"An extensive underground commercial development exists in the City of Lenexa called the Meritex Lenexa Executive Park. This development has three million square feet of underground space in a former limestone mining site. Space usage in the development includes offices, manufacturing, and warehousing storage including portions of the national archives. Hundreds of vehicles including full-sized semi-trucks enter this facility daily. The combination of site uses, content load, vehicular traffic, and limited access pose unique challenges for emergency response. This resulted in the problem statement used to generate this research paper. The problem is that an underground commercial development exists in the City of Lenexa posing significant and unique life safety and property risks. The purpose of this research was to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify the unique risks to life and property that exist in the Meritex Lenexa Executive Park. This was accomplished using descriptive research using the following four research questions: (1) What risks have been identified in other underground developments; (2) What unique life safety risks exist for occupants and responders in the Meritex Lenexa Executive Park; (3) What unique property risks exist in the Meritex Lenexa Executive Park; and (4) What current safeguards exist for occupants and property in the Meritex Lenexa Executive Park? The research for this paper was conducted using a review of existing literature and research, evaluating local data and information, as well as actual site visits and interviews. The results clearly found that risks common to any underground development were present with only some being overcome by existing safeguards. Recommendations were made in specific areas including improving communications, ventilation abilities, and occupant and responder training."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/