Numerical studies on evacuation patterns in atria

J. Li, Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The geometrical shape and evacuation design at 69 local atria were surveyed. Evacuation of occupants in these 69 atria were simulated using the software building EXODUS. Two occupant loadings, one for shopping mall and the other for public access area, following the local codes were considered. The evacuation time for occupants staying at the atrium floor was studied with 16 simulations in each atrium. Results illustrated that the current evacuation design might be revised for some atria. For example during holiday seasons, there might be more people than normal; objects placed in the way of smooth exit paths; additional highly flammable fuel sources put in the decorations; and emergency exits even be locked for security. Each one seems innocuous by itself, but the cumulative effect is astonishing. New codes such as requesting for providing more emergency exits, though it is not welcome, might be necessary. In this case, evacuation design should be verified by simulations with software.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-441
Number of pages15
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Atrium
  • Evacuation
  • Fire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture


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