Predicting Evacuation Time from Lecture Theatre Type Rooms
Thesis DisciplineFire Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering in Fire Engineering
The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationships between the movement time, travel speed and occupant density during trial evacuations, particularly for theatre-type rooms. The study mainly focuses on crowd movement behaviour within a restricted space and covers aspects of human behaviour and issues needed to be considered in terms of the characteristics of lecture theatres. A set of experiments were carried out in three building blocks at the University of Canterbury in order to obtain the actual data for analysis. The number of students evacuating from each exit and the evacuation time were recorded, and their movement behaviour was monitored by video camera. Based on the experimental data, a numerical analysis was undertaken to formulate an equation for the prediction of evacuation time applying to lecture theatres. The developed equation was compared with other available relationships from the literature. An evacuation model under development, named EvacuatioNZ, was applied to simulate the experiments and the results were compared with the experimental data. The comparison showed that the developed equation showed a better performance in predicting evacuation time of lecture theatres than other available methods however, had some limitations. The EvauctioNZ model was able to be improved by using an alternative geometry input but was still not as accurate as the developed method. A recommended modification of the model was presented for improvement.