic results.