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Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(8), 1579; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9081579

A Novel Approach for the Definition of an Integrated Visual Quality Index for Residential Buildings

Department of Civil Environmental and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento, 38123 Trento, Italy
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Received: 20 March 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 16 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Zero-Energy Buildings)
PDF [1262 KB, uploaded 16 April 2019]

Abstract

Visual quality is an important component of indoor environment quality and greatly affects inhabitants’ perception of the living space. Nevertheless, the lighting design of residential buildings is usually underestimated by both designers and standards. This paper presents an integrated index for evaluating the visual quality of an indoor environment in residential buildings. The main parameters considered are daylight access, probability of glare from daylight and electric illumination, maintained illuminance, and color temperature. These aspects are evaluated throughout a whole year using a fixed set of metrics and are combined using relative weights. It was decided to also consider qualitative parameters in order to give more importance to some psychological aspects of visual comfort. Finally, the building visual quality index is obtained by a weighted average of the results of each room with the addition of the qualitative parameters. The applicability of the index was tested through the simulation of a dwelling that will be built and monitored in the context of the Comfort for Sustainable Buildings in the Alps (CASA) research project. The building visual quality index proved to be useful during the design process, allowing for improvements in both electric illumination and daylight access through a comparison of different solutions. This study could represent a step towards the holistic evaluation of indoor environment quality.
Keywords: visual comfort; visual quality assessment; residential buildings; classification index; building performance simulation visual comfort; visual quality assessment; residential buildings; classification index; building performance simulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Zanon, S.; Callegaro, N.; Albatici, R. A Novel Approach for the Definition of an Integrated Visual Quality Index for Residential Buildings. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 1579.

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