High-rise Building Fire Smoke Management

Student: Dahai (Darren) Qi, PhD Candidate (co-supervised with Dr. Radu Zmeureanu)

Sponsor: Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants


  • Dahai, Q, L. Wang and R. Zmeureanu. 2013. An analytical model of heat and mass transfer through high-rise shafts during fires. Submitted to International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer.
  • Dahai, Q, L. Wang and R. Zmeureanu. 2013. Verification of a multizone network model for modeling coupled thermal airflows in buildings. Submitted to Energy and Buildings.

Research Highlights:

1. Analytical models of smoke spread in high-rise buildings

  • An analytical model was developed for the coupled fire smoke heat and mass transfer through shafts of high-rise buildings.
  • A hand-calculation procedure was proposed to obtain the solution to the analytical model.
  • Smoke temperatures and pressures, and shaft wall temperatures all depend on a non-dimensional parameter.
  • The analytical solutions were plotted in non-dimensional forms, which can be used for designs of smoke control systems in high-rise buildings


2. An updated numerical model of whole-building airflow and thermal model - CONTAM97R

  • CONTAM97R belongs to the family of CONTAM, a computer program developed for about 30 years at the US NIST.
  • Energy balance model was added to CONTAM97R and is being tested for different applications of whole-building airflow and termal simulations.
  • CONTAM97R here is applied to the modeling of fire smoke spread in high-rise buildings.

3. Integration of FDS and CONTAM97R

  • Fire dynamics simulation (FDS) is a well-known LES computer program for building fire dynamics simulations
  • We are integrating FDS with CONTAM97R for whole-building fire and smoke simulations by jusing Java scripts.