Summary of the initial period 1967 - 1977
of design development of the Zéphinié Vertical Evacuation Technology
Creative draft design of a dozen of projects.
International researches of anteriority in four languages about all
systems focusing fire emergency evacuation and historical archives
related to vertical transportation devises.
Zéphinié use critical analyze of the patented devises covering the
field since 1890, Including: Zigzag , Diaphragm, Cable system, Net,
Cushion, Flexible ladder, toboggan, Slop type designs, etc .
The initial creative draft designs included many re-invention of
old techniques and were eliminated considering that eventual
improvement will not fit with finality function optimization, that
include the good Mr. Backer’s net chute.
Original Zéphinié escape chute researches include: Pneumatic,
electrostatic chute, air pressure affects and other option yet not
A Pneumatic escape chute system and vertical moving object were
patented under a friend's name to avoid US patent office troubles
and never has been commercialized
1968. The first version of the ZEC single entry (ZEC-SE) was
One year later the two layer concentric sleeve chute was analyzed
has superior and kept secret and patented in 1973.
That will oblige to prove that the design was new and superior in
international patent examination. At the same time, my honorable
Japanese competitor Mr. Morimoto patented a different but also
vertical escape chute the Uyeda ACE. The Zephinie vertical escape
chute single entry or ZEC-SE first breaks off from the 19th century
toboggan or slop slide chute. An evacuation must operate without
ground assistance to fit logic critical analyzes design
System critical analyzes and experiences show that a single entry
chute could not be used for tall building evacuation.
The solution should fit with NFPA 101 life safety code the best
practical fire engineering handbook.
The Zephinie High-rise building Evacuation technology (ZEC-ME)
The ZEC-ME chute devises... Including from the other ZEC models ...
Independent patent was granted to ZEC-ME.
General ignorance about tall buildings alternative evacuation method
is the root of the confusion.
The ZEC-ME it's not a technical improvement of the ZEC-SE escape
chute but the improvement of the fire code concept of enclosed exit
like the stairway... ZEC-ME use sleeves instate of stair treads.
Design methodology divided the ZEC-ME installations in several sub-classes:
a.- Fire code enclosed stairway mixed evacuation method of classic
Stairway and ZEC-ME to be planned at the building design stage.
b.- Retrofitting ZEC-ME into existing, building, the system is
integrated such as fixed evacuation structure inside, or outside the
existing, building structure... Just like an emergency stairway.
c.- Antiterrorist installation of ZEC-ME planning
Note: The Zephinie antiterrorist installation designs optimization
were based on critical design review of high-rise building possible
method of attack.
It resulted from the basic definition of high-rise building standard
aiming alternative evacuation in case of a terrorist attack.
Summary of topics involved in the antiterrorist evacuation
Rescue planning must considered up 75% neutralization evacuation
Toxic aerosol attack trough tall building air conditioning system.
Repairing a ZEC-ME module during emergency.
TV closed, circuit and redundant communication channels using
multiplex power line technology and FM frequencies (sorry we were in
1974) to centralized evacuation command center.
Optimizing evacuation period: 20 minutes extreme limits 60 minutes.
Attack chances pointing at 50 <75% building high, neutralizing main
stairways, to compute alternative evacuation traffic load.
Paramedic training about assistance inside the ZEC sleeve during
Method of forcing the ZEC evacuation up to 4000 people per hour per
ZEC evacuation unit and evaluation of minor injuries that could
Possibility to repair element of ZEC sleeve during emergency.
Side researches: Ground zero evacuation out of potential collapsing
zone in consideration of wide distribution of the ZEC-ME.
Pre-Planning of Strategic positioning of rescue vehicles.
The definition fits with the WTC 2001 catastrophe back in 1975,
because based on logic problem solving methods. Any high-rise
building method of evacuation has to fit as the minimum, with the
Zephinie’s 1975 definition.
d.- ZEC- hospital patient’s evacuation method and planning.
e.- The Zephinie's twisting method for controlling patient
evacuation, using ZEC single entry chute (ZEC-SE) also applicable to
ZEC Single Entry ZEC Mobil Rescue technology (ZEC-MR)
ZEC was the first improvement to ladder evacuation capacity.
Officially certified in 1975 to improve up 100 time fire ladder
The ZEC-MR included several original design, such as the ZEC dynamic
chock absorber , gravity stabilized, service basket and the adaptive
The basic ZEC-MR use the ZEC-ME the sleeve's arrangement and work
like a ZEC-SE model.
The ZEC Single Entry (ZEC-SE)
The 1973 ZEC-SE was the first high performance vertical evacuation
device as a defined “ escape chute” by the NFPA classification.
1974. Admiral Vasilieff and Zephinie test water protection in flame
contact and with Fire colonel Jean Husson basic definition of wet
cloth escape chute protection. ( Wet cloth protection is a
particular phenomenon )
Strong winds and turbulence affect on single entry escape chute and
tests under freezing temperature.
Helicopter born ZEC-SE rescue on building terraces tests were
performed with the French Navy.
Design researches on single home portable units and tests.
1976. Zephinie decides to enforce the 100 ft safe standard limit for
public use of the ZEC single entry escape chute 14 tons breaking
limits as the result of the 3-year experiences and re-analyze.
Note: multiple safety factor reason obliges the limitation. The
consideration could apply to escape chute classification in general.
Devises that fit in the escape chute class, including the ZEC-SE are
just incompetent devises to secure high-rise building evacuation.
R & D on particular evacuation problems:
Ammunition plants, Rocket launching pad.
R & D of improvement are kept unpublished for years.
After 30 years of international services the ZEC-SE keeps the
privilege to challenge in public demonstration any other escape