Biosafety has successfully carried out the preparation of a modern study for the Evacuation Plan of the Experience Park, the Metropolitan Green and Leisure Park of Ellinikon for the client Lamda Development S.A. This project has stood out due to both the depth of analysis, the importance of the study as well as the uniqueness of the project which lies in the peculiarity of the location, the large area of the space and the increased population flow.
The Experience Park is the first step of “The Ellinikon Project” and is one of the milestones of the project. It is an innovative urban park with an area of over 280 acres on the site of the historic Athens International Airport and was created to offer a multitude of activities to the general public. The need of Lamda Development was to draw up an Evacuation Plan in order to reduce the possible consequences of an emergency involving evacuation, preventing accidents and mishaps, reducing damage to facilities or equipment and ensuring the smooth operation of the park.
The study was completed in December 2021 before the park opened. The procedures included in the Evacuation Plan were intended to define actions both at the level of prevention and at the level of dealing with a potential emergency.
The uniqueness of the project consists in the set of factors that differ from the usual data of an evacuation plan and had to be taken into account:
The special characteristics of the space
The Location: an important factor is the location of the park, within the facilities of the former Athens International Airport and the determination of both visitor access from the Central Gate, with the nearest main traffic street being Vouliagmenis Avenue, as well as access to Poseidonos Avenue, for the transition to the nearest Hospital (Asclepion of Voula).
The range of facilities: The Park includes a wide range of facilities to support the needs of visitors: parks, playgrounds, cafes and food markets, event spaces, cinemas, observation towers. At the same time, there are dangerous areas, which are defined as the technical areas of the installation (engine rooms, electrical panel rooms, pumping stations, power stations) and the isolated areas of the old Airport buildings, for which special access prohibition signs had to be created.
Population flow: The calculation of the park’s visitor population as well as the points of interest (information reception, cross-flow nodes, guarding, flow control, emergency exits and assembly areas).
The Methodology followed
A distinguishing feature of the evacuation plan is the thoroughness of the methodology followed as well as the amount of calculations required to document all the decisions included in the plan.
The study followed 4 specific steps to be conducted comprehensively and thoroughly:
- data download
- identification of populations
- drawing routes and determining areas
- determination of required and available evacuation time
To strengthen the adequacy of the evacuation plan and to draw the required critical conclusions, both descriptive and computational methods were utilized. In this context, a spatial approximation of the size and number of emergency exits was carried out, taking into account elements such as the maximum lengths of escape routes, the density of people, their flow and the geometry of the escape routes, as well as a temporal approximation, calculating the maximum time limit for the evacuation.
The parameters that participated in the above-mentioned approaches were related in more detail to:
- Calculation of space density: taking into account the average value of unobstructed walking with no influence between pedestrians, the safety density in terms of the possibility of a smooth evacuation flow, the arrangement of people per unit area and the different traffic patterns.
- Determining Populations, Emergency Exits and Gathering Areas: It is important to determine the population of the park and the capacity of the gathering areas so that the former does not exceed the latter.
- Evacuation time calculation? This included two components, the available time tδ (the time from the moment the event started until the moment the conditions are unbearable for people) and the required time tap, (the time from the moment the cause of evacuation appeared, until the moment when even the last person will reach a safe place).
- Calculation of specific flow Fs: The specific flow is defined as the flow of people evacuating, using an escape route, per meter of effective width of the route.
- Calculation of flow Q: The number of people passing through an escape route intersection per second.
- Calculation of Transit Time tp: Transit time refers to passage through gates and corridors that are parts of escape routes.
- Calculation of Movement Time ts: The movement time to the crossing point.
The calculations concerning the capacity per space are presented in detail in Appendix III as well as the calculation of the evacuation time can be found in Appendix IV: Escape Routes – Evacuation Times.
Selection of Appropriate Gathering Space and Escape Routes
An equally important element of the project was the selection of suitable gathering places and the drawing of escape routes taking into account the layout and the potential number of people attending the facility.
A critical factor in determining the gathering points was the sequestration of anti-diametric areas of the plot in accordance with the instructions of the Fire Regulations as well as the provision of the plan’s response to the occurrence of a special condition blocking a critical gathering area. For this special condition there was provision for the delimitation of a space (master) which can guarantee three basic conditions:
- spatially, to have such a position as to ensure the greatest possible ease of access from opposite directions of the plot
- spatially to be able to respond to the safe refuge of the intended population
- in time to be able to respond to the predictions of the timely evacuation of the population as it has been considered in the above calculation method.
The mapping of assembly areas and emergency exits is illustrated in Appendix II: Assembly Points – Escape Routes – Security Checkpoints.
Organization of an Emergency Team
The definition of the Emergency Response Team, the definition of roles and the modern relevant equipment (wireless intercom devices, defibrillator, public address system) were significantly important. Great importance was also given to the training of the team with special trainings, such as the provision of First Aid and training for the marking of areas and work equipment.
Three different emergency scenarios were included in the Evacuation Plan, for Earthquake, Terrorist Act and Chemical Spill, alongside the separately prepared Fire Safety Plan.
The Experience Park Evacuation Plan was successfully completed, posted and communicated to all parties involved giving a significant sense of safety and preparedness to a complex and dynamic process such as the operation of the park in question. All the assumptions and calculations carried out during the preparation of the plan were verified through a relevant evacuation exercise, an emergency simulation carried out before the opening of the park as part of the general control of the park before the start of its operation.