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.

Expand your positive impact:
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: Sherwin-Williams
Sustaining partners: GAF Roofing, Milliken, ROCKWOOL, Andersen Windows
Green partners: EPIC Metals, Compass Datacenters
Allied partners: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

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

May/June COTE Network Update

By Kendall Claus posted 04-25-2022 12:47 PM


The Network is set to meet again on May 10, when Committee leaders will discuss lessons learned through the hybrid learning/working environment we’re all having to adapt. As COVID restrictions loosen, there are no doubt going to be challenges ahead, but the Committees will be working together to make the transition as manageable and productive as possible. The virtual world presented opportunities to collaborate with others we didn’t think were possible so there will no doubt be new ideas for potential programming and collaboration in the hybrid realm sprouting.  

We will also hear from Kathleen Lane, AIA, who is an AIA Managing Director, Sustainability & Resources, and Michael Winn, AIA, who is an AIA Senior Manager, State & Local Policy, about the National Coalition for Building Performance Standards, and discuss ways that COTE chapters can help advance and expand that work in various municipalities and states.

We have welcomed three new COTE Committees into our Network within the past month: AIA New Orleans COTE (formerly the 2030 Committee), AIA Arizona COTE, and AIA Buffalo/Western NY COTE. We’re excited that our family is continuing to grow!

The COTE Network Leaders, Bunny Tucker and Andrew Queenan have officially kicked off two new subcommittees: one focused on the COTE Chapter Guide and another focused on the Common App. Big thanks to our volunteers: Stefan Knust, Sherman Aronson, Jonathan Weiss, Beth Brandt, Henry Siegel, Sam Rusek, and Lauren Harris for stepping up to help with these efforts! They’ll be working to update, improve and maintain these valuable COTE resources throughout this year. Please contact if you'd like to join us for our upcoming COTE Network call on May 10! 

And of course, the COTE Network is booming with activity! Here’s a snapshot of a couple upcoming virtual events:


AIA Philadelphia COTE:

2030 Working Group: Crafting SMART Sustainability Goals (Workshop 2)

Webinar: Mon May 9, 2022 | 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm CST

You’re invited to join the AIA Philadelphia Committee on the Environment to learn more about the 2030 Commitment, to share knowledge, and to improve practice. Architects have an important role to play in addressing the climate crisis. In this session, participants will review the definition of a SMART sustainability goal as it applies to a firm, work in a group setting to craft SMART goals for their firm, evaluate units of measurement and frameworks for evaluating the achievement of SMART goals, and will learn to identify resources for writing and achieving firm sustainability goals.

Earn 1.5 LU | HSW (pending). Sign up HERE.


AIA Houston COTE:

COTE Lecture Series: Forest Stewardship Council - FSC Certified Wood in Green Building

Webinar: Th June 9, 2022 | 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CST

This webinar will provide an overview of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Through this course, you will learn why FSC products are a crucial conservation tool, how they integrate with broader green building standards, and how to identify, procure and properly document them to earn credit in green building programs. Trends in wood construction that serve as a solution to climate change, including mass timber and increasing interest in supply chain transparency, will also be discussed.

Earn 1 LU | HSW (pending). Sign up HERE.