Committee on the Environment

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

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

A big thank you to our 2024 sponsors: 
Founding sponsors: Building Green
Premier sponsors: Sherwin-Williams, Stantec
Sustaining sponsors: GAF Roofing, Milliken, Andersen Windows,
BlueScope Buildings
Green sponsors: EPIC Metals
Allied sponsors: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

New Board Committee for Climate Action and Design Excellence

By Kira L. Gould Hon. AIA posted 02-15-2021 06:22 PM


New Board Committee for Climate Action and Design Excellence 

By Kira Gould 

The AIA continues to elevate climate action as a priority. In one move that will heighten cohesion and accountability around climate action, the AIA board established a new Board Committee (at the end of 2020), which is convening now: it is the Committee for Climate Action and Design Excellence (whose acronym, CCADE, is being pronounced like cicada, as in the insect superfamily).   

CCADE is one of only six Board Committees. These groups report directly to the Board and President about key issues in support of AIA’S Climate Action Plan through the Framework for Design Excellence. The official committee charge is to:  

  • advise the Board on issues to support transformation of the day-to-day practice of architects to achieve a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient and healthy built environment as defined in the Framework of Design Excellence;  
  • coordinate activities between related committees and advice on program prioritization; and 
  • provide expertise and influence to align and utilize external messaging to level support of peers, clients, policy makers, and the public. 

AIA 2021 President Peter Exley, FAIA, appointed CCADE leadership based on recommendations from staff and member leadership from AIA sustainability and resilience committees.  The inaugural CCADE cohort brings diverse expertise and experience to the Institute. Mr. Exley sought participation from members with deep ties to AIA’s existing programs and products as well as voices new to the Institute. Their expertise ranges from resilient design to materials sustainability to urban planning and entrepreneurial innovation. Board and Strategic Council representatives provide added accountability and insight to CCADE’s work. 

“Architects have a leadership position and responsibility to provide buildings and places that support life,” says 2021 CCADE Chair Liz York, FAIA, of the CDC, who also was a chair of AIA’s Design & Health Leadership Group. “This committee is a chance for us to clarify how sustainability, resilience, and equity are part of design excellence, and support our members in manifesting those goals for every client and community.” 

CCADE includes: 

Allison Anderson, FAIA, principal with unabridged Architecture;
Ralph Bicknese, AIA, principal with Hellmuth-Bicknese Architects;
Carlton Hart, Urban Planner, National Capital Planning Commission;
Hiromoto, AIA, Director of Integration, HKS;
Kipkin, FAIA, Kipnis Architecture + Planning;
Vincent Martinez, COO, Architecture 2030;
Mondor, AIA, Managing Principal, evolve;
Satcher, CEO/Founder, Makhers Studio;
Liz York, FAIA, Senior Advisor, Buildings & Facilities Strategy & Innovation, CDC;
Nathanial Hudson, AIA, Principal, 
FormGrey Studio;
Jessica Sheridan, AIA, Principal, Mancini Duffy;
Omar Hakeem, AIA, Principal, To Be Done & STUDI-OH; and
Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, Architect/Consultant, Cameron 
MacAllister Group.  

This group is working with key AIA staff members including Lindsay Brugger, AIA; Rachel Minnery, FAIA; Melissa Morancy, Assoc. AIA: Terri Stewart, Hon. AIA; and Melissa Wackerle 

Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, serves on the CCADE and the AIA’s Strategic Council, and was the lead author on t
he AIA’s Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan. She is serving, she says, “because the AIA has really stepped up with a clear focus on climate change and equity in a meaningful way at the highest level. This committee can, I think, really make a difference as the practice transforms.” 

Julie Hiromoto, AIA, of HKS, who was COTE’s chair in 2020, is also a member of CCADE. She suggestthat the committee will be able to help the Institute leverage the Framework for Design Excellence, coordinate access to numerous other resources, and crystallize the growing awareness that sustainability is not separate from design but integrated within.”