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Fire Growth and Smoke Transport Modeling with CFAST

The Consolidated Model of Fire and Smoke Transport, CFAST, is a computer program that fire investigators, safety officials, engineers, architects and builders can use to simulate the impact of past or potential fires and smoke in a specific building environment. CFAST is a two-zone fire model used to calculate the evolving distribution of smoke, fire gases and temperature throughout compartments of a building during a fire.

The latest version of the software is designed to work with Windows and has been tested with Windows 7 and Windows 10. The CFAST package includes NIST’s Smokeview program, which visualizes with colored, three-dimensional animations the results of the CFAST simulation of a specific fire’s temperatures, various gas concentrations and growth and movement of smoke layers across multi-room structures.

Obtaining CFAST

The latest version of the software is version 7.0.0. The software and documentation is available for download.

  • Install CFAST 7.0.1 (29.2 MB) - This software requires the Microsoft .NET framework version 4 or later. This is typically included on Windows 7 and newer computers. More information on the Microsoft .NET framework is available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads.
  • Documentation for CFAST - CFAST is documented in four volumes that cover the theory, use, verification/validation, and configuration management of the model.
  • Documentation for Smokeview - CFAST Version 7 includes NIST's Smokeview program for visualization. 
  • Development Version – Source code and installation software for the latest development version of the model is available in the CFAST software repository.
  • Version History - A version history of CFAST is available.
  • Archive - Older versions of the model are also available. 



We are interested in hearing your comments and suggestions. Many of the improvements to date in both CFAST and Smokeview are a result of feedback we have already received from users of the software.

  • Please go to the Discussion Group, for general questions and/or to provide feedback related to your experience using CFAST, Smokeview, the documentation, the web sites, etc. Often this will resolve your issue without reporting a specific bug to the developers.
  • FAQs - Frequently asked questions for CFAST.
  • Examples - Numerous examples of commonly encountered scenarios are available in the validation and verification tests in the CFAST software repository.
  • Use the Issue Tracker to report specific bugs or problems that you encounter with either CFAST or Smokeview.
  • See the Support page for more options.


What's New in CFAST

The most recent version of CFAST is version 7.0.0. A complete list of changes in version 7 is available here. New to this version: 

  • Updated and rewritten CFAST code that focuses on established calculations from industry accepted handbooks.
  • Updated GUI that includes an improved workflow to develop a fire scenario for simulation.
  • A new input file format that includes thermal properties and fire definition in the CFAST input file.
  • An updated combustion chemistry routine to a simple combustion of a hydrocarbon fuel that can include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, chlorine, and nitrogen. The fuel is now a direct user input rather than implied by the ratios in earlier inputs. CO, soot, and trace species yields are now input relative to fuel burned.
  • Plume entrainment is based on the Heskestad plume correlations. Off-center plume temperature and velocity are calculated.
  • Updated Smokeview that includes new vent flow visualization, slice files that can show 3-D temperature and velocity, and isosurfaces of constant temperature.
  • New and simpler documentation including completely revised verification test cases and numerous additional validation cases.

CFAST is developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States Department of Commerce. CFAST is free software developed through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) by employees of the Federal Government in the course of their official duties. Pursuant to Title 17, Section 105 of the United States Code, this work is not subject to copyright protection and is in the Public Domain.  

NIST assumes no responsibility whatsoever for use by other parties of its source code, documentation or compiled executables, and makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, about its quality, reliability, or any other characteristic. See the Disclaimer page for additional information.