Literature review



The objective of the chapter is to take a glance at the available literature on various topics to be covered in this seminar. In this chapter author has tried to review published information from websites, journals research papers, books etc in the areas of planning and design principles of egress design, its elements, principle evacuation time and travel distance, studies on density and flow rate, methods for analysis of means of egress, occupant load and its calculations, social behaviours in emergency situations, egress simulation models and human behaviour modeling, etc. This chapter gives a background and briefs about the depth of the research topic. 1.2 Review of literature 1.2.1 General exit requirements

There is only limited information published relating to the rate at which people move along corridors, stairways or through doorways. The report published in 1935, “Design and Construction of Building exits," by NBS was based upon surveys which measured the widths of corridors, doorways, and stairways in buildings that were erected within ten years preceding the report. Rates of travel along exit routes, usually under normal occupancy conditions, were also measured and from these data recommendations for safe building exit design were formulated. The inquiry was to include: (1) The relation of discharge rate to exit width; (2) the difference between rate of flow up and down stairways and the relation of rates of flow on stairways to rates on ramps, on the level, and through doors; and (3) the number of square feet occupied per person in exits when discharging crowds of people. It was hoped that sufficient evidence could be secured to answer controversial questions, to check existing data on the subject, and to determine what basic facts, if any, had not been developed. Richard W. Bukowski (2008), explains the international code requirements for egress stairs in his paper Emergency egress from buildings. His paper talked about the origins of the 44-inch exit stair in the US, which also explained why the US designs exits for “capacity” and why the capacity is based on the population of a single floor. The exit is sized to “store” people, motionless within the protected exit enclosure, such that the population of one floor will fit within one flight of the stair, with each person in a space 22 inches wide and standing on every other step. This philosophy was recognized in the 1935 National Bureau of Standards (NBS now NIST) publication, Design and Construction of Building Exits. Author has also paraphrased the descriptions from the 1935 report on the various methods or approaches to calculate minimum width of exits necessary to provide for occupant safety like, Capacity method, flow method, Combined method, Probability method and floor area method. (Bukowski.R.W., 2008) Some of the important planning considerations which affects the life safety, if absent or not functioning. Secondly, it discusses on the need for establishing exits, proper exit width, adequate number of exits etc as described in Life safety features . (Life safety features, n.d.)

owing to the increasing size and weight of a typical person especially in US. 2008) study shows that exit stairways wider than both the required 1120 mm and 1420 mm proposed for the NFPA documents are already being designed into major high-rise buildings. Where protected elevators are provided as the primary means of vertical egress in fires and other emergencies stairs shall be a minimum width of 1100 mm (44 in).2. Author also explains on the scientific study of exit width based on ergonomics and the studies on the earliest of stair geometry. Some case studies are included to illustrate some of the dangers inherent in common types of buildings.W. Horizontal transfer corridors designed as means of egress components shall be provided every 25 floors (generally on mechanical floors) to link all egress stairs and to provide the ability to safely move between stairs. in his paper throws light to the importance of incorporation of refuge floors in tall buildings in Asia. He discusses on some aspects of building design and their influence on the rescue of people in building fires and of the main techniques of rescue. like smoke load and enabling of smoke control techniques and some of the problems of smoke control in tall buildings are also discussed.(2008). Author brings into light. and the approaches used in US and in other countries. along with a review of the international code requirements for egress stairs.W. documented current regulatory requirements for means of egress in fires.2.W. 2008). 1.C.P.2 Identification of means of egress components Bukowski.R. Where stairs are the primary means of vertical egress in fires and other emergencies such stairs shall be a minimum width of 1400 mm (56 in).(2008). Shimshoni 2007( cited in Collier.P. For example. The paper questions the adequacy of the basic 22 inch dimensions being used.R.R. a 1420 mm nominal width stair performs about 38% more effectively – for flow – than a traditional 1120 mm nominal width stair even though the former is only 27% wider (Collier. Designers are cautioned however.The variables that help to determine the most appropriate technology of life safety for a particular situation and about escape route definitions and its components & principles of design is briefly discussed in the book „A complete guide to Fire & Buildings‟ (ERIC. 1972). It also explains studies in tread geometry conducted by an architect in France named Francois Blondel and also reviews international code requirements for egress stairs. not to make the clear width between handrails larger than 1525 mm as extensive crowd use puts people in the middle of the stair beyond the reach of a handrail. 1725 mm is the largest nominal width recommended for exit stairways.3 Principles of evacuation time and travel distance Collier. Wide stairs of 1725 mm provide more people flow per width than narrower stairs.Marchant.R. Bukowski. people have increased in size considerably in the period since provisions for egress and minimum exit widths were implemented for buildings and assembly areas on the basis of contemporary population mobility studies.C. 1.C. The current situation is that the existing . more concepts of importance to life safety.P. Thus. their origins and scientific basis.(2008) in his study has demonstrated that with the changed demographics of the worldwide population.R.

fire safety must be presented on a continuing. emphasizes on the use of Protected Occupant Egress Elevators Where required.R.2008) wrote in response to the potential need for more timely evacuation of occupants in tall buildings that new provisions allowing the use of elevators in certain situations prior to Phase I Emergency Recall Operation (as mandated by the Firefighters Emergency Operation provision of ASME A17. but it takes place only once a year. (sep. year-round basis. Many fire departments hold open houses at their stations some time during National Fire Prevention Week. In such situations the elevators remain operable and are available for occupant evacuation. The study focuses on cultural. provided that the elevators have not been recalled upon detection of smoke in the elevator lobbies. 1.P. Quade..4 Role of elevators in modern means of egress Bukowski. 2007( as cited in Collier. which must occur in such occupancy on a regular basis..B & Douglas. The evacuation plan is tied directly to fire drills. Life safety features (United States Fire administration) describes the emergency evacuation plans and the purpose of it. anthropometric and mobility differences internationally.1 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators) be put forward. and with time the impact on the specification of minimum exit widths needed for emergency egress. the building manager or owner should keep records to show compliance. Similarly a new standard is proposed (ISO 2006) that suggests new technologies – and strategies for evacuations using elevators coupled with means of providing information to people (evacuees) to make correct decisions in their use. His study reviews the existing minimum exit width requirements in the New Zealand Building Code (NZBC) Compliance Document C/AS1 (DBH 2005) prompted by a recent paper by Fruin and Pauls (2007) expressing concern about current practices. Occupant egress elevators shall operate in a hoistway protected from the adverse effects of water and opening into a protected lobby on each floor that serves as an area of refuge while awaiting the elevator.C. Whereas Schanchenmayr.M. Bukowski. apart from new buildings. including commuter rail and light rail transit stations. machine room or hoist ways. Suggested means of correcting this potentially serious shortfall in egress capacity go beyond the obvious solution of simply increasing exit widths which. all elevators except any designated fire service elevator(s) shall be designed and arranged to permit their safe use for occupant evacuation. which is an excellent time to provide home fire safety information.R.P. with both power and control wiring protected by fire resistant construction at least equal to the fire resistance requirement applicable to the primary structural frame.W. would be considered uneconomic and impractical.2. . addresses the train way egress requirements and provide recommendations and general guidelines for the application of the NFPA 130 egress element for a broader range of transit systems and modes.egress provisions are unlikely to deliver the evacuation times required by fire safety designs.(2008).P. These occupant elevators shall be powered by normal and emergency power. Elevators remain usable after initiation of the building fire alarm system.1998) in their paper studies the evacuation requirements for train ways alone.

.R. Spain. on average.S. standards and handbooks which are used for performance predictions affecting life safety in existing and proposed facilities. as discussed by Pauls and Fruin in their publishing... and 60 persons per 22-inch unit per minute through doorways. densities of streams of people. were sufficiently confirmed to warrant their retention in connection with the requirements under development. data and formulae that are the basis for design requirements in codes. they suggested that recent and ongoing demographic changes in the population warrant reconsideration of the long accepted and established beliefs.W. The basis of the established calculation methods subject to change are:  Human body mass and sizes have increased significantly since the 1960s.2. with brief descriptions on various terms & standards to be followed in Evacuation exits and routes. which had been in use on the basis of earlier observations. be so physically able..R.K. According to him the parameters characteristic of the movement of people include streams of people. Yet in any performance analysis of an egress system in these or other countries.(2008).M. in his paper says that 1935 NBS report clearly stated the correlation between width and flow. Australia and Japan.Ya. 1935)regulators require a timed egress analysis to estimate Required Safe Egress Time (RSET) which is compared against Available Safe Egress Time (ASET). In particular. 1.” Paper also describes about effective space requirement and the concepts of effective width of a stair. the design of egress systems are based on the population of the largest.R.1.2008)agreed that. Fruin and Pauls (2007) draw attention to concerns about current practices and methods of calculating egress capacity. Approximate methods for calculating the permissible and actual evacuation times and building design requirements for safe evacuation of people are described.5 Studies on density and flow rate Roytman. The committee (Bukowski. (Design and Construction of Building exits. ASET is generally determined by fire modeling to estimate conditions in the egress path that might lead to injury or death.6 Methods for analysis of means of egress According to Bukowski. single floor.2. Studies of the movement of relatively fit commuter people that were used to measure egress characteristics may not be applicable to the general population who may not. speed of motion and traffic clearing capacity of an exit. width of streams.  The original basis used for determining the movement characteristics of the general population is not universally applicable. Bukowski.W (2008). “… rates of 45 persons per 22-inch unit per minute for travel down stairways. length of stride. in the U. (1969) in his book describes about the distinctive features of the movement of people during emergency evacuation and stages of evacuation. and China the number of floors served by the stair impacts the total number of people served by a stair of a given width. In U.W.

2. Muha. Life safety features. and departure from.Averill. The paper brings out three recommendations for future research. discusses on the factors that determine occupant load.B & Douglas.P. (Bukowski. and how occupant load will determine the number of exits required from a room or building and their total width. Reneke. and ii) a new category of business use in the form of high density business use spaces. width of doors and passageways.R. Finally.7 Occupant load and its calculations Bukowski.1998)reviews The theoretical concepts that underlie the egress requirements supports a more enlightened application of the NFPA 130 Standard. then recommends alternate occupant load factors and business use categories.J. future data collections should focus on emergency evacuation data rather than fire drill data.R.T. future data collections and model inputs should utilize distributions. The NFPA 130 egress element is placed in a broader context in order to illustrate the overall intent of the egress requirements as well as their consistency with. in his research project Evaluating Occupant Load Factors for Business Operations recommends i) an increase in the value of the occupant load factor for general business use in the Life Safety Code from 100 ft2/person to 150ft2/person.W. such as call centers. interior finish. 1. changes in office space planning and use.D. headroom. maximum travel distance to a stair.R. The paper sets out definite explanations for egress model theory with examples. availability of office furnishings. This study investigates the origins of the 100ft2/person factor. The importance of the two central concepts of performance-based design.2. A model for efficiently calculating the range of egress solutions for a particular design is presented. model building codes. handrails etc are also discussed.. study identifies sources of uncertainty in RSET (required safe egress time) calculations. The building regulations from various countries and the methods used for egress is summarized and the factors influencing characteristics of egress stair design like minimum number of egress stairs provided. Paper also explains on the method of calculating net and gross floor area for buildings with examples and also cited occupant load calculation examples.D. 2012. First. ASET (available safe egress time) and RSET (required safe egress time to achieve performance objectives. and Peacock.(2008). Second. . with focus on data and modeling. in his studies explains why the US designs exits for “capacity” and why the capacity is based on the population of a single floor.P.P. The limitations in quantity and quality in existing data sets for model inputs are validated.W. sep. particularly in non-conventional settings. 2008) 1. and current office occupant load preferences... previous occupant load studies. modeling output should utilize cumulative distribution functions to visualize the range of egress solutions.8 Special requirements for healthcare and mass transit terminals Application Guidelines for the Egress Element of the Fire Protection Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit Systems (Schanchenmayr. Quade.M. (2007).

1991. 1990). 1951). the normative theory (Aguirre et al. Despite this widespread practice.M. 1.2. the panic theory suggests that people become panicked in an emergency situation and act irrationally.P. In contrast. in their paper „A Computational Framework Incorporating Human Behaviors for Egress Simulation‟ talks about a comprehensive review of various social theories about crowd behaviors. 2005. and the place script theory (Donald and Canter. application guidelines and sample calculations. and sample calculations published with the NFPA 130 Standard do not adequately guide practitioners and have led to inconsistent application of the NFPA 130 egress element. Social scientists and disaster management researchers have been studying human behaviors in emergency situations and have developed a variety of theories about crowd behaviors in emergency situations. potentially leading to overly conservative design solutions or to inadequate designs that are extremely costly to remedy retroactively.9 Social behaviors in emergency situations Chu and Law (2012).B & Douglas. on the other hand. Quade. 1983). 2011. Examples of prevalent theories on crowd behaviors include the panic theory (Le Bon. the decision-making theory argues that people act rationally to achieve a better outcome in the situation. passenger railroad systems including those which provide commuter services”. evacuation requirements for train ways. Sime.  The definitions. no guidance is offered for the application of the NFPA 130 Standard for non-rapid transit systems and facilities  The NFPA 130 Standard contains minimum design criteria with regard to emergency egress only..Schanchenmayr.  Although the NFPA 130 Standard technically addresses only rail rapid transit modes and “does not cover requirements for . the decision-making theory (Mintz.. 1987).1998) throws light into the following concerns:  Insufficient industry understanding of NFPA 130 emergency egress element. McPhail.. Earlier theories in crowd behavior suggest that people tend to behave individually and show non-adaptive behaviors in dangerous situations. in the absence of standard specifications for transit stations. instructions. 1960). emphasize the sociality of the crowd (such as pre . designers frequently view the NFPA 130 requirements as the principal design guidelines for transit stations. the affiliative theory (Mawson. (sep. Recent theories. Turner and Killian. however. For example.P. This application often occurs without sufficient understanding of the relationship between the NFPA 130 Standard and the underlying requirements of the NFPA 101 Code.. The book provides an overview and detailed technical discussion of the NFPA 130 egress requirements as they apply to transit stations.

Computational models etc. To the authors‟ knowledge the research that this paper is based on is the sum total of high density crowd egress studies performed on the New Zealand populous... and (3) urgency levels. Safe egress is one of the key design issues identified by facility planners. According to the author Social behaviors are complex phenomena emerged from the interactions among a group of autonomous agents. Furthermore. Xiaoshan. 2012) Hoskin. social group.human and social behavior and crowd dynamics. these tools rely heavily on assumptions about human individual and social behaviors. (2004) . It is conjectured that human behaviors in egress is influenced at three levels: individual experience. in order to test the appropriateness of recommended occupant densities used to calculate egress capacities for such venues in New Zealand. As is evidenced from the selected prevailing social theories on human behaviors. (2) decision-making . individual.” (Chu and Law.existing social relationships or emerging identity during an emergency situation) in explaining the occupants‟ reactions in past accidents. ). namely. the behaviors are usually incorporated into the computational model in an ad hoc manner. inconsistent and even incorrect. (2004) investigated emergency egress considerations of stadia by examining occupant characteristics and discussing how effective crowd management can be used to improve evacuation procedures in his paper „Crowd characteristics and egress at Stadia‟. which have been found to be oversimplified. group. social characteristics of individuals play an important role in determining their behaviors during emergencies. Xiaoshan. we classify the theories into three behavior categories. Computational tools are now available for the simulation and design of emergency evacuation and egress. and crowd interactions.P et al. The findings are based on recent research on fire protection and evacuation procedures of stadia venues primarily in New Zealand. The staged representation of social effects forms the basis in the design of our egress simulation framework.P et al. and crowd. manager and inspectors. The paper describes that the prototype system can demonstrate . Different social theories explain human behaviors in emergencies using different mechanisms and variables. (2004) presents a framework for studying human and social behavior from the perspectives of human decision-making and social interaction and to incorporate such behavior systematically in a dynamic computational model suitable for emergency egress analysis through his paper on Human and Social Behavior in Computational Modeling and Analysis of Egress. “In order to systematically study different social theories and incorporate them into a computational framework. in their study discusses briefly on the topics . Hoskin also discusses about the potential components of a stadium evacuation that differs from normal egress. However. Non-adaptive crowd behavior (According to the author existing theories on crowd behavior in emergency situation can be classified into three basic categories: (1) panic .

By representing the virtual agents and the environment specific to evacuation situation. .. 2012) Xiaoshan. 3) to create phenomena about which to theorize. but also provides a means to test and validate the corresponding behavioral theories. Chu and Law have described an ongoing research effort in developing a modular and flexible computational framework to incorporate human and social behavioral models for egress simulations. the research addresses the issues in incorporating human and social behaviors in egress simulation. cellular automata and agentbased systems. and for dealing with emergencies. Simulation results from the prototype reveals that social behaviors exhibited by the evacuating crowd can lead to changes in the overall egress time and pattern.” (Chu and Law. presented a crowd simulation model that takes into account human and social behavior. and herding behaviors. 2005 (As mentioned in Chu and Law (2012)) describes the system framework and the features currently incorporated in the prototype.e. queuing. In addition to study crowd behavior based on observations and historical records. In this paper. describes the basic framework and the implementation of several social behaviors. According to them the three main reasons for developing computer simulation for crowd behaviors: 1) to test scientific theories and hypotheses.P et al. which is difficult since such environments are often dangerous in nature. In the following. a single behavioral theory may not be sufficient to explain the response of people in different emergency scenarios.. 1. and study the effects of such social behaviors on an evacuation scenario based on the historical fire accident at the Station Nightclub in Warwick. (2004) through their paper. Rhode Island. “Due to the high variability of human behaviors in different situations. 2) to test design strategies. computer simulation is a useful alternative that can provide valuable information to evaluate a design. Each crowd setting ( emergent phenomena including competitive. In their paper Chu and Law (2012). to help planning process..2. and bidirectional crowd flow. The ability to model social behavioral theories in a computational program not only provides more realistic simulation results. A full understanding of non adaptive crowd behaviors normally requires exposing real people to the specific environment for obtaining empirical data.10 Egress simulation models and human behavior modeling Grosshandler et al. which are based on recent social science studies about human response in emergency situations. The three most common approaches based on the system‟s virtual representation of the building environment and the occupants are the particle systems. is therefore desirable. they discuss the results for possible effects of social behaviors on evacuation and then an overall framework for the multi-agent based simulation system. through implementing several well-studied social behaviors in the prototype model. which can account for various social theories in different emergency scenarios. A flexible simulation platform. crowd attributes and physical environment) is unique.

The study on literature has helped in formulating survey and in supporting the case studies.3 Summary This chapter gives a list of literature that is available and will be used in the seminar. . is further discussed on each chapters and its sub sections. the corresponding literature available have been discussed. The salient points that have been covered in literature.1. The literature has been divided into various topics and in each topic.

corridor.2 Common path of travel The common path of egress travel.1 Components: Exit.1 Components of means of egress and their planning principles Means of egress Means of egress is a continuous and unobstructed way of travel from any point in a building or structure to a place of comparative safety. or CPET. or external staircase. Exit door. or to a VERANDAH or terrace(s). Exit access.” . unenclosed exit access stair or unenclosed exit access ramp. Common paths of egress travel shall be included within the permitted travel distance. Exit Access is that portion of a means of egress that leads to an exit and Exit Discharge is that portion of a means of egress between the termination of an exit and a public way. passageway(s) to an internal staircase. A Horizontal Exit is a way of passage from one building to an area of refuge in another building on approximately the same level. Paths that merge are common paths of travel. 2. An exit may be a doorway. Every exit.1. corridor. or a way of passage through or around a fire barrier to an area of refuge on approximately the same level in the same building that affords safety from fire and smoke originating from the area of incidence and areas communicating therewith.1. 2. is termed as Exit access door. which have access to the street. is defined in the IBC as: “That portion of exit access which the occupants are required to traverse before two separate and distinct paths of egress travel to two exits are available. or to the roof of a building or a refuge area.CHAPTER 2. 2. Lifts and escalators shall not be considered as exits. Exit discharge Exit is that portion of a means of egress that is separated from all other spaces of a building or structure by construction or equipment as required to provide a protected way of travel to the exit discharge. An exit may also include a horizontal exit leading to an adjoining building at the same level. area or space where the path of egress enters an intervening room. A door or access point along the path of egress travel from an occupied room. exit access or exit discharge shall be continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full use in the case of fire or other emergency.

Dead-end corridors shall not exceed 20 ft (6100 mm). a horizontal exit.Common Path of Travel is that portion of exit access that must be traversed before two separate and distinct paths of travel to two exits are available. (Ronald L.[NFPA] 2. supervised automatic sprinkler system. Geren.1. A common path of travel shall be permitted for the first 20 ft (6100 mm) from any point where the common path serves any number of occupants. an exterior exit stairway or an exterior exit ramp.1. external escape route or final exit (NFPA).3 Travel distance The distance to be travelled from any point in a building to a protected escape route. Although not specifically defined in the International Building Code (IBC).1 (2009 IBC) as. “the maximum length of exit access travel. and for the first 75 ft (23 m) from any point where the common path serves not more than 50 occupants.1 Common path of egress travel 2. The concern with travel distance is to ensure that occupants can reach an exterior . Common path of travel shall not exceed 100 ft (30 m) in a building protected throughout by an approved. an exit passageway. supervised automatic sprinkler system. measured from the most remote point within a story along the natural and unobstructed path of egress travel to an exterior exit door at the level of exit discharge. [which] shall not exceed the distances given in Table 1016. travel distance is described in Section 1016. an entrance to a vertical exit enclosure. Common path of travel shall not exceed 75 ft (23 m) in a building not protected throughout by an approved. it is the total distance an occupant must cover to reach an exit as defined by the IBC (See Figure).1. 2009) In essence.

(Ronald L. except in assembly and institutional occupancies in which case it shall not exceed 6 m. Geren. For most non-sprinklered occupancy groups. 2009) According to NBC. Whenever more than one exit is required for any room space or floor of a building. The travel distance to an exit from the dead end of a corridor shall not exceed half the distance specified in Table 22. With a sprinkler system installed.2. it increases to 300 feet. Group I and H occupancies have various travel distances listed. this distance increases to 250 feet. but for B occupancies. . and U are limited to 300 feet (400 feet when sprinklered). since these occupancies are required to be sprinklered. (Ronald L. Geren. Exits shall be so located that the travel.1 provides the limitations on travel distance based on occupancy and the installation of a sprinkler system. 2009) 2.2 Determining travel distance Table 1016. but are limited to only sprinklered buildings. S. Non-sprinklered Groups F-2. exits shall be placed as remote from each other as possible and shall be arranged to provide direct access in separate directions from any point in the area served. distance on the floor shall not exceed the distance given in Table 22.door or protected exit enclosure without having to take an extremely long path to get there. this distance is 200 feet. thus reducing the occupants‟ exposure to a potential hazard.1.

with a 12 in. (305 mm) clearance there from (3) Terminating at one of the following: (a) Center of the doorway (b) Other point at which the exit begins (c) Smoke barrier in an existing detention and correctional occupancy .NFPA 101 states. starting from the most remote point subject to occupancy (2) Curving around any corners or obstructions. the travel distance to an exit shall be measured on the floor or other walking surface as follows: (1) Along the centerline of the natural path of travel.

3.3. states that all required exits that serve as egress from hospital or infirmary sections shall be not less than 2 m in clear width including patient bedroom doors to permit transportation of patients on beds. or that serves as a horizontal transfer within an exit stair system. For detailed information on recommendations for buildings and facilities for the physically handicapped. Further. the capacity shall not be required to be aggregated.3 Staircases 2. storage. and all buildings used as educational. They shall be of enclosed type. interior open space or to an open place of safety. . the provision or otherwise of alternative staircases shall be subject to the requirements of travel distance being complied with. (2) Where stairs are credited with egress capacity in accordance with 7. shall meet the following criteria: (1) The minimum width of the exit passageway shall be not less than two-thirds of the width of the exit stair. The width of an exit passageway shall be sized to accommodate the aggregate required capacity of all exits that discharge through it.1 Staircase construction All buildings.2. In new construction.3. institutional.2.3. Where an exit passageway serves occupants of the level of exit discharge as well as other stories. The minimum width of corridors serving patients bedrooms in buildings shall be 2400 mm.1. having area more than 500 m2 on each floor shall have a minimum of two staircases. the minimum width of any exit passageway into which an exit stair discharges. or mattresses. the exit passageway width shall be sized to accommodate the same capacity as the stair. with such capacity determined by use of the capacity factors in Table 7. which are 15 m in height or above.3. assembly. and hazardous occupancies and mixed occupancies with any of the aforesaid occupancies.2 Minimum width & Clear width According to NFPA. litters. NBC. unless one of the following conditions applies. at least one of them shall be on external walls of buildings and shall open directly to the exterior. industrial. reference may be made to good practice 2.

and any doorway leading to it shall have the required fire resistance.2 External staircases An external staircase is desirable to be provided for high rise buildings.1. The route to the external stairs shall be free of obstructions at all times.3. when provided shall always be kept in sound operable conditions. used as a fire escape.2. Unprotected steel frame staircase will not be accepted as means of escape. 2. Entrance to the external stairs shall be separate and remote from the internal staircase.3 Codal provisions on staircases N o: FEATURES 1 Material of construction INTERNAL STAIRCASE Shall be constructed of noncombustible materials throughout. External stairs shall have straight flight not less than 1250 mm wide The use of spiral staircase shall be limited to low occupant load and to a building not exceeding 9 m in height. External stairs.3. A staircase shall not be arranged round a lift shaft.3. shall be inclined at an angle greater than 45° from the horizontal. Hollow combustible construction shall not be permitted.1. A spiral stair case shall be not less than 1500 mm in diameter and shall be designed to give adequate headroom. steel staircase in an enclosed fire rated compartment of 2 h will be accepted as means of escape. All external stairs shall be directly connected to the ground. . No external staircase.1. EXTERNAL STAIRCASE 2 Minimum width The external stairs shall be constructed of noncombustible materials. However. No combustible material shall be used for decoration/wall paneling in the staircase. 2.1 Internal staircases Internal stairs shall be constructed as a self contained unit with an external wall of the building constituting at least one of its sides and shall be completely enclosed.

Balusters/railing shall be provided such that the width of staircase does not reduce Handrails shall be of a height not less than 1000 mm and not exceeding 1200 mm. This shall be 300 mm for assembly. 6 Handrail Handrails shall be provided at a height of 1000 mm to be measured from the base of the middle of the treads to the top of the handrails. External stairs shall have 250 mm treads The maximum height of risers shall be risers not more than 190 mm. business and other buildings. The treads shall be constructed and maintained in a manner to prevent slipping. There shall be provisions of balusters with maximum gap of 150 mm. institutional. Care shall be taken to ensure that no wall opening or window opens onto or close to an external 8 Openings into staircases . educational. The minimum headroom in a passage under the landing of a staircase and under the staircase shall be 2. All landings of floor shall have floor indicating boards prominently indicating the number of floor as per bye-laws. The maximum height of riser shall be 190 mm for residential buildings and 150 mm for other buildings and the number shall be limited to 15 per flight.Landing The minimum width of tread without nosing shall be 250 mm for internal staircase of residential buildings.2 m.3 Stair dimensions 5 Mid. The number of risers shall be limited to 15 per flight. hotels.

The pressure difference for staircases shall be as under: . No living space. Direction of 9 directly to the openspaces or opening. Hence the exclusion of smoke and toxic gases from the protected routes is of great importance. to raise their pressure slightly above the pressure in adjacent parts of the building. air is injected into the staircases. Pressurization is a method adopted for protected escape routes against ingress of smoke. As a result. airflow grills and doors. Entrance to the external stairs shall be separate and remote from the internal staircase. openings around pipes ducts. store or other fire risk shall open directly into the staircase or staircases. Entrance through a large lobby. smoke will readily spread to adjacent spaces through the various leakage openings in the compartment enclosure. lobby) The main and external staircases shall be continuous from ground floor to the terrace level. 2.3. External exit door of staircase Entry to staircase ( enclosure atground level shall open Door . In pressurization. It is smoke and toxic gases.stairs. lobbies or corridors. especially in high-rise buildings. compartmentation plays a vital part in limiting the spread of fire. that will initially obstruct the free movement of occupants of the building through the means of escape (escape routes). as perfect sealing of all these openings is not possible.2 Pressurization of staircases Though in normal building design. if necessary. such as cracks. ingress of smoke or toxic gases into the escape routes will be prevented. The pressurization of staircases shall be adopted for high rise buildings and building having mixed occupancy/ multiplexes having covered area more than 500 m2. rather than flame.

but levels slightly lower may be used for these spaces if desired. landings and balconies having the same fire-resistance rating. capacity and limiting dimensions except for special uses and occupancies.4 Ramp Ramps shall comply with all the applicable requirements for stairways regarding enclosure. the ramp shall be surfaced with approved non-slipping material. the same levels shall be used for lobbies and corridors. For all slopes exceeding 1 in 10 and wherever the use is such as to involve danger of slipping.5 Fire Tower Fire towers are the preferred type of escape route for storeyed buildings and these shall be considered as the safest route for escape. . and its associated escape routes. In high rise buildings with over 8 storeys or 24 m in height. The difference in pressurization levels between staircase and lobbies (or corridors) shall not be greater than 5 Pa. Their number. In certain cases steeper slopes maybe permitted but in no case greater than 1 in 8. 2. where normally a level of pressurization is maintained in the protected escape routes and an increased level of pressurization can be brought into operation in an emergency. with platforms. 2. The slope of a ramp shall not exceed 1 in 10.If possible. designed for operation only in the event of an emergency. Pressurization system may be of two types: a) Single-stage. at least one required means of egress shall preferably be a fire tower. location and size shall depend on the building concerned. The fire towers shall be constructed of walls with a 2 h fire resistance rating without openings other than the exit doorways. and b) Two-stage.

No deductions shall be made in the gross area for corridors. closets or other sub-divisions. The gross floor area shall include. the area shall include all space serving the particular assembly occupancy. any occupied connecting room or space in the same storey or in the storeys above or below. but in no case less than that specified in Table 20.2.6 Occupant load Occupant Load is for determining the exits required. where sleeping accommodation is provided. shall be calculated at not less than 7. NBC. in addition to the main assembly room or space. orphanages. Occupant load in dormitory portions of homes for the aged. etc.5 m2 gross floor area/person. the number of persons within any floor area or the occupant load shall be based on the actual number of occupants. insane asylums. . where entrance is common to such rooms and spaces and they are Available for use by the occupants of the assembly place.

8 Number of occupants per unit width Occupants per unit exit width shall be in accordance with Table 21. NBC 2005 .2. 2.7 Occupant load of mezzanine floor The occupant load of a mezzanine floor discharging to a floor below shall be added to that floor occupancy and the capacity of the exits shall be designed for the total occupancy load thus established.

2.2 shall lead to a free and unobstructed way to the exterior of the building.2. A clear width of 250 mm shall be counted as an additional half unit.2. used to measure the capacity of any exit.7.9.2 In existing buildings. 7. shall be 500 mm. 2.9 Capacity of egress elements 2.9. 7. the 50 percent limit on egress capacity shall not apply if the 50 percent limit on the required number of exits is met.3 through 7.7. and such way shall be readily visible and identifiable from the point of discharge from the exit. Clear widths less than 250 mm shall not be counted for exit width.7. unless otherwise permitted in 7. Occupants per unit exit width shall be in accordance with Table 21 of NBC 2.3 The discharge specified in 7.1 and 7.2 and provided that the criteria of 7.9. or the portion of the level of discharge used for discharge shall be protected by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 9.2.7. and not more than 50 percent of the required egress capacity.2 Capacity of exit access The unit of exit width.3 Capacity of exit discharge Discharge through Areas on Level of Exit Discharge shall not more than 50 percent of the required number of exits.2.2.1 One hundred percent of the exits shall be permitted to discharge through areas on the level of exit discharge in detention and correctional occupancies 7.7. 7.4 The level of discharge shall be protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with.2.7 and shall be separated from the non-sprinklered portion of the floor by a fire resistance rating meeting the requirements for the enclosure of exits.2.7 also are met.7.2.1 Capacity of exit door Size of the exit door of exit way should be calculated accordingly keeping in view the travel distance as per Table 22 of NBC. .7. shall discharge through areas on the level of exit discharge.7.7.

among several other publications. and the length shall be not more than 30 ft (9140 mm). (2) The foyer shall be separated from the remainder of the level of discharge by construction providing protection not less than the equivalent of wired glass in steel frames.” in the first. (3) The foyer shall serve only as means of egress and shall include an exit directly to the outside. This phenomenon.) In essence. (This document was later designated as NFPA 101A. heavier occupants moving more slowly. (150 mm) on each side. Guide on Alternative Approaches to Life Safety. It has been best examined in relation to stairway width. and the supporting research. and thus swaying laterally. to maintain balance when walking.7. and third editions of the SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering and was also addressed in Appendix D of the 1985 edition of NFPA 101. at least those stairways studied in Canada during the late 1960s through the 1970s in office building evacuation drills and in crowd movement in a variety of buildings with assembly occupancy. and this chapter remained in the document through the 1998 edition. second. the effective width phenomenon recognizes that there is an edge or boundary effect at the sides of a circulation path. Alternative Approaches to Life Safety.4 shall not apply where the discharge area is a vestibule or foyer that meets all of the following criteria: (1) The depth from the exterior of the building shall be not more than 10 ft (3050 mm).The requirement of 7. More recent studies have not been performed to determine how the edge effect might be changing (or has changed) with demographic changes to larger. although quantitative estimates of their edge effect are not as well established as they have been for stairways. which is the nominal width minus 12 in. such as corridors and doors.4 Capacity of staircases The effective capacity of stairways has been shown by research to be proportional to the effective width of the stairway. but a similar phenomenon occurs with other paths. were described in the chapter. In 1988.9. this appendix was moved to form Chapter 2 of the 1988 edition of NFPA 101M. 2. The impact of such . “Movement of People.2. (305 mm). where the edge effect was estimated to be 6 in.

Without taking into account occupant demographic changes in the last few decades that affect evacuation performance. 2. (810 mm).1 Natural ventilation 2.demographic changes. (1422 mm). for example. Thus. The resulting permitted stairway capacities. (1120 mm) is as effective proportionally as the effective width of a nominal 44 in.6 mm) capacity factor in Table 7.10. (1120 mm) stair.3. the formula for enhanced capacity of stairways wider than 44 in.218) in the equation is simply the effective width of 32 in.10.11 Exit Discharge Lobby 2. (7.10 Exit access ventilation 2. by the 0. for several stairway widths are shown in Table below.3 in.3. (810 mm) divided by the capacity of 147 persons that is credited.4). to the corresponding nominal width.3.12 Exit marking The exit sign with arrow indicating the way to the escape route shall be provided at a suitable height from the floor level on the wall and shall be illuminated by electric light connected to . especially on stairs. 32 in. but will be most pronounced for nominal widths less than 56 in. the denominator (0. (1120 mm). 44 in.1. (1120 mm) assumes that any portion of the nominal width greater than 44 in.2 Mechanical ventilation 2. based on occupant load of single stories (in accordance with 7. which are significant and influential for evacuation flow and speed of movement on stairs. that is.1. has the effect of increasing the time of evacuation in a way that affects all stair widths.

escalators.13 Illumination That part of emergency lighting which is provided to ensure that the escape route is illuminated at all material times.5 m. provided that the switch controllers are equipped for fail-safe operation.2 Size 2. and the motion sensor is activated by any occupant movement in the area served by the lighting units.5 m x 0. exit access shall include only designated stairs. The floors of areas covered for the means of exit shall be illuminated to values not less than 1 ft candle (10 LUX) at floor level. exit discharge shall include only designated stairs. Artificial lighting shall be employed at such locations and for such periods of time as are necessary to maintain the illumination to the minimum criteria values herein specified. aisles. the illumination timers are set for a minimum 15minute duration. or at times the main lighting is not available.corridor circuits.12. the illumination of floor exit/access maybe reduced during period of performances to values not less than 1/5 ft candle (2 lux). theatres. ramps. Illumination of means of egress shall be continuous during the time that the conditions of occupancy require that the means of egress be available for use. at all times when persons are on the premises. aisles. for example. escalators. All exit way marking signs should be flush with the wall and so designed that no mechanical damage shall occur to them due to moving of furniture or other heavy equipments. According to NFPA 101. In auditoriums. . It shall be of size not less than 0. ramps.12. either for the whole building or for the escape routes.12. and passageways leading to an exit. concert halls and such other places of assembly.3 Placement 2. all landings of floor shall have floor indicating boards prominently indicating the number of floor as per bye-laws.1 Type 2. walkways. motion sensor–type lighting switches shall be permitted within the means of egress. For the purposes of this requirement. The floor indication board shall be placed on the wall immediately facing the flight of stairs and nearest to the landing. and exit passageways leading to a public way. corridors. 2. for the purposes of Illumination of means of egress. corridors. Further. Automatic.

3m2 per person to accommodate the occupants of two consecutive floors.1 Source Illumination of means of egress shall be from a source considered reliable by the authority having jurisdiction.14 Refuge area 2. shall be to values of at least 1 ft-candle (10. shall be provided as under.2.2 lux) in any designated area.8 lux). (4)*The minimum illumination requirements shall not apply where operations or processes require low lighting levels. provided that all requirements of Section 7. . measured at the floor. Battery-operated electric lights shall be permitted to be used as an emergency source to the extent permitted.1 shall be illuminated as follows: (1) During conditions of stair use.14.13. whichever is higher. The equipment or units installed to meet the requirements of Section 7. 2. (3) In assembly occupancies. 2.3 Illumination level The floors and other walking surfaces within an exit and within the portions of the exit access and exit discharge designated in 7.10 also shall be permitted to serve the function of illumination of means of egress.2 Alternate source 2.2 lux) during periods of performances or projections involving directed light.1.1 Requirement For buildings more than 24m in height.13.13. other than new stairs during conditions of stair use.4 Illumination intensity 2.8.13. The refuge area shall be provided on the periphery of the floor or preferably on a cantilever projection and open to air at least on one side protected with suitable railings. measured at the walking surfaces. (2) The minimum illumination for floors and walking surfaces.2 ft-candle (2. the minimum illumination for new stairs shall be at least 10 ftcandle (108 lux). Battery-operated electric lights and other types of portable lamps or lanterns shall not be used for primary illumination of means of egress.8 for such illumination are met. refuge area of 15m2 or an area equivalent to 0. the illumination of the walking surfaces of exit access shall be at least 0.2 ft-candle (2. Required illumination shall be arranged so that the failure of any single lighting unit does not result in an illumination level of less than 0.

14. Where there is a difference in level between connected areas for horizontal exits. b) For floors above 39m. A horizontal exit shall be equipped with at-least one fire/ smoke door of minimum one hour fire resistance of self closing type.5 Protection 2.3 Access 2. Doors in horizontal exits shall be operable at all times from both sides.14.14. Horizontal exit is a way of passage from one building to an area of refuge in another building on approximately the same level. or a way of passage through or around a fire barrier to an area of refuge on approximately the same level in the same building that affords safety from fire and smoke originating from the area of incidence and areas communicating therewith.14.a) For floors above 24m and up to 39m. and provided that none of the other exits is a horizontal exit.6 Illumination 2. one refuge area on the floor immediately above 39m and so on after every 15m.3m2 per person to accommodate the occupants of two consecutive floors. one refuge area on the floor immediately above 24 m.14.14. Horizontal exits shall be permitted to be substituted for other exits where the total egress capacity and the total number of the other exits (stairs.15 Horizontal exit According to NFPA 101. For buildings more than 24m in height. steps shall not be used. refuge area of 15m2 or an area equivalent to 0.2 Location 2. unless otherwise permitted. ramps.4 Connectivity 2. it is required to have direct connectivity to the fire escape staircase for evacuation. The width of horizontal exit shall be same as for the exit door ways. 2. Refuge area provided in excess of the requirements shall be counted towards FAR. whichever is higher. . ramps. shall be provided. door openings leading outside the building) is not less than half that required for the entire area of the building or connected buildings.7 Marking 2. not more than 1 in 10 m slope shall be provided. Further. Minimum width 2.3 Access 2.6 Illumination 2.15.16 Exit door hardware 2.18 Means of egress: Underground Structures INSERT .5 Marking 2.1 Requirement Protection 2.17 Fire Check Door 2.

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