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 last newsletter (and follow us on Twitter).

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

If you missed the 2020 Top Ten Toast, download a recording here

A big thank you to our partners: 
Founding partner: Building Green
Sustaining partners: Lucifer Lighting Company, Kingspan
Green partners: AutodeskEPIC MetalsHKS,  ROCKWOOL, WRNSSkanska, Thornton Thomasseti
Allied partners: BNIM, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, LMN David Baker Architects, Integral

Supporting partners: Humanscale, Mahlum, BPKC, Opsis

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

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

COTE Advocacy Update from Mike Davis, FAIA: Advocacy = Impact

By Kira L. Gould posted 07-13-2020 01:15 AM


Advocacy Update | Advocacy = Impact 

By Mike Davis, FAIA 

During the last few months, the US House of Representatives has moved or issued several legislative proposals that are closely aligned with the AIA’s principal advocacy focus: climate action. These Congressional actions are evidence that effective advocacy has an impact. 

“Solving the Climate Crisis, the Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America”, the 350-page report released by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, can be seen as one of the AIA’s biggest advocacy wins for 2020. AIA COTE members and AIA senior staff have been working with the office of the Speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), the committee’s Chair, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), and other Select Committee members since Pelosi convened the group in 2018. The report – a road map that could frame the work of the federal government for years to come – includes many progressive policy recommendations that were supported by the AIA. These include encouraging state legislatures to adopt net zero emissions codes, promoting a national building energy use benchmarking program, continued investment in climate science and decarbonizing building technology, and subsidizing greater building energy efficiency.  

Other new legislative initiatives the AIA and COTE Advocacy support and have endorsed include the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s “Moving Forward Act” (HR-2) that includes funding for school renovations, affordable housing, public transportation, and alternative energy production; and the “GREEN Tax Package” that would extend several renewable energy tax breaks and lifts restrictions against architects’ use of the 179d commercial building energy efficiency tax deduction. Both measures need to be taken up by the Senate.