Cover Image

Not for Sale

View/Hide Left Panel
Click for next page ( 8

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement

Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 7
8 the severity of incidents, consequences of fires, human re- tionnaires completed by tunnel owners and agencies regarding sponse, structural response, systems response, emergency re- best practice in tunnel safety. sponse teams, and tunnel operators. This study synthesizes the available information, prac- The design fire parameters used for the design of tunnel tice, and knowledge related to design fires in road tunnels emergency ventilation and fire life safety systems have a sig- and identifies gaps in that information to provide a founda- nificant impact on the tunnel design and users' safety. The key tion for design guidance. A design fire is characterized by a criteria are the fire size and heat release rate (HRR), fire growth number of parameters including the temperature, fire heat and decay rate, smoke production, resultant temperatures, and release rate (FHRR), fire growth rate, fuel load, and products fire duration. If both the growth rate and the peak fire size are of combustion. assumed to be too slow in the early design stage, the design changes may result in additional surface penetrations, larger The sources of information used for developing this syn- fan plants, and additional spaces and evacuation routes. thesis included the literature search, a survey, and interviews with the following stakeholders: owners, operators, designers, More than 30 years ago minimum attention was paid to emergency responders, government agencies, relevant pro- fires in tunnel design. Tunnel ventilation system design was fessional associations, and so forth. The literature search in- driven by carbon monoxide (CO) dilution requirements for cluded national and international standards and guidelines on normal operation and the American Society for Heating, road tunnel safety; publications of international organizations Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) recom- such as the World Road Association (Association mondiale mendations of 100 cfm/lane/ft (0.155 m3/s/lane/m) of supply de la route; PIARC), United Nations, and European Union; and exhaust airflow. However, tunnel accidents in recent reports on major international studies; papers presented at years have drawn widespread attention to the risks of fires national and international symposiums; and books, magazines, in tunnels with two distinct consequences. First, the fires and other publications. themselves have resulted in fatalities, injuries, and struc- tural damages, as well as lengthy tunnel shutdowns result- The objectives of this study were to: ing in adverse economic impacts. Second, the perceived risk Document significant fire incidents, domestic and inter- of fire is also likely to have discouraged tunnel use and, in national, in road tunnels. some cases, the actual construction of tunnels. Review existing data from fire tests in road tunnels and identify gaps in testing. NFPA 502: Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and Other Collect data on the application and effectiveness of Limited Access Highways, updated in 2011, is the primary fixed fire suppression systems and how these might national document that provides guidelines for fire and life modify the design fire size. safety requirements for U.S. road tunnels. This standard is gen- Document the effects of various ventilation conditions, erally updated every 3 years based on the latest information on tunnel geometry, and structural and nonstructural com- tunnel fires, development of technology, and the experiences ponents of a tunnel on design fire characteristics. of tunnel owners, agencies, first responders, designers, and Document the impact of alternate fuel vehicles on design vendors. The latest Standard includes 13 chapters and an fires. annex of explanatory material that covers limited access high- Present design fire issues relevant to fire suppression ways, bridges, road tunnels, and roadways beneath air-right system designs and gaps in available information. structures and sets design requirements for fire life safety sys- Establish the state of practice in computer and scale- tems, structures, and emergency response procedures. modeling efforts. Provide exit strategies and motorist notification systems. ASHRAE established Technical Committee TC 5.9 on Review design guidance information on the issues that Enclosed Vehicular Facilities to address tunnel safety issues need to be considered in setting design fire sizes and during bi-annual ASHRAE meetings through conferences, establishing next steps. transactions, forums, and seminars. Seek out information on combined use tunnels. Since 1999, a number of major tunnel fire incidents have DESCRIPTION OF THE SURVEY PROCESS occurred in Europe. As a result, several international and European research projects have been focused on the design The survey process involved the development and distribu- for controlling fires. Ample experience comes from Australia tion of an on-line questionnaire that focused on identifying and Japan, who have also had major tunnel fires. Every year the range of current practices in design and procedures that there are a number of international conferences, symposiums, deal with fires in road tunnels. The primary candidates for forums, and seminars on tunnel safety and the ventilation of completing the questionnaire were transportation agency staff, vehicular tunnels. This synthesis project focuses on the latest primarily at the state DOT level, to obtain as broad a repre- international experience and knowledge in the design of con- sentation of current tunnel fire management practices as pos- trolling tunnel fires, as well as the survey results from ques- sible. Input was solicited from the national tunnel agencies

OCR for page 7
9 and operating authorities. The same questionnaire was sent to Questionnaire recipients were asked to either complete international agencies in Canada, Australia, Hungary, Korea the questionnaire themselves or forward the questionnaire and Sweden. The questionnaire responses were a vital source to another, more appropriate individual within their agency. of information for this study. In addition, a recipient could choose to forward the ques- tionnaire hyperlink to individuals in multiple divisions The questionnaire information was also distributed at the within the agency. winter 2010 ASHRAE Meeting of the Technical Committee 5.9 on Enclosed Vehicular Facilities to solicit voluntary Chapters two through seven, nine, and thirteen document participation. the literature review; results of the survey are summarized in chapter eight; chapter ten compiles design guidance, stand- The questionnaire was administered in the following ards, and regulation; chapter eleven reviews design fire sce- manner: narios for fire modeling; chapter twelve discusses fixed fire A targeted list of key individuals at state DOTs was suppression; and chapter fourteen presents the conclusions developed. Topic Panel members reviewed the survey and areas for further study. distribution list and made changes where necessary and added contact information for any suggested agencies Appendix A includes the survey questionnaire, Appendix to include in the survey. B is a list of the responding agencies, and Appendix C is the Electronic copies of the questionnaire were distributed Summary of the Survey Questionnaire Responses. Appen- to any willing participants. dixes D through G present web-only information on tunnel Nonrespondents at state DOTs were contacted with safety projects, fire tests, national and international standards follow-up reminders to encourage responses. requirements, and past tunnel fires.