- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 18 Jan 2018
BREEAM Visual comfort View out
 Aim and benefits
To allow occupants to refocus their eyes from close work and enjoy an external view, thus 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 opportunity for the eyes to relax and readjust.
 When to consider
RIBA stages 1 - 2
 Step by step guidance
Areas within 7m of a window should be identified.
Permanent workstations, desks, receptions, anywhere a building user will be located for a significant amount of time (e.g. more than 30 mins), and carrying out work, should be located within these compliant areas. Windows or room depth could be adjusted to allow compliance.
Areas which are greater 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 greater than 35% the area will comply no matter the depth.
The view out should be visible from a seated position unless a person would be expected to be standing at the workstation.
For 2014 assessments 95% of the floor area of the relevant building areas needs to comply to achieve the credit. For 2014 prison cells and patient occupied areas must have a view out that is not obstructed by something closer than 10m away.
 Questions to ask while seeking compliance
What is the room depth?
Where are permanent workstations?
How big are the windows?
 Tips and best practice
The following areas are excluded (see manual):
1. Nurse bases where they are located centrally in a ward/patient area in order to enable patient observation.
2. Courtrooms and interview rooms where compliance is not possible due to security or privacy criteria.
3. Prison staff areas containing workstations that for security or observational purposes must be located centrally within the building.
4. Any clinical areas where the control of environmental/operational conditions prevents such spaces from providing a view out.
5. Conference rooms, lecture theatres, sports halls, acute SEN and also any spaces where the exclusion or limitation of natural light is a functional requirement e.g. laboratories, media spaces, etc.
 Typical evidence
 Design stage
Design drawings showing room depth and permanent work stations.
 Post construction
As built drawings showing the room depth and permanent work stations
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)
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.