Pedestrian Simulation Modeling for COVID-19

Adapting to the new norm.

As we approach a new phase in the ongoing pandemic, we are challenged to navigate the new normal and reenter potentially densely populated, highly social environments such as offices, malls, theaters, stadia, and other venues. It is natural to question what approach to use for reentry while complying with local, state, and national guidelines and meeting operational needs.

Coffman’s team of life safety professionals stands ready to support as you evaluate management procedures focused on achieving social and physical distancing. Our Pedestrian Simulation Modeling service uses repurposed Pathfinder software to provide vital insights on how to reintroduce occupants to facilities and get back to business in a manner that contemplates social distancing and government guidelines. While we cannot guarantee against the spread or transmission of COVID-19 or other transmissible diseases, our goal is to work with clients to develop a strategy that mitigates the risk of transmission and minimizes further business interruption.

Instead of a ‘wait and see approach,’ People Simulation Modeling utilizes engineering analysis to confirm that acceptable social distancing practices can be achieved. This digital due diligence involves replicating the built environment and developing digital models to simulate best practices like crowd spacing control, screening, one-way directional travel, and other measures to satisfy operational needs and demonstrate social distancing practices are feasible and appropriate.

People Simulation Modeling can help answer questions like:

  • What are the current best practice guidelines for reentering our workplace?
  • What measures are available to adapt based on constantly updated guidelines?
  • What guidelines are available to mitigate risk when people physically occupy spaces?
  • Are we taking reasonable measures to provide reasonable protection to our employees, tenants, and customers from transmission and further business interruption?
  • As social distancing appears to be here for the foreseeable future, how do we apply social distancing guidelines focused on static environments when we live in a dynamic world?

As our understanding of the virus evolves, social distancing management practices can evolve too. Simulations can quickly be performed to meet a company’s operational needs and implement the most up-to-date best practice.

Pedestrian Simulation Modeling in Action

Coffman’s Pedestrian Simulation Modeling can help you determine the appropriate plan for reentry. The videos below demonstrate how modeling can help with the management of large groups entering, exiting, or moving throughout a facility based on best practices for social distancing.


Robert Gerard, PE Fire Protection Engineer at Coffman Engineers.

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Facility Applications

  • Office Buildings
  • Stadiums, Ballparks, and Arenas
  • Theme Parks
  • Concert Venues
  • Convention Centers
  • Conference Centers
  • Malls and Retail Centers
  • Universities
  • School Campuses
  • Construction sites
  • High-rises
  • Factories and Manufacturing Facilities


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