Enclosed Shopping Malls
The Mall of America hosts more than 39 million visitors per year, creating a special fire protection objective of life safety. Thousands of people expect to come and go safely each day. Due to the wide-open expanse that malls feature, smoke control is just as important a design factor as the fire protection systems and the egress layout. The common mall promenade areas are
open atria that span from floor to roof, making smoke accumulation a major concern. The Mall of America features a pressurization and smoke control/ evacuation system that controls the spread of smoke through the regulation of air movement. Railings and glass shields surround the vertically aligned floor openings. Their system includes 185 exhaust fans and 21 air handlers capable of circulating 105,000 cu ft of air per minute. The smoke detectors and related dampers are tested annually, and the mall’s four emergency generators are tested twice each month.