The satisfaction of occupants with a built environment can vary depending on their response to certain design variables, such as window size. However, relevant studies are limited because of the necessity for immense resources and the technical difficulty of creating a physical environment with different window sizes under the same experimental conditions. To resolve this problem, a randomized crossover study design and a new method for virtual reality modeling are implemented to conduct two sets of experiments in the physical and virtual environments. By investigating the satisfaction of 50 participants in different built environments, this study identifies the responses of occupants not only to changes in the window-to-wall ratio (WWR) (i.e., 15%, 30%, 45%, and 60%) but also to differences in the physical and virtual office spaces. The results of this experimental study confirm the following. (i) The virtual environment is an adequate representation of the physical environment of windowed spaces; it exhibits no significant difference in occupant satisfaction between physical and virtual spaces. (ii) The participants express a significantly higher occupant satisfaction with the senses of visual comfort, inner space, and openness with higher WWRs (i.e., 30%, 45%, and 60%) than that with a lower WWR (i.e., 15%) by up to 1.86 times. However, although it is not statistically significant, the increase in the WWR decreases occupant satisfaction in terms of sense of privacy. By applying the proposed experimental approach of utilizing a virtual environment, it is possible to investigate various occupant responses to different window design variables.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Building and Construction