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Investigating the impact of occupant response time on computer simulations of the WTC North Tower evacuation

By Edwin R. Galea, Gary Sharp, Peter Lawrence and Andrew J. Dixon


This work explores the impact of response time distributions on high-rise building evacuation.\ud The analysis utilises response times extracted from printed accounts and interviews of evacuees from the\ud WTC North Tower evacuation of 11 September 2001. Evacuation simulations produced using these\ud “real” response time distributions are compared with simulations produced using instant and engineering\ud response time distributions. Results suggest that while typical engineering approximations to the\ud response time distribution may produce reasonable evacuation times for up to 90% of the building\ud population, using this approach may underestimate total evacuation times by as much as 61%. These\ud observations are applicable to situations involving large high-rise buildings in which travel times are\ud generally expected to be greater than response time

Topics: QA75, TH
Publisher: Interscience Communications Ltd
Year: 2007
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