Award Date

December 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction

First Committee Member

Jee Woong Park

Second Committee Member

Jeehee Lee

Third Committee Member

Pramen P. Shrestha

Fourth Committee Member

Shaikh Arifuzzaman

Number of Pages



With the rising frequency of active shooter incidents and fire hazards in both private and public facilities, it is crucial to establish a strategy for an effective emergency evacuation response for minimizing its consequences. Modern technological advancements such as virtual reality (VR) and game engines offer the potential to serve as valuable evacuation training tools within a virtual environment, aiding real-time decision making. Previous studies highlight the benefits of using VR simulations for emergency evacuation training, enhancing safety; however, two challenging factors exist that hinder their application. First, many existing structures (especially for older buildings) lack an available computer model/approach. Second, creation of a computer model for these structures face challenges, being time consuming and requiring substantial resources. When a digital model such as BIM (Building Information Modeling) is not readily accessible, such VR training requires an expeditious generation of 3D environment. In response, this research presents an employable approach for creating a virtual environment in VR using the Unreal Engine. For an implementable mode, it should be able to replicate the building evacuation environment with authenticity, incorporating successful aspects (i.e., emergency signages, opening doors, time measurement, non-player characters) from previous studies that had access to BIM models. Additionally, an exploratory pilot study is conducted to execute the approach, assessing its feasibility measures, effectiveness, and comparison against existing methods. The outcome is an expeditious method to create an efficient and relatively realistic VR virtual environment, enabling building occupants to engage in emergency evacuation response training, thereby better preparing for unforeseen catastrophic events.


3D Environment; Emergency Evacuation; Evacuation Training Tool; Game Engine; No BIM Model; Virtual Reality


Civil Engineering

File Format


File Size

4990 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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