Dr. Negar Matin, an assistant professor of Interior Design, has been conducting research on the effects of photochromic coatings on the performance of buildings’ façades. She is conducting this project with research partners from the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) including Professor Ali Eydgahi, Dr. Mirabedini and Dr. Zareanshahraki. Zhina Rashidzadeh, a PhD student with Gibbs, is also working on the project. 

The project involves applying photochromic coatings to glass as they would be used in the windows of the façades. Using computer modeling, the researchers then measured how eight different combinations of red, blue, and yellow resulted in changes in various visual comfort metrics, including useful daylight illuminance, daylight glare probability, and uniformity of interior space.  

The results of these tests showed that using these photochromic coatings can improve the visual comfort inside – improving glare by 54% compared to regular glass and increasing useful daylight illuminance 36%. 

Moving forward, Dr. Matin and her team will look to integrate this idea with more advance mechanical and electronic technologies to design a hybrid façade system that will improve visual comfort conditions inside buildings.