Vertical Sky Component try our VSC calculator

The Vertical Sky Component is a measure of the amount of skylight incident on a vertical plane (it is the Sky Factor on a Vertical Plane). It is most commonly applied to the light incident at the centre of a window and in this sense is a measure of the potential for good daylighting. The VSC is calculated by taking the ratio of the skylight incident at a point to the unobstructed skylight available at that same point on a horizontal plane. For a uniform sky, the maximum value is 50% (since the point is on a vertical plane, clearly only half the hemisphere can contribute). For a CIE sky, the maximum value is 39.6%.

In this example, we show how the VSC varies across the face of a set of windows. Clearly, the further down the windows are, the less light they receive, and the lower the value of the VSC.

BRE Criterion
The guidelines state that if the VSC at the centre of a window is less than 27% and less than 0.8 times its former value, the diffuse daylighting of the existing building will be adversely affected. A value of 27% corresponds to an infinite obstruction angle of 25 degrees. This guideline (as with all the BRE guidelines) can be interpreted flexibly. The above criterion was developed in the case of suburban development where existing development was 2 storeys across an average street width. In city centre locations, the target VSC can be reduced to allow proposed buildings to match the height of other buildings in the neighbourhood.

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