Research and Development

Our collaborative research is committed to serving industry needs and helping stakeholders understand how innovative solutions fit within the broad, complex context of building applications.

Research and Development

Façade technologies and systems can reduce energy used for building thermal conditioning and lighting and improve the indoor environmental quality (IEQ), comfort, health, and productivity of building occupants. Reaching these goals takes a focused, integrated approach.

Distributing daylight to areas away from the window or skylight can significantly reduce lighting energy use and enhance lighting quality in the indoor environment. Systems are characterized and evaluated using lab-scale measurements and simulations, and through full-scale field testing.

Micro- and macroscopic shading structures and advanced glazings can control solar gains and admit useful daylight, reducing both HVAC and lighting energy use while improving comfort near the window wall.

High-R, highly insulated windows reduce heat loss and gains, outdoor air infiltration, and mold and mildew caused by condensation. Thermal comfort near windows is improved, and perimeter zone heating can be eliminated in some climates.

Advanced coatings selectively admit visible light and reject the thermal infrared. Switchable coatings on glass or films have properties that are passively or actively controlled to modulate admission of light and heat. Material science continues to improve thin-film coatings and switchable device properties, manufacturability, and durability.

Intelligent façade systems employ dynamic components such as switchable glazings or motorized shade components to control direct sun, solar heat gains, daylighting, glare, and view. To deliver optimal benefits, the operation of these components must be coordinated with the changing demands of the zone, building, and even the micro- or regional utility grid.

Laboratory testing and accurate simulation tools are critical for evaluating feasibility at the early stages of a technology’s development. When full-scale prototypes are available, laboratory and outdoor field tests are needed to confirm whether design objectives have been met. Such tools and capabilities are continuously being developed and modified to meet the growing demands of innovation.