Analysis of experiments and numerical simulations of fire tests for the development of an assessment framework for fire safety of healthcare


  • Andrea Lucherini
  • Ann Beusen (VIPA)
  • Pieter Poppe (WFRGENT nv)
  • Bart Merci (supervisor)


The current vision in healthcare facilities has led to new infrastructure concepts, with an evolution towards open-plan living areas. This brings to higher degrees of “openness” in the building concepts, which can have far-reaching consequences in the field of fire safety, both in terms of fire development and safe evacuation. The current research study investigates how different active and passive fire safety measures (i.e., fire- and smoke-rated doors, fire and smoke screens, smoke extraction, and/or automatic extinguishing system) can limit the smoke spread, with a view to ensure the safety of vulnerable people. The research study first analyses large-scale fire tests of a representative building section, involving different combinations of active and passive fire safety measures. The experimental results are adopted to perform numerical analyses by means of Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD). A representative set of additional CFD simulations is established to investigate the potential impact of modified parameters. The research study finally aims at the development of an assessment framework for the application of alternative fire safety measures, based on a pre-determined level of safety and in function of the chosen evacuation strategy and the type of users present in the healthcare facility.

Graphical abstract Andrea Lucherini