Constructal design of pedestrian evacuation from an area

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Pedestrian movement occurs in evolutionary patterns the effect of which is to facilitate the access of people into and out of living spaces (areas, volumes). In this paper, we rely on the philosophy of Constructal design as applied physics, in order to uncover two fundamental features of evolutionary design for pedestrian evacuation from rectangular areas (e.g., lecture halls with seated occupants). First, the paper shows analytically that the aspect ratio of the floor area can be selected such that the total evacuation time is minimal. Second, the shape of the floor area of each aisle can be tapered such that the total evacuation time is decreased further. These two architectural features are confirmed by means of extensive and systematic numerical simulations of pedestrian evacuation, by using two numerical packages (Simulex and FDS + Evac). © 2013 American Institute of Physics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

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

Published Date

  • January 21, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 113 / 3

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8979

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1063/1.4780612

Citation Source

  • Scopus