CUrisk, a comprehensive model available for assessing fire risks in buildings, is used to assess and compare the life risks due to fires in mid-rise and high-rise residential buildings of non-combustible, light wood frame, and cross laminated timber constructions. The non-combustible buildings and some of the light wood frame buildings are explicitly code compliant designs, while some of the light wood frame buildings and the cross laminated timber buildings are alternative solutions. The computation results show that, the life risks of the simulated buildings are very low due to the installation of sprinkler systems and the risks are limited to the occupants in the rooms of fire origin. The effects of building area and storeys on life risk are minor. However, the area of the room of fire origin affects life risk significantly. Properly designed and protected combustible buildings do not impose higher life risk to occupants than non-combustible buildings. Life safety performance of buildings depends more on the design solutions as a whole rather than the selection of the construction type.

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Keywords Combustible construction, Fire emergencies, Life risk analysis, Mid- and high-rise buildings, Non-combustible construction, Residential buildings
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Journal Journal of Building Engineering
Zhang, X, Mehaffey, J. (Jim), & Hadjisophocleous, G. (2016). Life risks due to fire in mid- and high-rise, combustible and non-combustible residential buildings. Journal of Building Engineering, 8, 189–197. doi:10.1016/j.jobe.2016.11.001