A comparative analysis of the use of different zone models to predict the mass smoke flow for axisymetric and spill plumes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sanderson [1] examined the theoretical basis for and the experimentation supporting the predictive smoke zone models currently being used in fire engineering design that are cited, in nationally and internationally accepted guidance documents, to support the increasing use of performance-based building codes/regulations throughout the world. This critical examination identified anomalies: 1) between different researcher’s results, when considering the same fire environment, and 2) areas where the models used in guidance documents have limited empirical support. The variance between models was examined by the parametric variation of critical data input parameters the impact of which indicated that the most recent research produced models that predict a lower level of mass smoke flow than the earlier models. It may be suggested that the more recent research, building on previous work, produces models that can be used with a greater level of confidence however there is no robust evidence to support this. This paper illustrates the variances between the model outputs by means of a case study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-762
Number of pages12
JournalFire Safety Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009



  • fire safety
  • mass smoke flow
  • engineering design
  • predictive smoke zone models

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