Numerical investigation of fire in the cavity of naturally ventilated double skin façade with venetian blinds

Youxian Huang, Siegfried Yeboah, Jingjing Shao

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Double skin façades (DSFs), offer great views, architectural aesthetics, and energy savings. Yet, in a fire event the glass façade breaks leading to risks to human life and firefighting difficulties. Shading devices incorporated to prevent unfavourable heat gains to reduce cooling load though offer energy savings potentially present other challenges in firefighting and occupants’ evacuation. In this study, Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS) was used to numerically investigate the spread of a 5 MW HRR polyurethane GM27 fire in a multi-storey double skin façade building with Venetian blinds placed in its cavity. The blinds were positioned 0.4 m away from the internal glazing, middle of the cavity and 0.4 m away from the external glazing respectively. In each blind position the slat angle was opened at 0°, 45°, 90° and 135° respectively. The results show peak inner glazing surface temperature ranged between 283°C to 840°C depending on the thermocouple position, the Venetian blind position and slat opening angle. Without Venetian blinds, peak inner glazing surface temperatures ranged between 468°C to 614°C. In all cases except when the slat angle was 0° and the blind was positioned closer to the outer glazing, the inner glazing surface temperature from the closest thermocouple (TC 14) above the fire room exceeded 600°C, the glass breakage temperature threshold. Overall, the Venetian blind position and slat opening angle influenced the spread of fire. Venetian blind combustibility and flammability were not considered and therefore recommended for future studies. Practical Application: Our manuscript helps to develop new thinking on mitigation of fire risks in buildings for architects, engineers and designers when incorporating Venetian blinds in Double Skin Façades (DSFs).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-61
Number of pages17
JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Combustion model
  • double skin façade
  • fire dynamics simulation
  • fire safety
  • venetian blind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction


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