What is it about?

This research is about making buildings more comfortable for those who use them. It specifically looks at how people move around and adjust in a space (like moving closer to the window to see outside) and how this can impact their comfort and what they can see from the building. The study proposes a method and a tool to include better these behaviours in the design of buildings, particularly the design of the 'façade' or exterior face of the building. The aim is to enhance 'visual comfort,' which could mean things like better access to natural light, reducing glare from the sun, and improving the view out of the window. They used various measures to assess how the building design performed regarding light and comfort. The findings suggest that considering how people move and adjust within a space and integrating this into the design of the building's exterior can lead to better light availability, reduced glare, and a more pleasing view.

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Why is it important?

The importance of this research lies in improving the overall user experience in buildings. By considering occupants' spatial adjustments and integrating them into the design process, buildings can become more functional, more comfortable and visually pleasing for the people using them. Better access to natural light has been linked to increased productivity and better mood, and reducing glare can prevent eye strain. A pleasing view can positively impact mood and mental health. Therefore, such improvements could greatly enhance occupants' quality of life and increase workplace satisfaction and productivity in work settings. It's also critical from an architectural and design perspective: it provides a methodology and a tool for architects and designers to create more human-centric designs. Understanding and integrating these elements into design could revolutionize how buildings are planned and constructed in the future.


The publication fits the significant body of my work in the field of architectural design and urban planning, with a specific focus on using digital technology, such as computer-aided design and virtual environments, to enhance architectural design and urban planning. Our here-presented research on occupants' spatial adjustment and its impact on building design fits into that broader focus. We explored how to create more efficient and comfortable architectural spaces, considering human behaviour. Like much of my work, it seems to reflect a commitment to leveraging technology in the design process to ensure the built environment offers the best possible experience for its users.

Professor Marc Aurel Schnabel
Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A design methodology to consider occupants’ spatial adjustment and manage view content in adaptive façade design for improving visual comfort, Architectural Engineering and Design Management, September 2023, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/17452007.2023.2259394.
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