FEMTC 2022

Evacuation Of People With Functional Limitations: Research Knowledge, Gaps and Modelling Implications

Enrico Ronchi - Lund University

Abstract

While accessibility is an established and widely used concept in building design, the evacuation of people with functional limitations is still at a stage in which several research gaps exist. In this context, this presentation discusses the concept of Egressibility, intended as the accessibility to means of evacuation. The key results of a multi-disciplinary project carried out at Lund University in this domain are presented. This project first investigated the state-of-the-art of the research in the domain of Egressibility, focusing in particular on the role of functional limitations on evacuation performance using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). This was performed linking quantitative studies considering predominant activities in terms of the ICF and six categories of functional limitations with the engineering evacuation time-line. This study was followed by a qualitative study exploring the perspectives on egressibility of older people with functional limitations. This was achieved by reflexive thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 28 older people with functional limitations. A tool was then implemented to measure egressibility by considering environmental demands and functional limitations. This instrument, called the Egress Enabler, allows the investigation of the interaction between environmental demands and functional capacity during egress. The presentation is concluded looking into the future of needed research in the domain of evacuation of people with functional limitations, considering the current research knowledge, gaps and modelling implications.

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