Emergency Door Capacity: Influence of Population Composition and Stress Level

Conference paper


For the new version of the Dutch design guidelines for buildings, a threshold value for the capacity of emergency doors needs to be set. Innovative large-scale laboratory experiments have been performed to investigate the capacity of emergency doors during evacuation conditions. This paper focuses in particular on the relation between capacity and the independent variables population composition and stress level.

It turns out that the average observed capacities are for all widths lowest for the lowest stress level and highest for the highest stress level. The population with a greater part of children has the highest capacity (on average 3.31 P/m/s). This is mainly due to the smaller physical size of children compared to adults and elderly, which makes it possible that more children can pass a door at the same time than adults. The lowest capacity (on average 2.02 P/m/s) is found for the experiment with 5% disabled participants.


Stress Level High Stress Level Disable Person Shopping Centre Lower Stress Level 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Department of Transport & PlanningDelft University of TechnologyGA Delftthe Netherlands

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