Last edited 20 Nov 2020

Main author

Emma Houston Other Consultant Website

BREEAM Visual comfort View out


[edit] Aim and benefits

To allow occupants to refocus their eyes from close work and enjoy an external view, reducing the risk of eyestrain and breaking the monotony of the indoor environment.

Where close work is being carried out, the availability of a view out provides an opportunity for the eyes to relax and readjust.

[edit] When to consider

RIBA stages 1 - 2

[edit] Step-by-step guidance

Areas within 7m of a window should be identified.

Check that the area of the relevant window(s) is greater than or equal to 20% of the surrounding wall. If so then the area within 7m of that window is compliant.

Permanent workstations, desks, receptions, anywhere a building user will be located for a significant amount of time (e.g. more than 30 mins) whilst carrying out work, should be located within these compliant areas. Windows or room depth could be adjusted to allow compliance.

Areas which are more than 7m from a window can still comply but BS8206 (BS 8206-2:2008 Lighting for buildings. Code of Practice for daylighting) should be consulted. Table 1 ‘Minimum glazed areas for view when windows are restricted to one wall’ of this document provides a range of percentages for the window of the wall depending on how far away the desk is. If the percentage is more than 35%, the area will comply no matter what the depth is.

The view out should be visible from a seated position unless a person would be expected to be standing at a work station.

For 2014 assessments, 95% of the floor area of the relevant building areas needs to comply to achieve the credit. For 2014 assessments, prison cells and patient occupied areas must have a view out that is not obstructed by something closer than 10m away.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

What is the room depth?

Where are permanent workstations?

How big are the windows?

[edit] Tools and resources

BREEAM manual.

BS 8206-2:2008 Lighting for buildings. Code of Practice for daylighting.

[edit] Tips and best practice

The following areas are excluded (see manual):

[edit] Typical evidence

[edit] Design stage:

[edit] Post construction:

[edit] Applicable schemes

The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.

BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.

--Emma Houston 11:16, 18 Jan 2018 (BST)


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