Buildings should not be the source of any inconvenience for neighbours and users of outdoor spaces. Preferably, they should contribute rather than be a burden. Depending on a building’s current or future function, the risk of nuisance is always present. In the case of bars, theatres or factories, people understand that noise or even vibrations can be a source of nuisance. Emissions or pollutants released into the air, water and soil are covered by environmental assessments. However, emissions from buildings to the outdoors can also have a direct impact on their surroundings. Pollution or odours are examples of such emissions.

Traffic might suffer from the high reflectivity of a façade, while adjacent buildings or areas might suffer from overshadowing. At night, the illuminance from a building or the presence of lighting may cause irritation or loss of concentration.

There are many aspects to take into consideration. What is important is the ability to predict any possible nuisance in order to take this into account in the design process. However, once a building is in use, it can still be useful to detect any possible nuisance. Noise and emissions, for example, can be detected and action can then be taken.