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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Window View Quality Assessment Framework

  • Author(s): Ko, Won Hee
  • Kent, Michael
  • Schiavon, Stefano
  • Levitt, Brendon
  • Betti, Giovanni
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license

The views that windows provide from inside a building affect human health and well-being. Although the window view is an important architectural element in the building, there is no established framework to guide architectural design. The literature is widely dispersed across different disciplinary fields, and there is a need to coalesce this information into a framework that can be applied into the building design process. Based on the literature, we present a framework for what constitutes “view quality.” At the basis of our framework, we propose three primary variables: View Content (the assessment of visual features seen in the window view); View Access (the measure of how much of the view can be seen through the window from the occupant’s position); and View Clarity (the assessment of how clear the view content appears in the window view when seen by an occupant). Each variable was thematically derived from different sources (e.g., daylighting standards, green certification systems, and scientific research studies). We describe the most important characteristics of each variable, and from our review of the literature, we provide an index that can measure the quality of a window view. We also provide design recommendations for integrating these three variables into the building process and identify knowledge gaps.

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