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Evaluating the impact of viewing location on view perception using a virtual environment

Abd-Alhamid, Fedaa; Kent, Michael; Calautit, John; Wu, Yupeng


Fedaa Abd-Alhamid

Michael Kent

Professor of Building Physics


Window views are an important design feature in buildings. Views can impact the cognitive attention, psychological and physiological well-being of building occupants due to their ability to provide recovery in stressful working environments. The impact of viewing position on view perception as a result of the visual parallax effect resulted from occupants seeing a window from different relative positions in any given room has not been comprehensively investigated. In this study, view perception was evaluated using a physically-based 360° virtual environment at three different viewing locations: close, middle, and far. The three conditions were presented to thirty-two participants. The study employed a comprehensive method by collecting subjective and physiological evaluations. A stress-recovery methodology to assess restorativeness effects was used by presenting a window view observing period after a stressful task was performed. Subjective assessments included questions on view restorative ability, view content and size preferences, view valance/arousal, and positive and negative affects. Physiological measures included skin conductance, heart rate, and heart rate variability. Results showed significant differences in subjective parameters and measures of skin conductance. Decreased view quality was reported as participants observed the view from the further viewing locations compared to the close position. The study highlights the importance of the informative content seen in the window view such as the sky and ground, which may impose limitations on recommended room depth and windows design. The results of this study show that the design of window views has important implications on the health and well-being of building occupants.


Abd-Alhamid, F., Kent, M., Calautit, J., & Wu, Y. (2020). Evaluating the impact of viewing location on view perception using a virtual environment. Building and Environment, 180,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 30, 2020
Online Publication Date May 19, 2020
Publication Date 2020-08
Deposit Date May 14, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 20, 2021
Journal Building and Environment
Print ISSN 0360-1323
Electronic ISSN 1873-684X
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 180
Article Number 106932
Keywords Geography, Planning and Development; Environmental Engineering; Civil and Structural Engineering; Building and Construction
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