Publications / 2022 Proceedings of the 39th ISARC, Bogotá, Colombia

Fire Evacuation and Management Model Based on Building Information Modeling and Virtual Reality

Ren-Jie Gao, Kun-Chi Wang, Xiang-Hao Lai and Wei-Hsiang Hung
Pages 291-296 (2022 Proceedings of the 39th ISARC, Bogotá, Colombia, ISBN 978-952-69524-2-0, ISSN 2413-5844)

Fire management is a key aspect of building management. During a fire, the primary reason why evacuees cannot evacuate in time and causalities occur is their lack of familiarity with the evacuation route. In practice, two dimensional images or videos are used as aids for firefighting educational training. However, they can only display a partial view of an evacuation route (not a 360° panorama) and thus have limited effectiveness in helping evacuees to understand the evacuation route. We proposed a fire evacuation management model that combines building information modeling (BIM) and virtual reality (VR) to support fire evacuation. The model is divided into two modules, namely (1) the evacuation route, and (2) educational training modules. The evacuation route module is used to analyze the shortest evacuation route from a room (where evacuees are located) to an exit and to estimate the shortest evacuation time. To verify whether the simulated route generated by the VR fire management system is applicable to evacuations, we further calculated the allowable evacuation time with the empirical equation provided in the Building Fire Refuge Safety Verification Technique Manual. The VR-based educational training module helps evacuees to evacuate from a building by providing a first-person perspective simulation. The immersive characteristic of a VR environment allows people to view an evacuation route from a 360° perspective, which deepened their impression of an environment. In this study, the proposed model was introduced and tested in a case study, which verified its ability to assist management units with fire management assessments and support fire evacuation training for users of buildings.

Keywords: Fire evacuation; Building information modeling (BIM); Virtual reality (VR)