Fire & Risk Engineering Award of Excellence: Ping An Finance Center, Shenzhen

Michael Kinsey
Engineer
Arup, Shanghai

Ping An Finance Center: Super High-Rise Total Fire Engineering

Two major innovations were implemented in the fire safety and egress design of the Ping An Finance Center (PAFC). First, because PAFC is over 500 meters tall, occupants need a long period to evacuate the building via staircases. In addition to the inevitable consequence of occupant exhaustion, another negative consequence is the slow discharge time resulting from extensive queuing at the entrance of the stairwells. The design team also had to consider occupants with mobility difficulties such as the elderly, young children and pregnant women. Therefore, lift-assisted evacuation has been introduced to PAFC for use during total evacuation. Nine passenger lifts have been designed to be used for occupants at three refuge floors in low, middle and high zones. The total evacuation time can be reduced by up to 40 minutes using all nine lifts during a total evacuation scenario.

The top zone of PAFC is occupied by members of the public, with accommodations including an observation
deck, club facilities and restaurant. The occupant load is therefore “top-heavy” for the tower. The top zone is served by four egress staircases, which reduce to three in the typical office floors below. The egress strategy makes use of the refuge floor between the top zone and the office floors, serving as a cushion to mitigate the impact of staircase reduction.

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