Smoke Movement Modeling

East Side Access is one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects currently underway in the United States. The project will bring Long Island Rail service to Grand Central for the first time. It encompasses work in multiple locations throughout Manhattan and Queens and includes more than eight miles of tunneling.

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The Problem

The stations needed emergency ventilation and egress systems. Also, the peak fire size heat release rates for M-3 and M-7 rail car vehicles was unknown.

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The Solution

We conducted a performance-based fire engineering study on the rail cars and determined that the windows in the vehicles were a key component to the growth of the fire. A materials hazard analysis of the rail vehicle window glass was conducted and incorporated into the analysis of the station smoke control system design. Comparative studies of smoke movement and occupant egress informed the design of the station egress and smoke control systems. We also used the (Hughes Post-Flashover and Decay) HAIPFD fire model to predict heat release of a rail car fire and Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) temperature data inputs into a Heat Transfer in Nine Geometrics (HEATING) calculation to determine the greatest exposure hazard from the rail car.

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The Results

Through our fire, smoke and egress modeling services, we helped East Side Access decrease the size of their smoke control system and overall required egress time, reducing overall construction costs while maintaining a compliant level of safety.