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February 16, 2012

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Evacuation simulation technology – buildingEXODUS

Scientists at the University of Greenwich have released the next generation of their evacuation and crowd-simulation software, buildingEXODUS.

The software, created by the university’s Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG), is described as one of the world’s leading design tools for simulating evacuations of people from buildings in both normal and emergency conditions.

According to the programme creators, the latest release – known as Version 5.0 – has new capabilities that will enable building engineers to perform the most realistic desktop simulations ever generated, predicting not only how individual people interact with each other and the built environment but also how they can be debilitated by hazards such as heat, smoke and toxic gases.

The Version 5.0 software draws extensively on data and experience captured from experiments and real-life incidents. Its human behaviour ‘submodel’, explains the FSEG, includes rules governing the often complex behaviour of people affected by smoke in fire situations, and the use of signage in an emergency. It also examines the psychological aspects governing how, and why, people select an escalator, or an adjacent staircase as their escape route.

Professor Ed Galea (pictured), director of the FSEG and developer of buildingEXODUS, said: “The arrival of this level of sophistication on the desktop means that building engineers can test more designs in less time, giving them the most accurate and extensively researched resources for organising the evacuation of buildings.”

For more information on buildingEXODUS, visit the Group’s website at http://fseg.gre.ac.uk/

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