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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 792658, 18 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/792658
Research Article

Solving the Problem of Multiple-Criteria Building Design Decisions with respect to the Fire Safety of Occupants: An Approach Based on Probabilistic Modelling

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, 11 Sauletekio Avenue, LT-10223 Vilnius, Lithuania

Received 9 April 2015; Accepted 13 August 2015

Academic Editor: Vladimir Turetsky

Copyright © 2015 Egidijus Rytas Vaidogas and Jurgita Šakėnaitė. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The design of buildings may include a comparison of alternative architectural and structural solutions. They can be developed at different levels of design process. The alternative design solutions are compared and ranked by applying methods of multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM). Each design is characterised by a number of criteria used in a MCDM problem. The paper discusses how to choose MCDM criteria expressing fire safety related to alternative designs. Probability of a successful evacuation of occupants from a building fire and difference between evacuation time and time to untenable conditions are suggested as the most important criteria related to fire safety. These two criteria are treated as uncertain quantities expressed by probability distributions. Monte Carlo simulation of fire and evacuation processes is natural means for an estimation of these distributions. The presence of uncertain criteria requires applying stochastic MCDM methods for ranking alternative designs. An application of the safety-related criteria is illustrated by an example which analyses three alternative architectural floor plans prepared for a reconstruction of a medical building. A MCDM method based on stochastic simulation is used to solve the example problem.