Experimental Data and Numerical Modelling of 1.3 and 2.3 MW Fires in a 20 m Cubic Atrium
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Atria and large spaces are common architectonical features in modern buildings such as high rises, auditoria, warehouses, airports and mass transport stations among others. There is currently an international trend towards the performance-based design for fire safety of these building elements. This design process relies heavily on fire modelling but the knowledge in fire dynamics and the movement of smoke in atria and large spaces still presents some gaps. This paper aims at contributing to close these gaps and reports the three Murcia Atrium Fire Tests conducted in a 20 m cubic enclosure using pools of 1.3 and 2.3 MW. Detailed transient measurements of gas and wall temperatures, as well as pressure drop through the exhaust fans and airflow at the inlets were recorded. The study also includes the effect of the mechanical exhaust ventilation. Results have been compared with those predicted by the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model Fire Dynamics Simulator FDSv4. In general terms, the comparisons between experiments and simulations show good agreement, especially in the far field of the plume, but the accuracy is poor at the lower plume region and near the flame.