Round-robin study of a priori modelling predictions of the Dalmarnock Fire Test One

Guillermo Rein, José L. Torero, Wolfram Jahn, Jamie Stern-Gottfried, Noah L. Ryder, Sylvain Desanghere, Mariano Lázaro, Frederick Mowrer, Andrew Coles, Daniel Joyeux, Daniel Alvear, Jorge A. Capote, Allan Jowsey, Cecilia Abecassis-Empis, Pedro Reszka

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An international study of fire modelling was conducted prior to the Dalmarnock Fire Test One in order to assess the state-of-the-art of fire simulations using a round-robin approach. This test forms part of the Dalmarnock Fire Tests, a series of experiments conducted in 2006 in a high-rise building. The philosophy behind the tests was to provide measurements in a realistic fire scenario involving multiple fuel packages and non-trivial fire growth, and with an instrumentation density suitable for comparison with computational fluid dynamics models. Each of the seven round-robin teams independently simulated the test scenario a priori using a common detailed description of the compartment geometry, fuel packages, ignition source and ventilation conditions. The aim of the exercise was to forecast the fire development as accurately as possible and compare the results. The aim was not to provide an engineering analysis with conservative assumptions or safety factors. Comparison of the modelling results shows a large scatter and considerable disparity among the predictions, and between predictions and experimental measurements. The scatter of the simulations is much larger than the error and variability expected in the experiments. The study emphasises on the inherent difficulty of modelling fire dynamics in complex fire scenarios like Dalmarnock, and shows that the accuracy to predict fire growth (i.e. evolution of the heat released rate) is, in general, poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-602
Number of pages13
JournalFire Safety Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Blind
  • CFD
  • FDS
  • Fire modelling
  • Forecast
  • Validation


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