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Terms & Conditions

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Privacy and Cookies

Data Security

Website Terms and Conditions

Software Licensing Terms


Privacy and Cookies

We may change this privacy notice from time to time by updating this page.

What information do we collect?

When you use this website, we may collect the following information:

  • the areas of the website that you visit
  • information about your computer, such as which browser you are using, your network location, the type of connection you are using (e.g. broadband, ADSL etc) and your IP address

We do this by using cookies, which are small files that help us track how our visitors use the website and enable us to understand where we can improve your experience. If you would like to find out which cookies we use and the information they track see our Cookies Policy.

Once you submit or register information through our website we will know who you are and your activities on this website and information about you and/or your company may be recorded on our systems. For example, we may ask for personal information when you download our software including:

  • your name
  • company name
  • email address
  • postal address
  • telephone number
  • country where you are based
  • Social media ID
  • your comments/questions
  • services/markets you are interested in

We may also collect personal information from telephone calls and/or other correspondence with you.

What do we do with the information we collect?

The information we capture is used for various purposes. The main purpose is to provide you with our services (whether available via the website or offline). We also use the information for:

  • website development
  • understanding how our visitors interact on the website
  • understanding what our clients are interested in
  • understanding what potential clients are interested in
  • dealing with enquiries/concerns
  • marketing our services and people to you
  • market research
  • service development
  • internal record keeping

Marketing

We would like to provide you with information about our services and other information which we think you may find interesting. We may send you such information by post, email and/or telephone, unless you have asked us not to do so.

We will not provide your personal information to other organisations for marketing purposes without your explicit consent.

If at any time you do not want your information used for direct marketing purposes, please contact us or follow the unsubscribe link in our marketing email messages.

Who do we share this information with?

We may share your personal information with companies acting on our behalf who will only use the information to provide that service. However, we will retain control of your data and any third party service provider that we use must act in accordance with our instructions. We may also share your personal information with a purchaser or potential purchaser of our business.

In some circumstances, we may have to disclose your personal information by law, because a court or the police or other law enforcement agency has asked us for it.

How to get copies of or amend the information we have collected

You may request details of the personal information that we hold about you under data protection laws. If you would like a copy of the information held about you please write to us at oasys@arup.com or at: Data Protection Officer, 13 Fitzroy Street, London, UK, W1T 4BQ. Please note that we may charge a small £10 administration fee for information requests.

If you think any information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, please email us as soon as possible. We will correct or update any information as soon as we can.

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Data Security

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect, including locked cabinets, electronic password protection and pass card access to buildings.

If at any point you suspect or receive a suspicious communication from someone suggesting they work for Oasys or a website claiming to be affiliated with Oasys, please forward the communication to us or report the incident by email to oasys@arup.com or in writing to Oasys, 13 Fitzroy Street, London, UK, W1T 4BQ as soon as possible.

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Website Terms and Conditions

The contents of this web site are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights under international conventions. No copying of any words, images, graphic representations or other information contained in this web site is permitted without the prior written permission of the webmaster for this site.

Oasys accepts no responsibility for the content of any external site that links to or from this site.

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Software Licensing Terms

Terms and Conditions of Purchase

The full conditions of purchase and maintenance for all Oasys software are set out in the Oasys Software Licence and Support Agreement. All prices are subject to TAX at the current rate.

Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice – please ask for a written quotation.

Although every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all information contained herein, the contents do not form or constitute a representation, warranty, or part of any contract.

Superseded Versions of Terms and Conditions

Oasys keeps copies of all superseded versions of its terms and conditions.

Maintenance & Support Services

Twelve months support and maintenance is included with most products. Thereafter maintenance is typically 20% of the current sales price.

An annual maintenance service is available for most programs after the first year.

This service includes:

  • telephone/fax/email/web based support
  • free software updates available via internet download
  • personalised output header for many products

Office Building Evacuation Modelling

Software Used on this Project

Project Overview

This case study is originally a Oasys competition entry.

This extended abstract gives a brief overview of the evacuation analysis for a new office building build development in London, UK. The proposed design comprises of a large footprint building (160m x 100m) spread across 3 floors which is primarily intended to be used as an office and studio for television. During peak times the building is intended to have a maximum occupancy of 3,700 people.

The principle goals of the client for the building design were to:

  • Promote connectivity between different areas;
  • Increase visual and mobility access to all areas;
  • Promote use of the stairs by not enclosing them (providing lifestyle benefits); and
  • Increase visual ascetics of the space.

To achieve these goals an innovative architectural open plan design was proposed which included a large atrium in the centre of the structure connecting all levels with almost no internal walls or enclosed stairs. All levels are connected via a series of stairs and ramps which link to a central mezzanine level within the atrium.

The proposed design creates a number of fire engineering challenges where variations from standard prescriptive fire safety guidance and precedent are required which results in extended travel distances to places of safety and increased potential for fire/smoke spread. As such an evacuation analysis was required to demonstrate that the building occupants could be safely evacuated before a probable fire caused considerable untenable conditions.

The MassMotion modelling software was chosen to conduct the evacuation analysis as it provided a suite of functions which allowed the building to be modelled and the above analysis to be conducted through in-depth interrogation of simulation results. It also provides visually realistic simulation output which assists with interpreting results and communicating key findings to approving authorities.

In addition to the evacuation modelling, a series of computer simulations were conducted to assess how smoke would flow through the building and potential impact on the viability of egress routes and or prevent occupants from being able to safely evacuate.

How Oasys proved invaluable

Evacuation Scenarios

In total 15 evacuation scenarios were explored which analysed evacuation dynamics and evacuation times considering:

  • Management procedures guiding occupants to use underutilised stairs

Management procedures often form a key component of an evacuation strategy as occupants may not be aware of all evacuation routes. Using the default settings and parameters within MassMotion, occupants above ground typically elected to use one of four main stair cores to evacuate. This meant a series of stairs connecting to a central mezzanine area were underutilised and extended the total evacuation time of the building. Using the ‘evacuate zone’ task allowed the representation of management procedures (i.e. fire wardens and staff training) to direct certain occupants to use alternate stairs and decease the total evacuation time.

  • Occupants initially delaying evacuating through performing pre-evacuation tasks

When an evacuation alarm activates during a fire, often occupants delay evacuating due to a variety of reasons e.g. thinking the alarm is a drill, putting on coats before leaving, seeking information from others etc. To assess the impact of this behaviour, the ‘delay’ tasks was utilised where occupants were assigned a pre-evacuation time from a log normal distribution (see graph below) which was taken from real world pre-evacuation data of an actual office evacuation. Pre-evacuation times ranged from 0-6 minutes with most occupants starting to evacuate within approximately 1 minute.

Pre-evacuation delay distribution

  •  Fire/smoke blocking various egress routes

As part of the evacuation analysis, the impact of a fire/smoke blocking various egress routes (e.g. stairs/ramps and exits) was assessed in order to determine the sensitivity of the building design and evacuation strategy to a fire in different locations. Coupled with the fire and smoke modelling (CFD) modelling results ascertaining the extent of smoke spread in a worst case fire scenario, the impact of a hypothetical fire was implicitly represented in different locations within MassMotion. Associated egress routes were subsequently deemed to be not available during each scenario. CFD modelling is typically computationally expensive in comparison to evacuation modelling. As such the use of MassMotion to implicitly represent the effects of a fire upon egress routes reduced the need to run individual CFD models for each evacuation scenario. This saved time required to conduct the analysis.

For all scenarios MassMotion provided a stochastic mechanism to represent a variety of human factors during an evacuation including the assignment of initial starting locations, preferred walker speeds, and pre-evacuation times. As a consequent, running a simulation multiple times will produce slightly different results as occupant attributes vary between simulations runs. In addition, different evacuation dynamics may also emerge between each simulation run. To ensure a sufficient range of these human factors are considered within the results based on the underlying distributions, each scenario was run ten times. As an indicator of variance between repeat runs the total evacuation time was measured. The maximum proportional difference between the total evacuation times for each repeat run was then recorded for all scenarios. The maximum proportional difference between repeat runs was less than 11% for all scenarios. This suggests that either the range of human factors represented by the stochastic mechanisms are fully represented within ten simulation runs or the variation in these factors has little impact upon the results. In both cases ten simulations was considered a suitable number of repeat runs.

Based on the evacuation analysis and averages of repeat runs for each scenario, the following conclusions were drawn:

  • In the event of all exits being available and the assumption of good management procedures directing occupants during an incident, the building can be evacuated in approximately 8 minutes .
  • In the event of a number of stairs/exits being discounted due to fire/smoke within close proximity in the most onerous case, the assumption of good management procedures directing occupants during an incident, and occupants being assigned a pre-evacuation time, the building can be evacuated in approximately 11 minutes . This is 43% longer than when all stairs/exits are available and occupants respond immediately.
  • With the exception of stragglers (a very limited number of people who take an unrealistically long time to start their evacuation), pre-evacuation times did not have a significant impact on the total evacuation time as the time required to evacuate the building is governed by the travel and queuing at the stairs.
  • A number of areas were recorded where prolonged high levels of congestion occurred, particularly around entrances to certain stairs in various locations and the main front ticket barriers (See areas of red in diagram below). A number of architectural changes to the layout and management procedures have been proposed to reduce congestion and increase evacuation efficiency.
   
First floor Second floor
   
Ground floor Level of service/Congestion key

 

Figure 3: Level of service/congestion contour map

The evacuation analysis formed part of the Technical Design Fire Strategy which was agreed in principle by the approving authorities in early 2014. Subsequently the analysis has provided the following benefits:

  • Enabling the client goals to be achieved: promoting connectivity and visual/mobility access between different spaces;
  • Saving design/construction costs: reducing the need for unnecessary fire rated compartmentation;
  • Informing architectural design: altering the building layout to improve evacuation efficiency; and
  • Informing management procedures: identifying how management procedures can improve evacuation efficiency.

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