Mrs Priscila Besen

MArch-Sustainable Design UoA, BArchUrb UFSC

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Priscila Besen is a Brazilian Registered Architect with a background in sustainable design, ranging from the neighbourhood scale to the building scale. She is a certified Passivhaus Designer and is currently undertaking a PhD in Architecture at the University of Auckland, focusing on energy retrofit of historic buildings. Her interest is in creating better buildings and neighbourhoods in Aotearoa that take into account environmental, social, economic and cultural aspects in an integrated way.

She is a Board Member of Passive House Institute New Zealand - Te Tōpūtanga o te Whare Korou ki Aotearoa, and is a member of the Future Cities Research Hub at the University of Auckland.

Research | Current

Doctoral Research project: Heritage for the future - Integrating Energy Retrofitting to Seismic Upgrades of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in New Zealand. Supervisor: Dr. Paola Boarin; Co-Supervisor: Prof Errol Haarhoff.

Research Assistant for the project "Bridging the gap between environmental sustainability and heritage conservation in New Zealand". Principal Investigator: Dr Paola Boarin.

Research Assistant for the National Science Challenge 11: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, Strategic Research Area 4 - Shaping Places: Future Neighbourhoods. Principal Investigator: Prof Errol Haarhoff.

Teaching | Current

Tutorial Coordinator - ARCHTECH 210 - Environmental Design 1 - 2020.

Teaching Assistant - ARCHTECH 210 - Environmental Design 1 - 2016-2019.


Finalist - Future Thinker of The Year Prize | New Zealand Green Building Council | 2019

Certified Passive House Designer | Passivhaus Institut | 2017

1st Prize | eHaus Passive House Student Competition | The University of Auckland | 2015

1st Prize | International Student Design Competition: Sustainability and Social Housing | CHIS PUCRS | 2014

Honorable Mention - Urban Design Competition: Concurso Nacional - Revitalização do Centro Histórico de São José (SC) | 2014

Scholarship: Brazil Science Without Borders - Study abroad program at Parsons the New School for Design, New York | 2012

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Besen, P., Boarin, P., & Haarhoff, E. (2020). Energy and seismic retrofit of historic buildings in New Zealand: Reflections on current policies and practice. Historic Environment: Policy and Practice10.1080/17567505.2020.1715597
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paola Boarin
  • Boarin, P., Besen, P., & Haarhoff, E. (2018). Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Neighbourhoods: a Review of the Literature. 1-75. Auckland, New Zealand: BBHTC. Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paola Boarin
  • Besen, P., & Boarin, P. (2018). The Future of Historic Buildings: Retrofitting to Improve the Thermal Performance of New Zealand Architectural Heritage. In G. Passerini, N. Marchettini (Eds.) WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 217, 15-27. Siena, Italy: WIT Press. 10.2495/SDP180021
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paola Boarin
  • Besen, P., Leardini, P., & Boarin, P. (2017). Passive Houses in New Zealand: a comparison between predicted and real performance through post-occupancy evaluation. Paper presented at South Pacific Passive House Conference 2017, Christchurch, New Zealand. 3 March - 5 March 2017. (pp. 10). Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Paola Boarin
  • Besen, P. (2016). Passive House in New Zealand: a comparison between predicted and real performance through post-occupancy evaluation The University of Auckland. ResearchSpace@Auckland.
  • Besen, P., Leardini, P., & Melis, A. (2016). Passive House performance in Auckland: A postoccupancy hygrothermal comfort study. Paper presented at 2016 South Pacific Passive House Conference, University of Melbourne, Australia. 12 February - 13 February 2016. Related URL.
  • Besen, P., & Westphal, F. S. (2014). Fachadas de vidro no brasil: Um estudo comparativo de viabilidade econômica. Paper presented at XV Encontro Nacional de Tecnologia do Ambiente Construido, Maceio, Brazil. 12 November - 14 November 2014. (pp. 10).

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 3, Room 327
New Zealand