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: 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. 

Julie Hiromoto: Making sustainability inclusive and achievable

By Kira L. Gould Hon. AIA posted 02-21-2018 05:08 PM


rsz_hiramoto_julie.jpgJulie Hiromoto, AIA, is a stellar example of the kind of architect who is deeply involved developing standards, information sharing amongst firms, and other industry activities. Hiromoto, a Senior Vice President at HKS and its New York Office DIrector, has managed a diverse variety of projects including One World Trade Center in New York and the Tropicana Field Vision Plan (transformation of an existing MLB ballpark into district in St. Petersburg, Florida, as well as hospitality interiors. She will be an important liaison for COTE to the Large Firm Roundtable and its Sustainability Group (she is a former chair).

“I will be working on the Advocacy aspect of COTE’s mission,” Hiromoto says, “but I expect to find within COTE outlets for other passions that I share with COTE AG Chair Angie Brooks and others, such as diversity, inclusion, equity, research and development, engagement and evaluation, and water issues. There are many synergies with my interests, my alliances, and COTE’s mission, especially in the areas of Advocacy and learning from the achievements of the COTE Top Ten Award Winners.”

Hiromoto advised on Past Chair Mary Ann Lazarus’s important Sustainable Leadership Opportunity Scan published in October 2013 and looks forward to working with the Institute to establishing priorities and a roadmap for the next three years.

Hiromoto hopes to help COTE pose big questions and encourage members to explore innovative responses. For example, regarding resilience and equity: The poorest (economically) usually suffer the most from environmental disasters and the lack of investment in high-performance infrastructure. “How can we flip this paradigm, especially as humanity continues to migrate to urban centers?” she asks. And, she notes, sustainable design leaders tend to be more diverse than the architecture profession as a whole. “How can some of the innovative and collaborative thinking of this group influence the larger profession?”