Fire Technology

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 163–186 | Cite as

A Comparative Study on the Influence of Ventilation on Weather- and Fire-Induced Stack Effect in the Elevator Shafts of a High-Rise Building

  • Lin Xue
  • Shouqi Yuan
  • Qize He


This work assessed the impact of ventilation on both weather- and fire-induced stack effect in an 18-story high-rise office building. Elevator shafts are considered the main route of vertical air movement. Pressure distribution induced by cold weather within the elevator shafts was calculated theoretically. Computational fluid dynamics simulations of fire in the same high-rise building under different ventilation conditions were carried out with a fire dynamics simulator. It was found that ventilation exerted a more complex impact on fire than the weather-induced stack effect. For the weather-induced stack effect, the ventilation condition of the building only affected the height of the neutral pressure plane; in fire situations, it did not only affect the height of the neutral pressure plane in a similar manner to the weather-induced stack effect, but also influenced temperature and pressure distributions in the elevator shafts. The smoke movement and the distributions of temperature and pressure in elevator shafts are also learned. The smoke movement in high rises experienced four typical stages after ignition. The ventilation condition of the fire floor influences gas flow into elevator shafts, while that of the upper floors impacts the smoke rise speed in vertical shafts. When the stack effect finally reaches steady state, the gas temperature in the shaft decreases exponentially with height. Based on this assumption, a theoretical model was presented to characterize the fire-induced stack effect in typical high rises. Results showed that the model successfully predicts the pressure distribution in high-rise buildings.


Stack effect High rise Fire Weather Elevator shaft 



The authors would like to thank Prof. Ofodike A. Ezekoye from the University of Texas at Austin for the help with the discussion. The present work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Project No. 2016YFC0800600), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 51706046), and the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (Project Nos. 13231201500 and 17YF1402800).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center of Fluid Machinery Engineering and TechnologyJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Fire Research Institute of MPSShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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