What is a space without a window?

Daylight is crucial for the comfort and health of people. A window doesn’t only allow daylight to come inside, but also offers a view of the outside environment. People are often not aware that view has a big influence on the overall appearance of indoor spaces. Hester Hellinga hopes that her study will contribute to a more conscious use of daylight and view. By a proper placement of buildings on the lot and considering window size and materialization from inside out, substatial benefits are to be gained in building projects.

PhD research

During her PhD study Hellinga developed a method for the analysis of the daylight and view quality of windows, the D&V analysis method. Initially, office workers in eight different buildings in the Netherlands were questioned on the quality of their workplace concerning the office, the lighting and the view. The results give insight in how different features of the lighting and view affect the perceived workplace quality.

In another set-up the influence of different window sizes, shapes and positions on thet visual quality of indoor spaces was studied. Participants in this study were asked to look outside through a miniaturised (1:5) office room. By varying the façade of the scale model and puting the scale model at three different locations, the windows and outside view were changed.

The D&V (Daylight and View) Analysis Method

The D&V analysis method was developed based on scientific literature and the results of the questionnaire study. Different existing methods for the analysis of daylight were transformed in order to make them applicable to the new method. The analysis method, furtermore, includes a rating system for view quality. It grants points for several aspects of the view. If you’re looking at nature, it’s plus four points, and if your view is human-built, there are no points to start with. This basis is refined by points for the amount of visual layers (depth of view), presence of water, vegetation, the amount of diversity etcetera. By adding the points, a view quality score is calculated.