Constructal design of evacuation from a three-dimensional living space

Che Heng Gigi Lui, Nai Kong Fong, S. Lorente, A. Bejan, Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-57
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2015


  • Architecture
  • Constructal law
  • Evacuation
  • Pedestrian movement
  • Safety
  • Urban design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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