Elevator evacuation: Exploring behavioural aspects

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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As tall buildings and deep underground structures around the world increase in both numbers and complexity, the issues with evacuation of such structures, e.g., fatigue during evacuation or difficulties for people with functional limitations to evacuate, become more prominent. Elevator evacuation could be a possible solution to these matters but in order for such elevators to be an effective solution for evacuation, they have to be used by the evacuees. Thus, the human behaviour aspects of elevator evacuation, such as willingness to use the elevators and accepted waiting times, are crucial for their effectiveness. The current research aims to increase the knowledge of these aspects in order to improve the possibility to utilise elevator evacuation in buildings and other structures. To achieve this, three different experiments were conducted using different experimental methods and performed in different settings (i.e., high-rise buildings and a virtual underground metro station) to collect human behaviour data on elevator evacuation. The results show that even though there is a general reluctancy towards the use of elevators in a hypothetical evacuation scenario, most people tried to use an elevator to exit in a unnannounced evacuation scenario in a high-rise hotel building. In experiments performed in a virtual underground metro station, the willingness to use evacuation elevators was significantly increased by technical systems, such as information and guidance systems. In a similar manner, longer waiting times were accepted when count-down timers were present above the elevators, showing how long the evacuees had to wait before an elevator would arrive. To help designers consider the uncertainties associated with the behavioural aspects of elevator evacuation, a design strategy is proposed. This strategy can be used when incorporating evacuation elevators in the evacuation design of a building, or other facility.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Building and Environmental Technology
  • Nilsson, Daniel, Supervisor
  • Frantzich, Håkan, Supervisor
  • Ronchi, Enrico, Supervisor
  • Mcnamee, Robert, Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date2022 Jun 17
Place of PublicationLund
ISBN (Print)978-91-8039-238-9
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-8039-237-2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 20

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Civil Engineering

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