Constructal design of evacuation from a three-dimensional living space

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This paper demonstrates the fundamental relation that exists between the configuration of a three-dimensional living space and the time needed for the evacuation of all the inhabitants. The evacuation is treated as a physical flow system consisting of pedestrians who move from a volume to one or two exits. The living space has two variable aspect ratios, the floor shape and the profile shape (or the number of floors). First, the paper reports analytically the optimal floor and profile shapes for which the total evacuation time is minimum. Second, the analytical results are complemented and validated by numerical results obtained based on numerous simulations of pedestrian flow from volume to exits. The numerical results are further validated by performing the simulations of pedestrian movement with two different computational codes (Simulex and FDS + Evac). The fundamental relation presented in this paper can be used in the design of larger and more complex living spaces in modern urban settings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lui, CH; Fong, NK; Lorente, S; Bejan, A; Chow, WK

Published Date

  • March 15, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 422 /

Start / End Page

  • 47 - 57

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0378-4371

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.physa.2014.12.005

Citation Source

  • Scopus