This new Billerica Retirement Residences facility contains an atrium space at its core that is separated from residential wings by fire barrier walls. Our team provided a smoke model analysis of the atrium space to determine design parameters to satisfy the requirements for a smoke control system, including an egress model and a fire dynamics simulation (FDS) model. The results concluded the proposed smoke control system will exceed the code requirements for at least 20 minutes.
The analysis considered stack effect, temperature, wind, HVAC, and climate effects as prescribed by the building code. Within that time frame, egress can be maintained with temperatures up to 160° and visibility for up to 10 meters. Our model was run with reasonable worst-case scenario inputs and still demonstrated that the smoke control system effectively allows everyone to safely egress from the core area of the building. Therefore, we expect an even better performance than the model concluded, making sure all the residents and staff will be protected during a high-risk situation.