CYPE develops a program that simulates the spread of fire and smoke in buildings for improving building safety and ensuring evacuation


The program, which will be able to model any fire source, will also be able to validate fire safety measures in existing buildings

The Spanish centre for the development of industrial technology (CDTI), under the Ministry of Science and Innovation, has granted 448,000 euros to this project

Company officials will present the program to fire brigades and specialists responsible for designing fire extinguishing systems to collect feedback

This year, CYPE will be developing a program capable of modelling and virtually recreating fire spread in buildings, by analysing their heat and smoke spread. This project, which is based on the computational fluid dynamics model FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator) developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA), will carry out a dynamic simulation of the evolution of the fire, specifying the way in which flames and smoke may interfere with the evacuation routes of buildings.

As a result, the new program will allow project designers and firefighters to be aware of the evolution of the most likely fires in the building in advance, while identifying improvements that can be made in the building design to improve the safety of the users of the buildings. To this end, the program will also calculate the spreading time and the temperature that could be reached in certain areas of the building.

According to the Director of Corporate Development at CYPE, Benjamín González, "There are many factors that affect building safety in the event of fire" and, among such factors, he highlights "The concentration of smoke, as a high level can prevent proper evacuation and put the safety of the occupants at risk". The width of the corridors, the quality of the materials or the fire protection installation will be some of the parameters considered by this software that "Will be linked to all the programs already developed by CYPE, which will allow project designers to check and view their designs along with the regulations required by the Spanish building code (CTE)".

The program will also have the capacity to pinpoint the source of the fire at any point in the building to ensure that an evacuation is viable and can be applied to existing buildings, which will "verify" whether the design applied to the building can be improved, even if it complies with current regulations. According to Benjamín González, " There is currently no similar technology", which is why the program will be presented to the fire brigades and the specialists responsible for designing extinguishing systems.

This ambitious project, devised by CYPE, has been assessed by the Spanish centre for the development of industrial technology (CDTI), whose managers have financed the implementation of this software tool, with an estimated development cost of 597,000 euros. Thus, the software company for Architecture, Engineering and Construction is going to develop its second program with the help of the CDTI, as last year it received another grant to develop a program that allows designers to reduce the energy consumption of buildings by 10%.

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The program, which will be able to model any fire source, will also be able to validate fire safety measures in existing buildings