Use of lifts and refuge floors for fire evacuation in high rise apartment buildings

Williamson, Brian J. & Demirbilek, Nur (2010) Use of lifts and refuge floors for fire evacuation in high rise apartment buildings. In Proceedings of The 44th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland.

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If current population and accommodation trends continue, Australian cities will, in the future, have noticeable numbers of apartment buildings over 60 storeys high. With an aging population it follows that a significant proportion of those occupying these buildings will be senior citizens, many of whom will have some form of disability. For these occupants a fire emergency in a high rise building presents a serious problem. Currently lifts cannot be used for evacuation and going down 60 storeys in a fire isolated staircase would be physically impossible for many. Therefore, for many, the temptation to remain in one’s unit will be very strong. With an awareness of this behaviour trend in older residents, many researchers have, in recent years, explored the possible wider use of lifts in a fire emergency. So far the use of lifts for evacuation has been approved for a small number of buildings but wide acceptance of this solution is still to be achieved. This paper concludes that even in high-rise apartment buildings where lifts are approved for evacuation, architects should design the building with alternative evacuation routes and provide suitable safe refuge areas for those who cannot use the stairs when the lifts are unavailable.

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ID Code: 38996
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Lifts, Refuge Floors, Fire Evacuation, Tall Buildings
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ARCHITECTURE (120100) > Architecture not elsewhere classified (120199)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 09 May 2011 00:30
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 02:14

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