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Fire-spread modelling through plumbing shafts in interiors of buildings with the application of the Fire Dynamics Simulator software

Awarded: NOK 81,999

Project Number:


Project Period:

2009 - 2010

My PhD research is focused theoretically on structural solutions of plumbing shafts, primarily in residential and civic buildings in terms of fire safety. Plumbing shafts are chimney-like spaces and they are used for vertical building services (sanitary p lumbing, wiring, ventilation etc.). In the case of wrongly designed shafts, there is a considerable risk of fire-spread between floors due to the chimney effect, and a local fire can develop into a large-scale fire during a short time endangering a lot of occupants and building structures (e.g. a timber roof structure). Nowadays, there is a large variety of combustible plastic materials (ducts, cables, insulating) on a small cross-section shaft area and these materials are characteristic of considerable smoke and toxic products development during a fire. The FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator) software models computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and it was developed directly for fire purposes with an emphasis on smoke and heat transport. FDS and its visualizat ion program (Smokeview) is one of the most appropriate but also very exacting applications for fire modelling in plumbing shafts. I was recommended (by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, i.e. co-author of FDS software) to contact Professor B. P . Husted from the Stord/Haugesund University College (HSH) in Norway for his professional experience with FDS. A study of fire engineering (modelling) is my prime concern. The attention will be focused on passive fire protection (structural and dispositi onal design) and active fire elements (e.g. autonomous extinguishing system). Other important reasons for my fellowship are design of CFD model in FDS software solving fire spread in plumbing shafts, possible fire experiments at HSH or acquisition of tech nical data for validation of this CFD model, assistance in research projects with HSH, establishment of professional and friendly contacts between the faculties and also increasing my language level in English.

Funding scheme: