Safety Zone Magazine January 2018 - Page 14

In a performance based design approach, it turns out, one of the ways to meet safety code is to utilize egress modeling. As such, Jensen Hughes employed Pathfinder egress modeling, which enables advanced evaluation of pedestrian movement, evacuation, and congestion studies through software-based simulation. This included going to the facility and observing how the football players moved throughout their existing building and interacted with each other in egress corridors and room exiting. “Jensen Hughes staff filmed how our football players exited their main team room and moved together before entering their individual position meeting rooms,” says Borick. “They analyzed the video to determine how their exit could be expedited and restrictions removed.” Along with this, Clemson University utilized advanced smoke detection technology in the form of four VESDA-E VEA fire alarm system units, manufactured by Xtralis, a global provider of early detection and remote visual verification of fire, gas and perimeter threats. 12 Safety Zone Magazine • January ‘18 “For the VEA your detection time is essentially zero,” says Ernst. “We had multiple scenarios with different levels of occupant loading in the building based on the way the university uses it. Overall, we gained 2-3 minutes of time to egress for each scenario due to early detection [compared to standard detection].” Aspirating Technology In smoke detection, advanced technologies such as the VEA provide earlier warning by aspirating – or drawing in air – from each room through small, flexible tubing. The air is then analyzed to identify the presence of minute smoke particles in a continuous process. This is in stark contrast with the way traditional smoke detectors are designed. Conventional detectors are typically installed in each room or common space and connected to a central fire alarm panel by low voltage electrical wiring. When a significant amount of smoke accumulates in the chamber of the smoke detector, the alarm sounds.