Center Press

Struggling to design green buildings amid shifting legal, tech landscape

Professor Holly Samuelson stands on Weeks Bridge.

The push to prepare American cities and towns for greater climate resilience has become more urgent in recent years as scientific evidence of warming mounts and extreme weather events grow more common. Officials in many states, including Massachusetts and New York, are enacting new rules requiring developers and property owners to change or reduce the type or amount of energy used in their buildings, to incorporate certain construction materials and technology while excluding others, and to plan for rising seas and stormwater runoff.

Holly Samuelson, M.Des. ’09, D.Des. ’13, is an associate professor of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and core faculty researcher at the Harvard CGBC who focuses on architectural technology and how issues related to building design impact human and environmental health. She spoke to the Harvard Gazette about how the field is responding to all the rapid changes.

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