Andrea joined Payette as a Building Scientist in 2011 and was promoted to Director of Building Science in 2013. She is the leader of our Building Science Group and a national leader in building science, having held leadership positions with the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE), AIA 2030 Commitment and is the current chair of USGBCMA. Andrea is an essential team member on our recent performance-driven work including Tufts University, Northeastern University and Boston University. She is a 2017 AIA Young Architects Award recipient and was honored for her national impact and leadership in building science. Andrea currently teaches and lectures at both Harvard and MIT.
Andrea received her B.Arch. from Carnegie Mellon University and her M.S. in Architecture Studies from MIT, with a focus on Building Technology.
Here, Andrea shares a bit about herself.
What are you working on?
Everything. That’s the nice part about building science, we are involved in all the firm’s projects. For example, today I contributed to our projects at, Skidmore College, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of Connecticut. I also had conversations about staff recruitment, a new research project, an almost finished research project, a conference presentation, a new project pursuit, tracking project data and the 2030 Commitment. Every day is different.
What inspired you today?
I get inspired by all sorts of things. I went outside for a run at lunchtime today, and I found that to be inspiring. I had a great conversation with the building science group. They always inspire me. There are lots of people, both at Payette and sustainable design leaders at other firms, that I am always being inspired by.
Can design save the world?
I think it has to. There are so many challenges that we face as a society, like climate change. Good design that can create healthier and more sustainable buildings which positively impact our communities and the environment is a key part of addressing these challenges we face.
If you could give your past self advice, what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff as much. I think early in your career it’s harder to distinguish what is truly important, and I spent too much time worrying about things that probably didn’t really matter that much. Also, just keep going. Good or bad — don’t get hung up on things.
What are you reading?
Mostly I read picture books with my kids these days. My kids are pretty avid readers, so I spend a lot of time reading anything and everything they can get their hands on. I just finished reading “The Feast of Rose” (book 2 of the Taj Mahal series) by Indu Sunaresan which was a fascinating story of this woman who became arguably more powerful than even the emperor during the Mughal Empire despite all the restrictions placed on women at the time. Now I just started “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi that is a reinterpretation of “Snow White” and recommended by Director of Creative Engagement Karen Robichaud after a conversation we had on siblings who appear to be different races. I’m only about 40 pages in so far, but I’m looking forward to it.