Fire Technology

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1019–1046 | Cite as

Optimization of Emergency Ventilation Strategies in a Roadway Tunnel

  • Ahmed Kashef
  • Hamed H. Saber
  • Lixin Gao


In order to evaluate the effectiveness of in-place emergency ventilation strategies to control smoke spread in the event of a fire in a section of a roadway tunnel, both numerical and experimental studies were performed. The experimental study was conducted to provide the necessary initial and boundary conditions for the numerical phase of the investigation. A fire heat release rate of 1 MW was used in all fire tests. This fire heat release rate was selected to minimize the risk of damage to the tunnel and its associated systems while producing reliable data for visualizing the smoke movement in the tunnel. The numerical study used Computational Fluid Dynamics, Fire Dynamic Simulator version 4.0 to investigate smoke removal in the tunnel for large fire of 30 MW (bus or truck on fire). In total, four field fire tests and seven numerical simulations were conducted. Based on the study results, recommendations were made to optimize the ventilation scenarios in the tunnel section. This article presents the details of the study as well as the recommendations made.


Emergency ventilation strategies Roadway tunnels Fire incidents Visibility Smoke backlayering Computational fluid dynamics Field fire test Fire dynamics simulator 



The authors acknowledge the NRC’s researchers and technical staff and the staff of the Ministère des Transports du Québec who immensely contributed in conducting the successful in situ fire tests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Council of Canada, Institute for Research in ConstructionOttawaCanada
  2. 2.School of Municipal and Environmental EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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