Evacuation System Design for Underground Facilities
FRG provides testing and development of evacuation systems for complex underground facilities, such as metro stations or rail/road tunnels.
Using a digital model (i.e. a Virtual Environment) of the built environment, participants are exposed to and evaluate different evacuation designs, such as notification and way-finding systems, in Virtual Reality experiments.
Our experts have previously worked for product manufacturers, engineering consulting companies and in universities as well as research institutes and fire testing laboratories. We are active in standards development bodies and professional societies including International Standards (ISO TC92) and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) with our experts holding leadership roles.
Get it right first time
Underground facilities, such as metro stations and tunnels, pose severe challenges on evacuation. As an example, many new underground stations are deep stations, which means that stair evacuation is not feasible for all occupants, such as the elderly, children and people with movement impairments.
Research has revealed that designs often fail if they are not properly evaluated and tested, which can only be done by evaluating and testing the systems before implementation.>
Testing, evaluation and development
Past research has clearly illustrated the need for testing of proposed evacuation systems before implementation to avoid costly design mistakes. Traditionally, testing has been done in physical experiments, but the use of Virtual Reality (VR) has proven to be a cost effective alternative. VR also allows testing of evacuation systems in buildings that do not yet exist.
In VR experiments, participants experience the built environment using a Head Mounted Display (HMD). A HMD has one screen per eye, which makes it possible to immerse participants in a highly realistic 3D environment. Using hand controllers or a treadmill, participants can move around and interact with the environment. VR experiments enables evaluation and testing of new evacuation systems, which effectively reveals design mistakes and identifies points of improvement.
Our key team members have been involved in multiple projects on evacuation design for rail and road environments, including:
- Bypass Stockholm road tunnel (Swedish Traffic Administration) – Design of exit portals
- Sofia metro station (Stockholm Metro - SL) – Development of way-finding systems and alarms
- Norwegian tunnel design (Norwegian Public Roads Administration) – Evacuation concept
FRG key team member Daniel Nilsson was recently involved as a reviewer of the evacuation design for the expansion of Stockholm Metro, namely a review of the evacuation systems for three planned underground stations.
Key Team Members
FRG has access to both in-house and sub-contracted key team members with the necessary knowledge and experience of evaluating evacuation systems using VR.
Bengt Dahlgren Fire Research AB