Committee on the Environment

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Who we are

The Committee on the Environment (COTE®) is an AIA Knowledge Community working for architects, allied professionals, and the public to achieve climate action and climate justice through design. We believe that design excellence is the foundation of a healthy, sustainable, and equitable future. Our work promotes design strategies that empower all AIA members to realize the best social and environmental outcomes with the clients and the communities they serve.

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Engage in our advocacy efforts. Enjoy our latest on COTE news (and follow us on Twitter).

To learn about the Framework for Design Excellence (formerly the COTE Top Ten Measures), click here.

Did you miss the 2021 Top Ten Toast, download a recording here.

Check out COTE's history and timeline. 

Starting a local COTE or sustainability group and need some guidance? Check out the AIA COTE Network Guide here.

A big thank you to our partners: 
Founding partner: Building Green
Premier partners: Kingspan, Sherwin-Williams
Sustaining partners: GAF Roofing, Kawneer, Milliken, ROCKWOOL
Green partners: AutodeskEPIC MetalsHKSThornton Tomasetti, Skanska
Allied partners: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

This 2019 video was compiled by GAF, a COTE sponsor. 

On the Value of Diversity & Loving More

By Eana Bacchiocchi posted 04-25-2022 04:04 PM

By Katie Swenson

The 15th anniversary of Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (Ecotone, 2007) by Kira Gould. Hon. AIA, and Lance Hosey, FAIA, gives us a chance to reflect on our progress and, perhaps more importantly, our process. The early and sad loss of co-author Lance Hosey, who died last year, makes all these questions even more poignant, as does the climate science. We know that our future is going to look very different from our past. What we need now more than ever is imagination, and to usher in creativity and resourcefulness.  

I had the chance to interview the author duo for Arch News Now in 2008, and Lance shared this: “How do you answer the question, “How do we love more?” One thing I learned, being a particularly left-brained guy, is that we don’t need to pin down concepts such as “sustainability” – in fact, we shouldn’t even try. The most brilliant thing anyone says in this book is that this word’s openness is a great advantage because it allows itself to be filled with meaning as our intelligence evolves.” Rereading Women in Green is a reminder that the sensibilities explored in this book -- inclusivity, collaboration, relationships, improvisation, and love -- are essential tools of our time. 


To mark the anniversary and in memory of Lance, Ecotone, the publishing arm of the International Living Future Institute, is offering a discount code for readers to get the Women in Green ebook free (you can use this link:, click on digital books to order and the ebook will follow via email).  

Katie Swenson is a nationally recognized design leader, researcher, writer, and educator. She is a Senior Principal of MASS Design Group, an international non-profit architecture firm whose mission is to research, build, and advocate for architecture that promotes justice and human dignity. Katie, who was the a winner of the 2021 AIA Award for Excellence in Public Architecture, is also the author of numerous books including two she launched in 2020: Design with Live: At Home in America (about the Enterprise Rose Fellowship, which she led for several years), and In Bohemia: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Kindness