Smoke Control Solutions for Elevator Shafts
Designing multi-story buildings requires architectural and engineering teams to pay close attention to elevator systems as they must meet current safety standards and meet the unique needs of a particular project.
In a new elevator design blog series, RTM delves into mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) considerations as well as fire protection factors related to designing safe and efficient elevator systems. The second blog in the series focuses on smoke control in elevator shafts.
Modern buildings are designed to contain a fire to the location where it starts, with floor plates generally rated to prevent movement of smoke and growth of a fire. For this reason, care must be taken with elevator shafts that penetrate multiple floor levels since they are susceptible to collecting smoke from a fire and transferring it from floor to floor.
In the past, hoistway ventilation was the main approach to smoke control. When smoke was detected in an elevator shaft or lobby, vents in the top of the shaft would open to discharge smoke. However, hoistway ventilation is becoming less preferable because it can exacerbate problems through stack effect, drawing smoky air from the fire floor through the shaft.
Pressurization is an alternative smoke control solution, which begins when a building’s fire alarm system is activated. It works by positively pressurizing the hoistway and pushing air outward through any opening, avoiding smoke infiltration.
To learn more about designing a safe and efficient elevator system, click here to download our latest whitepaper “Top MEP Considerations When Designing for Elevator Systems.”