A model for assessing occupant flow in building spaces

Author's Department

Construction Engineering Department

Find in your Library


Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Automation in Construction

Publication Date





As buildings are becoming larger in size, the need to efficiently plan and predict the occupant movement in building spaces is gaining more attention and importance. Occupant movement in large public buildings such as train stations, airports, universities, hospitals, and shopping centers needs to be carefully analyzed and predicted for safety and also for other issues such as the level of service (LOS), comfort, and short-term planning. Currently there are many detailed occupant/pedestrian simulation models that can predict the level of service in corridors and other dynamic spaces in the building in terms of occupant flow. However, these simulation models require a well-formulated design with detailed design features. In addition, significant investment in time and effort is required in order to build the models for simulation analysis. Therefore, there is a need for a simple and quick analysis method to aid in the sizing and design of building spaces during the early design stages so that these spaces can accommodate occupant flow efficiently and safely. This paper presents a method to evaluate the LOS of occupants in dynamic buildings spaces without the need for building and running detailed simulations, so that designers can understand how well a particular space accommodates occupants' movements and activities early on in the design phase. The proposed method can be used to determine the occupant flow density in a wide array of building layouts and designs as it correlates to the level of service. A mathematical model that offers a closed-form formula for sizing space for occupant flow is developed. The model is presented in this paper and validated using real-life data. Results should be of interest to practicing architects as well as researchers. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

First Page


Last Page


This document is currently not available here.