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About COTE

The Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. COTE serves as the community and voice on behalf of AIA architects regarding sustainable design.

View the COTE Timeline for major accomplishments throughout the years starting in 1990! 


The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program celebrates structures that use a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions which protect and enhance the environment. Entries are examined in regard to their design and innovation, integration with their community, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, approach to light and air, materials and construction, long-life considerations, and feedback loops. 

AIA/COTE Top Ten Awards Past Recipients

2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Interested in submitting for a 2016 COTE Top Ten/Top Ten +Award?  Learn more by checking out the 
2015 COTE Top Ten/Top Ten + Call for Entries!

Check out the 
2015 COTE Top Ten for Students Award Recipients!


Latest News

2015 AIA Taliesin Colloquium

 Whole-Building Life Cycle Assessment: New Conversations in Holistic Sustainability and Preservation

Registration is now open for the 2015 AIA Taliesin Colloquium at Taliesin West, Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday and Saturday, October 9-10, 2015, with an optional workshop on Sunday, October 11th. This is the first joint education program sponsored by both AIA’s Committee on the Environment and Historic Resources Committee, hosted and co-sponsored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

The colloquium will bring together the leading edge of investigation and practice in sustainability. The topic is useful and compelling to all building professionals, building owners and managers, and everyone concerned with the future of the built environment.


Guide to Using AIA Contract Documents & Software- In Person! 

Friday, September 25, 2015 | 9:30am - 5:00pm | Eligible for 6.5 AIA/CES LU Hours | Fee for members/non-members: $299

Don't miss this opportunity to attend an interactive session on the latest version of AIA Contract Documents and Software! During this course, you will learn the importance of having written contracts in place, and the potential dangers in operating without them; explore the contractual relationship between the various construction parties and how contracts define the responsibility, authority, and expectations of each; and  become familiar with the key features of commonly-used AIA contract documents.

COTE Scholar Program

Since 2008, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) proudly
partnered to offer the AIA/COTE Research Scholarship.  This program asks one selected student to conduct research and studies on a particular topic related to sustainable design – both at the building and community scale.

Realizing Next Generation Green
Sara Tepfer, AIA/AIAS COTE Research Fellowship 2013

2030 Commitment Case Studies
Megan Turner, AIA/AIAS COTE Research Fellowship 2012

Deep Green Renovations
Catharine Killien, AIA/AIAS COTE Research Fellowship 2011

Low Carbon Communities
Tyler Blazer
, AIA/AIAS COTE Research Fellowship 2010

An Energy Analysis of AIA/COTE Top Ten Projects
Nathan Brown, AIA/AIAS COTE Research Fellowship 2009

Hyrdrology & Water Conservation
Brad Zuger, M. Arch, AIA/AIAS COTE Research Fellowship 2008

COTE on Twitter

Upcoming Events

Latest Discussions

  • Mr Philipsen's argument is incomplete. Without a discussion about how Europe utilizes mass transit systems much more effectively than the US, there is no definitive conclusion. With significantly...

  • What "Dieselgate" Tells us about City Air Diesel, the city and the Chesapeake Bay In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal we received a rich diet of media...

  • Can Master Plans Seize the Future? This is part of a series of articles exploring the question, who owns the city and what it takes to run it. When I first came to the US and saw articles...

Latest Blogs

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    Scientists predict that extreme meteorological events are becoming more frequent and destructive. For instance late last year, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm recorded in the world so far, decimated... more

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    Read original article here . (Image by SXC) Our bodies are covered in skin that helps protect and regulate our internal temperature levels. In a similar fashion, a building’s envelope... more

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    Reflecting on one of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Repositioning themes, “Innovate” inspires ideas on building a better world. It brings to mind a new blog series called “ Building... more

    2 people recommend this.

COTE Resources

Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan
Prepared by AIA resident Fellow Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA

The Carbon Neutral Design Project
A joint effort by the AIA, members of COTE, and the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) to produce educational adn resource materials for carbon neutral design. 

Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education
Funded by a planning grant from the Tides Foundation’s Kendeda Sustainability Fund, the AIA COTE's report, Ecology and Design: Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education, provides a look at the degree to which ecological literacy and sustainability are playing a role in American architecture education.

COTE Measures of Sustainable Design

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