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Safe Biobased Buildings through Evacuation Training

The building industry is responsible for approximately 40% of global carbon emissions. The trend of using timber to replace common and less sustainable building materials is ongoing and can be observed globally. Biobased materials, such as timber, present an opportunity to counteract the current record-high CO2 emissions of the building industry. However, these materials are combustible, which poses challenges to design teams. Existing knowledge of fire behavior is no longer valid for such buildings, and strategies that rely on occupants staying in the building are not feasible. The approval of timber buildings is also challenged by a knowledge gap on human behavior in fire evacuation.

This project is a research and innovation initiative aimed at enabling the use of biobased, renewable materials in the building industry. The project focuses on researching the evacuation dynamics of occupants in buildings made of biobased materials such as timber. The project aims to develop new fire engineering methods and evacuation strategies that ensure the safety of occupants in such buildings. The project is an Industrial PhD project, and it falls within the focus area of ambitious and lasting green research and innovation initiatives for the private sector.

Among expected outcomes is a promotion of the use of timber in construction, which will lead to the growth of the industry while also reducing carbon emissions. Secondly, the project will provide the industry with the scientific knowledge necessary to develop effective safety strategies for timber buildings. This will enable the creation of new design options and innovative concepts for building usage. Additionally, the project will develop new scientifically documented approaches to evacuation strategies, both for new and existing buildings, offering customers new possibilities for designing sustainable buildings.

The project runs from September 2022 to September 2025

Project Lead
Leo Willem Menzemer
PhD student