Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

A study on the spread of fire caused by the stack effects of patio—A computer modeling and a reconstruction of a fire scenario


stack effects, patio, smoke, fire safety


This study reported an actual building fire incidence for a ten-story building that occurred in Taiwan in 2008. Due to the stack effects the fire occurred on the third floor spread through the patio in a short time to the upper floors and caused three deaths in a tenth floor apartment. This study also attempted to reconstruct the actual fire scenario using computer simulation. The spread of the fire to the combustibles due to hot smoke was accounted for in the simulation. Variation of the fire scenario and the factors causing the fire spread were studied. It was found that an initial fire size below 1.0 MW would not generate sufficient hot smoke to cause fire spread despite the stack effects. However, any obstructions in the patio such as window shading has been found to cause heat accumulation that would aggravate the fire spread problem. The presence of a canopy at the top of the patio can cause higher concentration of smoke for the upper floors. The simulation results are found to be in good agreement with the actual incidence. Moreover the simulation results also show that when the fire spread through the patio the initial fire size of 1.0 MW at the fire site can grow to a building fire of 300 MW.


Tsinghua University Press