Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques

Dionysios Kolaitis, Eleni Asimakopoulou, Maria Founti

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

In this work, a CFD tool is used to study the thermal behaviour of a two-storey residential house subjected to a typical domestic fire scenario. The fire resistance behaviour of the building is evaluated considering two alternative building techniques; steel-skeleton combined with drywall systems and reinforced concrete with brick walls. When gypsum plasterboard is subjected to a high temperature environment, water molecules bound in its crystal lattice are released; this “dehydration” process enhances the building’s fire resistance. The Fire Dynamics Simulator CFD code, developed by NIST, is used to simulate the
momentum-, heat- and mass-transfer phenomena occurring inside the building during a fire; a mixture-fraction model is used to describe the combustion phenomena in conjunction with a radiative heat transfer model. The Large Eddy Simulation (LES) concept is used to describe the developing reactive turbulent flow. The physical properties of the utilized multilayered construction materials are taken into account to accurately describe their thermal response; the highly detailed computational geometry is based on actual architectural drawings. Numerical predictions of the temporal evolution of various quantities, such as gas velocity, gas- and wall-temperatures, toxic gas concentrations, smoke movement and visibility, are obtained for the entire three-dimensional domain that represents the interior of the building. Gas velocity and temperature predictions are used to visualize the developing flow-field and to estimate the heat flux to which each building element is exposed. Predicted wall temperatures allow the comparative assessment of the two investigated construction techniques in terms of fire resistance. Finally, toxic gas concentrations and smoke production and dispersion predictions enable risk assessment for the tenants of the building in the event of a fire.

Conference

ConferenceMiddle East Conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures
Abbreviated titleSMAR 2011
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
CityDubai
Period8/02/1110/02/11
Internet address

Fingerprint

Fires
Fire resistance
Gases
Smoke
Computational fluid dynamics
Heat transfer
Computational geometry
Temperature
Gypsum
Large eddy simulation
Brick
Dehydration
Visibility
Crystal lattices
Risk assessment
Turbulent flow
Reinforced concrete
Heat flux
Flow fields
Mass transfer

Keywords

  • CFD
  • Fire modelling
  • Fire spreading
  • Residential building

Cite this

Kolaitis, D., Asimakopoulou, E., & Founti, M. (2011). Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques. Paper presented at Middle East Conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Kolaitis, Dionysios ; Asimakopoulou, Eleni ; Founti, Maria. / Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques. Paper presented at Middle East Conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.9 p.
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Kolaitis, D, Asimakopoulou, E & Founti, M 2011, 'Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques' Paper presented at Middle East Conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 8/02/11 - 10/02/11, .

Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques. / Kolaitis, Dionysios; Asimakopoulou, Eleni; Founti, Maria.

2011. Paper presented at Middle East Conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

TY - CONF

T1 - Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques

AU - Kolaitis, Dionysios

AU - Asimakopoulou, Eleni

AU - Founti, Maria

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N2 - In this work, a CFD tool is used to study the thermal behaviour of a two-storey residential house subjected to a typical domestic fire scenario. The fire resistance behaviour of the building is evaluated considering two alternative building techniques; steel-skeleton combined with drywall systems and reinforced concrete with brick walls. When gypsum plasterboard is subjected to a high temperature environment, water molecules bound in its crystal lattice are released; this “dehydration” process enhances the building’s fire resistance. The Fire Dynamics Simulator CFD code, developed by NIST, is used to simulate themomentum-, heat- and mass-transfer phenomena occurring inside the building during a fire; a mixture-fraction model is used to describe the combustion phenomena in conjunction with a radiative heat transfer model. The Large Eddy Simulation (LES) concept is used to describe the developing reactive turbulent flow. The physical properties of the utilized multilayered construction materials are taken into account to accurately describe their thermal response; the highly detailed computational geometry is based on actual architectural drawings. Numerical predictions of the temporal evolution of various quantities, such as gas velocity, gas- and wall-temperatures, toxic gas concentrations, smoke movement and visibility, are obtained for the entire three-dimensional domain that represents the interior of the building. Gas velocity and temperature predictions are used to visualize the developing flow-field and to estimate the heat flux to which each building element is exposed. Predicted wall temperatures allow the comparative assessment of the two investigated construction techniques in terms of fire resistance. Finally, toxic gas concentrations and smoke production and dispersion predictions enable risk assessment for the tenants of the building in the event of a fire.

AB - In this work, a CFD tool is used to study the thermal behaviour of a two-storey residential house subjected to a typical domestic fire scenario. The fire resistance behaviour of the building is evaluated considering two alternative building techniques; steel-skeleton combined with drywall systems and reinforced concrete with brick walls. When gypsum plasterboard is subjected to a high temperature environment, water molecules bound in its crystal lattice are released; this “dehydration” process enhances the building’s fire resistance. The Fire Dynamics Simulator CFD code, developed by NIST, is used to simulate themomentum-, heat- and mass-transfer phenomena occurring inside the building during a fire; a mixture-fraction model is used to describe the combustion phenomena in conjunction with a radiative heat transfer model. The Large Eddy Simulation (LES) concept is used to describe the developing reactive turbulent flow. The physical properties of the utilized multilayered construction materials are taken into account to accurately describe their thermal response; the highly detailed computational geometry is based on actual architectural drawings. Numerical predictions of the temporal evolution of various quantities, such as gas velocity, gas- and wall-temperatures, toxic gas concentrations, smoke movement and visibility, are obtained for the entire three-dimensional domain that represents the interior of the building. Gas velocity and temperature predictions are used to visualize the developing flow-field and to estimate the heat flux to which each building element is exposed. Predicted wall temperatures allow the comparative assessment of the two investigated construction techniques in terms of fire resistance. Finally, toxic gas concentrations and smoke production and dispersion predictions enable risk assessment for the tenants of the building in the event of a fire.

KW - CFD

KW - Fire modelling

KW - Fire spreading

KW - Residential building

M3 - Paper

ER -

Kolaitis D, Asimakopoulou E, Founti M. Simulation of fire spreading in a residential building: comparing alternative building techniques. 2011. Paper presented at Middle East Conference on Smart Monitoring, Assessment and Rehabilitation of Civil Structures, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.