Investigation on Smoke Movement and Smoke Control for Atrium in Green and Sustainable Buildings

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The concepts of green buildings and sustainable buildings are promoted actively in the developed countries. Targets are on protecting the environment, using less energy through natural ventilation provisions and daylight utilization, developing better waste management and taking resource conservation into account. Architectural and building design, electrical and mechanical systems, and building management have to be upgraded. However, there are problems in dealing with fire safety, especially in complying with the existing prescriptive fire codes. A hot argument is that smoke control system design in the green or sustainable buildings with an atrium.

Since the physics of air entrainment is not yet clearly understood, most of the fire plume expressions reported in the literature was derived empirically. Experiments and CFD simulation were used to study the different types of thermal plumes such as axisymmetric plume, wall plume, corner plume and balcony spill plume in this report.

As many large space buildings such as cinema, sports arenas containing the sloping floor are designed to meet the function and aesthetic requirement. The smoke movement in atrium with sloping floor is also discussed in this report.

Computational Fluid Dynamics and scale model experiments are two possible methods for the determination of mass transport, contaminant transport, smoke movement and energy transport in large building. The scale model experiments and FDS (Fire Dynamic Simulation) are used in this report.

Three axisymmetric plume equations and two balcony spill plume models are assessed by comparing with the CFD and experiment results. Investigations in this report are useful for fire engineers in designing smoke control systems.

This thesis also describes many significant atrium smoke movement and smoke management research, related efforts and future research, the major topics are as follows: types and configurations of atrium buildings; approach to atrium smoke management design calculation in NFPA92B and comparison of two methods of calculating smoke layer interface heights; smoke exhaust system modes and smoke exhaust effectiveness; atrium smoke filling process and its time constant; pre-stratification and detection ; airflow for smoke control between the atrium and communicating space; sprinkler effect, etc.

This report was written as a work report of my stay at the department of civil engineering of Aalborg University from January 2007 to June 2007. As the time limitation the further analysis of the result is needed when I go back to Chongqing University.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherDepartment of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University
Number of pages124
Publication statusPublished - 2007
SeriesDCE Technical reports

Bibliographical note

This research was carried out by the support of European Community Asia-link Project (Contract No.: CN/ASIA-LINK/011(91-400)).


  • Sustainable Building
  • Atrium
  • Smoke Movement
  • Smoke Control
  • CFD
  • Scale Model


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