Investigation of elevator-aided evacuation strategies for older people in high-rise elderly housing

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

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Original languageEnglish
Article number105664
Journal / PublicationJournal of Building Engineering
Online published5 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023


Staircase evacuation is the major means of fire evacuation for current high-rise residential buildings. However, its feasibility may be questioned as the increasing aging population and many recent constructions of elderly community estates comprising high-rise apartment buildings. The weakness in physical strength and mobility impairment of older people may impede the successful implementation of staircase evacuation. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider facilitating older people's evacuation with elevators, shorted as elevator-aided evacuation (EAE). In order to find the most appropriate EAE strategy for high-rise elderly housing evacuation, three possible strategy modes for EAE are proposed: horizontally rationed EAE (S1), vertically rationed EAE (S2), and refuge floor gathered EAE (S3). Using evacuation simulation to examine evacuation efficiencies of these proposed strategy modes varying in different evacuation scenarios, we find that S2 is appropriate for middle high-rise building (12 & 24 stories) evacuation; S3 is suitable for ultra high-rise building (36 & 48 stories) evacuation with a low occupants' density per floor; S1 is the most preferable for evacuation of ultra high-rise buildings (36 & 48 stories) with a high occupants' density per floor. More importantly, the ratio of occupants assigned to use elevators and stairs for evacuation needs to be regulated according to the occupancy information. Thus, a smart elevator-aided building fire evacuation scheme is suggested, which aims to determine the optimal EAE strategy according to the real-time on-site situation.

Research Area(s)

  • Elevator-aided evacuation, Evacuation simulation, High-rise buildings, Older people, Strategic analysis