Fire and smoke modeling includes a range of potential applications from ensuring that smoke from a fire does not threaten a building’s occupants to ensuring that a building’s structure can withstand the heat of a fire—with or without applied fire protection. Using models such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), CCI’s fire protection engineers are able to accurately model the effects of a fire on a proposed design.
The detailed results of the calculations can be presented using a 3–dimensional computer model of the building that graphically depicts the effects of a fire, including temperature, smoke movement, and toxic gas concentrations. This graphical presentation allows designers, owners, and officials to see the conditions in a proposed building and the level of safety provided by the design.
Fire and smoke modeling is often used in conjunction with egress modeling to demonstrate how fire protection and life safety systems combine to provide for the safety of a building’s occupants. CCI also uses a variety of simpler models, as needed, to assist the design team, building owners, and officials in addressing fire protection and life safety issues.
CCI has a range of tools available to analyze people movement and egress. These tools range from engineering calculations and hydraulic–based models to sophisticated computer models that track the movement of individual occupants through a building. With these models CCI can create a computer video animation of egress from a building. A timed egress analysis is often used in conjunction with computer fire modeling to determine if, and to what extent, mechanical smoke control is needed to provide safe exiting for the building’s occupants.
CCI’s modeling capabilities have been used to address the following fire protection and life safety issues:
CCI uses its expertise at applying a range of fire, smoke, and egress models to develop performance based solutions to fire protection and life safety issues. Computer fire and egress modeling allows building designs to move beyond the specific requirements of the codes and provides the design team with increased flexibility. CCI uses its knowledge and experience with the codes along with its modeling expertise to help ensure acceptance of a project's design by the authorities having jurisdiction while also providing a design that meets the needs of the building owner.