'Waiting time' for evacuation in crowded areas

Wan Ki Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


There are at least three components in the total evacuation time, though many different components are proposed in the literature. These are the human response time, the travel time and the waiting time. For public access places such as shopping malls and transport interchanges, the waiting time is observed to be the most important component in evacuation under crowded conditions. This part will be studied in this paper. The geometrical shape and evacuation design in 69 malls and public access areas used to be crowded were surveyed. Evacuation times were simulated under two occupant loadings. One is for shopping mall and the other for public access area in following the local evacuation codes. Results were used to estimate the possible waiting time during evacuation under these crowded conditions. It is further confirmed that waiting time is a key element for evacuation in those crowded areas. More attention should be paid on specifying waiting time allowed while designing evacuation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3757-3761
Number of pages5
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • Crowded space
  • Evacuation
  • Waiting time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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