Skip to main content
Quality Views Analysis and cove.tool

Understanding quality view types and LEED Credit requirements

Patrick Chopson avatar
Written by Patrick Chopson
Updated over a week ago

Along with sDA & ASE, radiation, shadow, and sun hours 3D visualizations, cove.tool analyzes your building's configuration for 3 types of quality views.

What is a Quality Views Analysis?

Quality Views is a set of standards used to evaluate the effectiveness of a building's design to provide building occupants with substantial and beneficial views. cove.tool offers 4 quality view assessments:

  • Total Quality Views: Total percentage of floor area that has at least two of the following three kinds of views.

  • Type 1 - 90° Sight Lines: Multiple lines of sight to vision glazing in different directions at least 90 degrees apart

  • Type 2 - Sky and Context: Views that include at least a view of the sky and objects at least 25 feet (7.5 meters) from the exterior of the glazing

  • Type 3 - Unobstructed View: Unobstructed views located within a distance of three times the head height of vision glazing

These analysis types are taken from the LEED v4.0 IEQ c7 Quality Views Credit type 1-3 and a total quality view count. App breakdown is below:

Calculation Method

Taken from the "LEED v4.0 - IEQ c7 Quality Views" Credit, the Quality Views Assessment is a grid-based analysis. First, each floor of the analyzed building is divided into 1-foot x 1-foot grid cells. Then, from the center of each grid cell, the presence of obstructions is checked in all directions, namely, walls, windows, and furniture. If a window is present without obstruction, the distance from the grid center to the obstruction is determined, and this information is used in calculating the different LEED Views Scores for that grid cell. There are three different scores calculated to determine four different view types for each grid cell:

  1. Sight Lines: If there are two windows present in the line of sight from the center of this grid cell in any two directions, such that the directions are at least 90 degrees apart, a positive ‘Type 1’ score is assigned to this grid cell.

  2. Sky and Context: If there is a window present in the line of sight from the center of this grid cell this analysis checks two lines of sight through the window. In the horizontal light of sight, if no context building or building element exists at least 25 ft beyond the window, this analysis is partially satisfied.
    The second part of this analysis checks along an oblique line of sight from the grid cell center when looking toward the top of the window. If there is no context building or building element exists at least 25 ft beyond the window, this analysis is completely satisfied and a positive ‘Type 2’ score is assigned to this grid cell. This analysis can be visualized in the GIF below.

  3. Unobstructed View: If from the grid center there is a window in direct line of sight within the distance that is at most three times the maximum height of the window itself from the floor, the grid cell is assigned a ‘Type 3’ positive score.

  4. Total Quality Views: If at least two of the above conditions are satisfied then the grid cell is assigned a positive ‘Merged Views’ Score.

Forward Raytracing Method

For each type of the above analysis, the LEED Views ‘Type’ Scores for the individual grid cells comprising a floor are averaged, providing the LEED Views ‘Type’ Score for that floor (LEED Views ‘Type’-floor= average of LEED Views ‘Type’-grids). The LEED

Views ‘Type’ Scores for all the floors are then averaged to provide an overall LEED Views ‘Type’ Score for the building (LEED Views ‘Type’ -building = average of LEED Views ‘Type’ -floors).

The building's complete LEED Views Quality is given by the Merged Views Score. If the Merged LEED Views Score of the building is above 75% the building is considered to have good Quality Views. The underlying method considers the line of sight to be a ray parallel to the floor at a height of 4.5ft in any of the 360-degree directions. Any building element other than a window is considered an obstruction of the line of sight. The window is assumed to have transparency. When considering the view towards the sky, the view is expected to not have an obstruction but does not consider context farther than 25 ft or visibility of the sky.

After the Quality Views Score has been calculated for each grid cell comprising the floor, the scores are assigned to color to generate a heatmap. The purpose of this heatmap is to provide a visual representation of the view's effectiveness for the entire assessment of each view type.

Why you should know the quality of your building's view?

Designing for quality views involves consideration of building orientation and site design, facade, and interior layout. In particular, Healthcare projects may be required to rethink the fundamental building typology. Integrated design enables project teams to identify potential compromises.

Building occupants who can visually connect with outdoor environments while performing everyday tasks experience greater satisfaction, attentiveness, and productivity. Workers seated at computers, who often develop eye strain or dry eyes from looking at their screens for extended periods without a break, find relief in attractive distance views. In healthcare facilities, providing patients with views and access to nature can shorten hospital stays and reduce stress, depression, and the use of pain medication. Views of the outdoors also connect the occupants with natural environmental cues, such as diurnal changes from light to dark and the changes in light from season to season, which is important for maintaining natural circadian rhythms. Disruption of these rhythms can lead to long-term health care problems, including mental disorders.

Is this analysis LEED Compliant?
Yes, check out how in this article. Users can also generate a LEED report using the drawing.tool, steps here.


What are the differences between the cove.tool's Views analysis and LEED credit description of the Quality Views Assessment?

>Differences listed below;

  • Atrium views will not be calculated into the final quality views credit in cove.tool.

  • For View Type 2 - Sky & Context, cove.tool only accesses for two of the following assessments: (1) flora, fauna, or sky; (2) movement; and (3) objects at least 25 feet from the exterior of the glazing.

  • The quality views assessment does not include view type 4: views with a view factor of 3 or greater, as defined in “Windows and Offices; A Study of Office Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment.” As this assessment requires knowing programming placement.

Did this answer your question?