High-rise building fire safety using mechanical ventilation and stairwell pressurization: A review

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The literature review discusses state-of-the-art studies regarding strategies for smoke control in high-rise buildings and provides a comparison of prescriptive rules used in several countries. The literature review was conducted on high-rise building safety methods and concerned literature regarding smoke control strategies. This study focused on smoke management, and particularly on the movement of smoke in the elevator shaft, ventilation shaft, and stairwell. The objectives of this review were to introduce the fundamental concepts of smoke movement in high-rise buildings as obtained from the literature, summarize the practical applications of smoke control strategies based on pressurization or extraction systems, investigate the impacts of using a lift as a means of evacuation, and suggest future advances and potential research related to performance-based safety schemes for smoke ventilation control in tall buildings. Many fire safety strategies and proper smoke management guidelines (e.g., for the minimum level of safety in several countries) were considered. A total of 163 academic publications were included in this review; these publications are distributed between 1964 and 2021. Although many previous studies and experiments have provided solutions for smoke control, human creativity in design always evolves faster than any code or guideline from past studies. Therefore, a performance-based approach should be considered when designing a smoke control system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104224
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Elevator
  • Evacuation
  • Performance-based
  • Smoke-control
  • Stairwell-pressurization


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