Prescriptive fire safety design has been proven as not the most efficient or safe way to approach a fire strategy as codes cannot cover the full envelope of building shapes, functions and their interaction. In order to mitigate this, performance based design has been developed, where each building is evaluated independently (e.g. PD 7974-6 describes principles and methods as a standard for pedestrian evacuation).
When it comes to evacuation, the process becomes exponentially harder in large and complex buildings with large numbers of rooms and occupants. The reliability of these procedures becomes an issue when numerous alternative escape routes are available and when queuing is likely to take place. The designer has to take into account human interaction and information available for the agents that are heading to the exit.
As a result computer modelling tools have been developed to assist designers in this process and Trenton Fire offer Pathfinder for projects involving complex evacuation scenarios. This software enables us to quickly and effectively visualise the impact that key elements of the evacuation strategy have on the overall evacuation. Changes in the layout or strategy that can have cascading effects during an evacuation can be investigated in just minutes, ensuring fast delivery of projects. Visualisation tools employing computer game graphic technology provide key features to help the user identify issues early on and ensure an intuitive, user-friendly interface to disseminate results with the wider design team.
Access to evacuation modelling software allows Trenton Fire to assess evacuation times and procedures. Its is particularly advantageous in large complex buildings.