Experimental study on upward movement in a high-rise building

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-405
Journal / PublicationSafety Science
Online published2 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


With the rapid development of modern cities such as Hong Kong, increasingly more underground facilities and high-rise buildings are being built. Stairs provide important emergency access in these types of structures, especially for upward travel. This study was a controlled experiment on ascending stairs in a typical public housing estate in Hong Kong. The participants were of different age, gender and occupation. Various movement characteristics, including ascent speed, maximum ascending level and changes in blood pressure and heart beat rate before and after the experiment were extracted and analysed. Ascending speed was related to the age of the participants and 95% of participants could ascend to four levels or more. The older participants had relatively greater differences in blood pressure and heart rate before and after the experiment. The study also showed the typical and unique movement characteristics of Hong Kong people. Taken together, the results of this study will be useful for the further development of evacuation models and for enhancing building design in Hong Kong and other Asian cities with similar pedestrian characteristics. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Evacuation, Fire safety, Stairwell, Travelling speed, Upward travel

Citation Format(s)