Committee on the Environment


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The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE®) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. Expand your positive impact: Engage in our advocacy efforts. Enjoy our last newsletter (and follow us on Twitter). To learn about the Framework for Design Excellence (formerly the COTE Top Ten Measures), click here >

A big thank you to our sponsors: 
Founding sponsor: Building Green
Presenting sponsor: GAF Roofing 

Sustaining sponsor: Lucifer Lighting Company, Kingspan
Green sponsors: AutodeskEPIC MetalsHKS, BPKC, ROCKWOOL, WRNSSkanska,
Allied sponsors: BNIM, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, LMN David Baker Architects   

Supporting sponsors: Humanscale, Mahlum 

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

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

Letter from the Chair- May 2020

By Julie Hiromoto AIA posted 05-13-2020 21:44


There are so many things that we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic: empathy and grace, the critical need for collective action, how to be more purposeful about inequities, the importance of the built environment and individual and collective behavior on public health outcomes, and how our social infrastructure can mobilize when lives are at stake.  

At this time of extreme disruption, when our preconceived notion of “normal” is softening, what will we discover and apply going forward? 

This month, we celebrate the 2020 COTE Top Ten Award and Student Competition winners. A special thank you to our jurors who braved travel to Washington D.C. as shelter-in-place and quarantine measures were going into effect in many communities throughout the U.S.
  • Bob Berkebile, FAIA, BNIM
  • Roy Decker, FAIA, Duval Decker
  • William Horgan, Intl. Assoc. AIA, Grimshaw
  • Andrea Love, AIA, Payette
  • Vivian Loftness, FAIA, Carnegie Mellon University
Their work was simplified, expedited, and greatly informed by the significant effort of our technical reviewers (Kjell Anderson, Josiah Cain, Jean Carroon, Erin English, Thomas Fisher, George Guy, Dirk Kestner, Jason Lackie, David Mead, Daniel Overbey, Robert Phinney, Jose Rodriguez, Kim Shinn, Jarrod Siegel, Julia Siple, Chris Webb, Jonathan Weiss, Liz York), who contributed hundreds of hours earlier this year to evaluate the performance of the submissions. Thank you so very much!

Since 2015, COTE has hosted a Top Ten Student competition with ACSA.  Schools across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico encourage students to explore the ten measures of Design Excellence and submit their studio projects.  The ACSA competition site also includes resources to support faculty in leading their design efforts.  We are honored to have the following jurors select this year's Top Ten.
  • Assistant Professor Elgin Cleckley- University of Virginia
  • Carly Couslon, AIA- COULSON
  • Michael Horan- Clemson University, recent student winner
  • Tom Kundig, FAIA- Olson Kundig
  • Dean Adrian Parr, PhD- University of Texas at Arlington

As mentioned in my April letter, the AIA’s first Climate Action Plan was approved by the Board of Directors in April, along with the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan which clearly calls out the priority of “climate action for human and ecological health.” These documents will be shared broadly in a more polished form soon, but here's a sneak peak.  

Julie Hiromoto 
AIA COTE 2020 Chair