UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Let the sunshine in: Perception of windows by Chinese office workers


1 January 2013

The right amount of glazing in large office buildings is fiercely debated within the FM, property and construction industry. At stake is the balance between the beneficial effects of daylight and views, discomfort from glare, excessive summer heat gain or winter heat loss, and the associated cost of cooling or heating necessitated by excessive radiant heat gain or loss. This study sought empirical evidence from people working in eight large office buildings in the city of Ningbo, China. 100 people in each of eight large buildings all occupied by financial or professional services organizations, were given a questionnaire. A total of 776 questionnaires were completed, an extremely high response rate of 97%. The starting point was a concern that a significant amount of floor area adjacent to windows was being wasted intentionally by FMs and space planners to avoid limiting productivity through the discomfort of people working near windows. In fact the main findings show that the percentage of people satisfied with their workstations generally increases for those closer to windows, thus confirming studies conducted in other parts of the world. Satisfaction was shown to increase for people working on the sunny sides of the buildings - south, east and west, compared to north. Highest productivity is obtained for people sitting one or two desks away from window. The paper concludes by highlighting suggested policies for allocating office space to different functions, supported by these data, while also pinpointing the knowledge gaps still to be filled by new research.

Let the sunshine in: Perception of windows by Chinese office workers. International Journal of Facility Management, 4 (3) 1 - 13.

Read more here.

Cai, J; Marmot, AF; (2013)