Smoke Control in High-Rise Buildings: Part 3

Smoke control by definition only seeks to compartmentalize the smoke and limit its spread to other parts of the building. In skyscrapers, this is especially important as there are many occupants that have to evacuate.

A zoned smoke control systems divides the building into separate smoke control areas. By creating pressure differentials within these zones the spreading of smoke is inhibited. When smoke is present, a mechanical exhaust system will activate within that zone. The other zones will pressurize at a different rate to provide a smoke barrier for occupants.

A zoned smoke control system is highly effective in that it create a pressure “sandwich” around the zone where the fire is present. However these systems can become quite complex as they have to coordinate with the HVAC system, controls and operational matrices.