Holly W. Samuelson, DDes, AIA, LEED


Holly W. Samuelson is an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD).  She teaches architectural technology courses, specializing in the energy and environmental performance of buildings. 

Dr. Samuelson's research focuses on energy conservation, computerized simulation, occupant behavior, and the future of building practice as it relates to these topics. Among her authored and coauthored papers, she has contributed articles to Building and Environment, the Journal of Building Performance Simulation, and Ecological Urbanism (Lars Müller, 2010).  She has presented at multiple conferences, including GreenBuild and the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) conference, where her work was awarded the ARUP best paper prize.

Samuelson has been awarded research grants from the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), International Facilities Management Association, the Harvard Real Estate Academic Initiative, and others. Her dissertation, entitled "Toward Buildings That Work: Reusing Design-Phase Energy Models for Operations-Phase Improvements" focused on the reuse of a design-phase tool to narrow the search for malfunctioning buildings and building systems.  This research overcomes both technical and human challenges of obtaining more value from the industry's growing supply of energy models.

Samuelson’s courses include Environmental Systems in Architecture (a required core lecture class), Energy Simulation for Design, Daylighting, and Environment, Economics, & Enterprise. She consults in the core architecture studios, serves regularly on design juries, and teaches courses in the Harvard Graduate School of Design/Harvard Business School executive education programs. She has taught professional workshops on green building rating systems nationally and internationally.

Prior to joining Harvard, Samuelson practiced full-time as an architect (2000-2007) and sustainable design consultant (2007-2008). As a licensed architect, her collaborative work has been recognized for design and ecological excellence by the Boston Society of Architects, Journal of the Urban Land Institute, and The Boston Globe. Samuelson serves on the scientific advisory committee for the ASHRAE/IBPSA Conference (2014) and served as the founding president of IBPSA-Boston (2011-2013).

Samuelson earned a Doctor of Design and Master in Design Studies with distinction from Harvard Graduate School of Design where she was awarded the Gerald M. McCue medal. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture with honors from Carnegie Mellon where she was awarded the American Institute of Architects Henry Adams Gold Medal.

People: Holly Samuelson

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