FEMTC 2020

Heritage Implications In Egress And Modelling

Georgette Harun - Fire and Civil Engineering, York University


The egress analysis of heritage buildings for new use is often performed by practitioners. Heritage buildings often present challenges with regards to emergency egress. New flow patterns, population density variations, changing and evolving demographics all reflect the challenges in egress design. These designs can affect the heritage value of these buildings and subsequently can conflict with conservation standards and guidelines. Limited information regarding modelling techniques with coupled conservation guidance is available to the practitioner and this study attempts to address this need.

This research examines an evacuation modelling study of a 110 year old museum that has undergone several changes in use as well as structural and architectural modifications. It exemplifies the challenges in performing an egress analysis of a heritage building. The goal of this study is to provide the practitioner with a procedural framework that lays out the challenges and methods required when undertaking an egress analysis in a Heritage building that has undergone a change of use or has been architecturally and structurally modified.

A model of the building has been created, and will be utilized with different social-forces based modelling software to compare to characterize the different methodologies being utilised for specific use scenarios (unique to modified public heritage buildings). The model space was validated using real egress and movement data collected from unannounced evacuation drills performed at the museum.

An analysis of potential impediments to egress associated with the heritage building will be conducted, ranging from the original building elements to the additions to accommodate the changes in use. The range of scenarios introduced when changing the occupancy of a building will also be analysed.

While using different evacuation and egress modelling software to conduct this project, the shortcomings with regards to existing and used modelling software will be identified and discussed. The validation process will highlight these aspects, as well as the comparison between the modelling software. The case study on this particular building will illuminate the unique challenges that heritage buildings represent in evacuation modelling, and the lessons learned can be applied to many similar buildings. Ultimately, the research output will be a provisional framework for egress analysis of heritage structures.



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