Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Study on the fire growth in underground green corridors


green corridor, fire hazard, computational fluid dynamics, underground


Underground green corridors are getting popular worldwide intending to integrate greenery into built environments. Green corridors provide greenery benefits and aesthetic pleasing view. Proper irrigation is necessary to maintain live plants in green walls. Automated irrigation with adequate amounts and proper drainage is vital to avoid overflows and drowning of plants. Due to improper irrigation plants in green walls can die quickly, creating a potential fire risk in underground green corridors. This paper aims at investigating the ignition, fire propagation and smoke propagation in underground green corridors. Numerical simulations with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and physical scale modeling experiments were performed. The simulation has been completed based on heat release rate (HRR, kW/m2) data obtained from the cone calorimeter experiments for three plant species, namely; Hedera helix, Peperomia obtusifolia and Aglaonema commutatum. CFD simulations were conducted for an underground passage with a green wall. Results showed that a fire does not occur in underground corridors with fresh and live plants. However, fire risk increases gradually with drying out of plants. For dry plants, the surface temperature may reach above 850 °C. The fire spreads rapidly in about 20 s. An experimental study was carried out on a reduced-scale underground green corridor to investigate the fire and smoke propagation. It is observed that in the vertical direction fire spreads up to the ceiling rapidly. However, fire spreads slowly in the horizontal direction along the green wall. The experiments show that when the green wall is ignited, it may tremendously affect the evacuation due to smoke spread along the corridor and fire propagation in the vertical direction. It is recommended to decrease the fire risk in underground corridors with properly maintained green walls, especially in evacuation paths. This work is an initial study towards the analysis of fire and smoke propagation in underground green corridors.


Tsinghua University Press