Case Study

The British Museum – Fire safety, fire engineering techniques, evacuation

May 31, 2011 12:00 am

The British Museum occupies approximately one million square feet of Grade 1 Listed buildings in Bloomsbury, central London. The occupation is diverse and split between public display areas, departmental research and storage, administration and support services. LWF provided a fire safety report, undertook fire engineering techniques and constructed a computer-based evacuation model.

Key Facts:

Client: The British Museum
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
Approximate Size: 85,000m2

Description of the Project:

The British Museum is a museum of human history
and culture. The building is located at the
Bloomsbury site in London. Its collections are
amongst the most comprehensive in the world.
The building comprises of galleries, exhibition
areas, learning facilities, information
facilities and shops, catering facilities,
information desks, store rooms,
workshops, offices, plant rooms and
changing rooms.  

LWF Involvement:

LWF were commissioned by The British Museum
to prepare and review the fire strategy for the
public areas of the museum. The key services
provided include:

• Review the potential fire risk and fire load criteria
for all public spaces within the Museum;

• Provide analysis of Computational Fluid
Dynamics (CDF) simulation to prepare a
complete fire hazard profile for life safety;

• Generate the computer model Simulation of
Transient Evacuation for Pedestrian Smoke
Movement (STEPS) to determine evacuation
requirements for the building;

• Establish the Museum’s intent for finalised fire
alarm design ‘cause and effect’;

• Prepare a detailed Fire Strategy and revise Fire
Plan Strategy drawings;

• Liaison with the fire authority to gain conceptual


For further information regarding this project or the services that LWF provide please contact:
Peter Gyere – Marketing Manager
Lawrence Webster Forrest
Legion House
Lower Road
Surrey CR8 5NH

TEL: +44 (0)20 8668 8663
FAX: +44 (0)20 8668 8583


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