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Safety at chimney-roof penetration: A numerical investigation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBuilding Simulation Applications, BSA 2019 - 4th IBPSA-Italy Conference
EditorsGiovanni Pernigotto, Francesco Patuzzi, Alessandro Prada, Vincenzo Corrado, Andrea Gasparella
PublisherFree University of Bozen Bolzano
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9788860461766
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIBPSA-Italy conference on Building Simulation Applications - Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 19 Jun 202021 Jun 2020

Publication series

NameBuilding Simulation Applications
ISSN (Electronic)2531-6702


ConferenceIBPSA-Italy conference on Building Simulation Applications


Chimneys convey exhaust gas produced in heat generators to the external ambient. To do this, they cross building elements such as floors and roofs, which can be made of flammable materials such as wood, wood fiber, cellulose, etc. This represents a dangerous condition that can lead to the overheating of the structure and, consequently, to possible fires. In recent years, numerous roof fires have occurred in Europe due to the presence of a chimney, and some of these have also involved certified chimneys. The aim of the certification procedure is the determination of the distance between chimney and flammable structures to avoid fires. This paper describes an investigation performed to understand the causes of the high number of fires and to propose solutions to the roof fires problem. The study was carried out numerically and experimentally, and consisted of three steps. Firstly, the chimney certification procedure was investigated to highlight possible weaknesses. Then, by means of a 2D and a 3D numerical models, the variables affecting heat transfer at chimney-roof penetration were identified. Finally, solutions and prescriptions to prevent roof fires are proposed. The solutions consist of a set of tables for checking chimney installations, and a universal device to be installed between chimney and roof to prevent the overheating of the latter, also in very critical conditions represented by soot fires, and installations in very thick and insulating roofs.