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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

AIA/COTE Top Ten

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: Project Delivery and Cost Management Strategies for High-Performance Buildings
Sara Tepfer, M. Arch, AIA/AIAS 2013 COTE Scholar

AIA 2030 Commitment Case Studies: Studying the Experience of Participant Firms
Megan Turner, AIA/AIAS 2012 COTE Scholar

Deep Green Renovation: Broad Scale Strategies for Achieving Deep Energy Savings in Existing Buildings
Catharine Killien, AIA/AIAS 2011 COTE Scholar

Low Carbon Communities: An Analysis of the State of Low-Carbon Community Design
Tyler Blazer, AIA/AIAS 2010 COTE Scholar

Performance by Design: An Energy Analysis of AIA/COTE Top Ten Projects
Nathan Brown, AIA/AIAS 2009 COTE Scholar

Hydrology & Water Conservation
Brad Zuger, M. Arch, AIA/AIAS 2008 COTE Scholar

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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Latest Discussions

  • This post raises interesting issues. Yes, school buses are a big expense and do add to traffic. However, many alternatives would increase the use of fuel, and add in a big way to air pollution and...

  • great observation and research! Awareness is the first step toward solutions. I am fortunate to live in Portland, OR with a great public transportation system and many walkable neighborhoods, but...

  • What transportation service is free but costs taxpayers $25 billion a year? That is a great pop quiz question. It could be augmented with all kinds of other surprising numbers around transportation...

Latest Blogs

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    Hello COTE Community! In all of the happenings of the month you may have missed this one item. On June 22, 2016, President Obama said “Here in America, folks should... more

  • 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