Florida Institute of Technology Atrium


Provided fire and egress modeling to determine a smoke control system for a three-story university atrium.

The Approach

Fire & egress modeling was utilized to determine the required exhaust capacity and makeup air to serve as an atrium smoke control system protecting a three-story space.  At the request of the owner, the desire was to maintain openness of the atrium, without the inclusion of operable curtains or shutters descending upon a smoke control event.  Due to relatively small atrium space, algebraic hand calculations utilized to determine initial required exhaust capacities resulted in quantities in excess of 200,000 CFM.  In addition, the unique cloud ceiling and plenum exhausted approach was accurately able to be considered and evaluated through the use of FDS, an air and smoke flow dynamic that hand calculations would not be able to account for.  The completed fire and egress modeling approach resulted in 120,000 CFM, a 40% decrease from the hand calculations.  This resulted in extensive savings due to fewer and lower capacity exhaust fans, as well as decreased natural makeup air requirements.  Makeup air was determined from the fire modeling approach to be sufficient from double-doors leading directly to the exterior.

Estimated Cost-Savings

It is estimated that the 40% reduction in mechanical exhaust capacity, and thus decreased natural makeup air and omission for the need of operable curtains, resulted in savings in excess of $150,000 to the owner.

Project details

  • Year: 2020
  • Project: Florida Institute of Technology
  • Client: Ingenuity Engineers
  • Estimated Savings: $150,000+
Leave a reply