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It is Important to Understand how People Move in Emergency Events
JENSEN HUGHES uses computer models such as buildingEXODUS to gain insight into people movement and how it changes with modifications to the structure, operational procedures and environmental conditions. JENSEN HUGHES does this by employing expert engineering analysis and computational simulation. The computer models are capable of providing both 2D and 3D depictions of the simulation, as well as a variety of movement and congestion data associated with the analysis.
In consultation with the client, JENSEN HUGHES engineers devise a set of scenarios to answer specific questions (e.g., “how long will it take to evacuate a specific portion of a shopping mall / airport / historic building exposed to smoke?” or “what is the optimum configuration of exits during an event involving a high number of attendees?”). The engineers can then make a detailed performance assessment of the structure and of the conditions experienced by the evacuees, under varying conditions. This expertise enables the examination of alternative architectural designs, procedural strategies, security activities, daily operations of a structure, emergency preparedness, the development of training and education activities, scrutinizing third-party calculations and compliance assessment.
JENSEN HUGHES engineers can use egress models to evaluate emergency evacuation scenarios to identify what the critical events are and when, why and where they occur. This allows us to produce general results (e.g., the time to evacuate the building, whether the exit usage is acceptable, etc.) and report specific conditions (e.g., the time spent in congestion at the main exit). These results allow the engineer to make a more informed decision when developing a performance-based design. Often in a performance-based design, egress models are used to determine the Required Safe Egress Time (RSET) and CFD models such as Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) are used to determine the available safe egress time (ASET) for comparison.
JENSEN HUGHES has performed egress modeling to support performance-based designs developed for projects such as the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch, and Mall of America.
JENSEN HUGHES engineers have used timed egress models to evaluate crowd movement scenarios both during normal building usage and during special events, and to evaluate security screening layouts. The models improve emergency management planning by enabling identification of potential evacuation congestion points, and enable quantification of the impact of recommended improvements. JENSEN HUGHES engineers developed a model of the Pentagon building and immediate surroundings that is used to model a wide variety of scenarios; including evacuation during fire events, impact of a new Pentagon main entrance design that utilizes biometric screening hardware, and crowd movement during special events such as the Pentagon Memorial Dedication.
JENSEN HUGHES was involved in the incorporation of its full building Pentagon model into a first-of-a-kind guided evacuation system design that utilizes model predictions of congestion during emergency events to re-route occupants real-time using dynamic exit signage. The system utilizes a route solver to determine the optimal paths of occupant flow during an event and provides direction indication of flow in all corridors, stairways, and corridor junction points in the building.