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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! 

Latest News



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

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

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

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 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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Upcoming Events

Latest Discussions

  • Water Wars and the City Why should city residents care about water? You turn the faucet on and out it comes, what is there to be concerned about? Worrying about water is for those with wells, those...

  • PLEA 2016 Conference – Los Angeles Cities, Buildings, People: Towards Regenerative Environments Deadline for Abstracts is Nov 8 A reminder that the deadline for abstract submissions to...

  • Dear colleague, I write to alert you of an upcoming conference, Caring for Our Common Home: Sustainable, Just Cities & Settlements , that I think may be of interest to you. I have been attending...

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.