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YPiE Spotlight: Laura Samoisette

Name:

Laura Samoisette


City/Town of Residence:

Center Barnstead


Employer:


Title:

High Performance Buildings Project Manager


Why did you decide to work in the clean energy industry?

It was actually by chance; I was mostly interested in design work coming out of school such as smart city planning or biophilic design. A family friend told me about my current employer, who was helping her company receive energy efficiency rebates, and she had a great experience with them. I didn't know of many sustainability focused companies at the time, so I explored their website and ended up relating to their mission and vision.


What interested you in working at your current employer?

On the Resilient Buildings Group (RBG) website there was a short section about the company's mission which included improving human-comfort in the built environment, reducing emissions and contributing to large-scale solutions for more sustainable world. Although their services didn't align perfectly with what I had envisioned myself doing in the future, their goals aligned with my passions. I'm really happy that I put aside what I thought I wanted, to give a different side of the sustainability industry a shot.


Describe the work you do in more detail.

I'm lucky to have a wide variety of work as part of my role as project manager of the High-Performance Division. On a normal day I'm reviewing architectural drawings for LEED or WELL compliance. Perhaps conducting an energy charrette with a project team whose goals are to reduce operational energy costs or offset energy consumption with a solar array. Along the way I'm always checking in on my colleague's project status, creating contracts, or even making marketing materials. A lot of my work relates to energy efficiency incentives or state funding in some way. The NHSaves program is a great motivator for clients to make energy efficiency a high priority in their building design and programming. It's always a treat when the owner or a consultant is excited about the program offerings, and we get to review in-depth the design scenario with the best energy savings!


What aspect of your job excites you most? Why?

Our new biophilic design service excited me most, partly because I am leading the service from the ground up and partly because it combines aesthetic design with environmental conservation. So often people get caught up in the look of a material and not the environmental benefit. Now I get to advocate for having both. Overall, I think it's the freedom I have in this position to make a difference in whatever way is going to be impactful. It all comes back to the RBG mission.


What makes you hopeful about the clean energy transition in New Hampshire?

I get to work with passionate people every day, which gives me hope that we can make big steps to speeding up the clean energy transition if we can increase the number of the passionate people. For those not in the industry, I could understand having a pessimistic outlook on our trajectory, because they don't get to hear from the amazing people making progress each day. I see our strength in outlook and attitude rather than state requirements - which are not moving us at the pace of other surrounding states.


What do you believe is the most pressing challenge that lies ahead for the clean energy industry in the state?

Similar to the climate change issue, which may be a debate more relatable and bigger picture to readers, I see the issue lying in convincing the non-believers. It's very difficult to get a climate change non-believer to hear you out, because they are already casting aside the science, the current events, and the necessary transition in the way we design and consume. The clean energy industry is being held back by those who are afraid of CHANGE.


What interested you most about being part of YPiE?

I was looking for a good networking opportunity outside of the annual Local Energy Solutions (LES) Conference or sustainability fairs. It helps that everyone is very relatable and supportive - the events we host are fulfilling!


What advice would you give to someone that is new to the industry or fresh out of college?

Use your resources here at YPiE to advance yourself. Chances are that someone within our group has experience with whatever you're interested in. Don't create more work for yourself - we are more than happy to help!


In terms of landing a first job: A lasting impression is someone who asked questions and showed genuine interest, and is not just going through the motions to check a box.


Even when it comes to landing an internship, don't be afraid to reach out to an employer that doesn't have an internship posted. Tell them about your passion to learn and provide your availability...you could be surprised at where you land.



A typical weekend for me is…

A trip to Boston/NY to see a music event, drawing, or some kind of craft (that I'll either sell or get too attached to), and a game of Settlers of Catan with friends.


What’s on your bucket list?

Definitely a trip to Japan, but also Italy, Iceland and Bali are up there. My other bucket list items are mostly related to buying a home on a big piece of land and designing an open-air studio and Japanese garden.


Tell us one thing most people don’t know about you.

I never know how to answer this. I guess that I'm really into finances and planning.


Fun Facts:

Coffee or Tea? And how do you take it?

Tea - specifically matcha and even better if it's iced with boba.


Favorite NH Restaurant

Oak House in Newmarket.


Favorite Musician/Band/Music Genre

I would say Lane 8, but there are some very close seconds. Progressive House is my preferred genre.


Fave Recreational Activity

Depends completely on the mood. Sometimes it's playing board games, other times it's exploring a new place.

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