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.

Check out COTE's history and timeline. 

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

COTE's Guide to AIA24, the AIA Conference on Architecture

By Kira L. Gould Hon. AIA posted 04-10-2024 11:52 AM


COTE’s Guide to AIA24: June 5-8 in Washington, DC


The AIA Conference on Architecture (AIA24) is coming up soon!


The COTE Leadership Group and many COTE volunteers and members of the COTE Network of chapters are looking forward to the conference as an opportunity to connect and learn with many of you in the COTE community who may be planning to attend.


There are some changes this year, about which you may have heard. The 2024 chair of COTE, Michelle Amt, FAIA, mentioned in her chair letter in COTE news (March/April 2024) that, in addition to COTE Top Ten winners not being announced on Earth Day (as they have been since the program’s launch in 1997), this year will also be our first without a COTE Top Ten Toast, and the first year for a long while without a Performing Beautifully session. The AIA is announcing all major national awards at the Awards Gala on Friday evening. Many Top Ten winners will be celebrate there, along with winners of other national AIA awards. 


This year, there are other ways for the COTE community and COTE Network to share and celebrate together! 


We hope you will join us at two events on Thursday:


COTE Open Forum: Climate Advocacy & Market Transformation / Event EV203 

THU 6 June: 11am-1230pm (no LUs) / Room 144
Speakers: Lindsey Falasca, Director of Federal Net Zero Buildings, White House CEQ; Dan Stine, AIA; Robin Puttock, AIA
Breakout Tables: Advocacy, Building Reuse, Resilience, the Framework, COTE Chapters, Climate Action/Climate Justice, and more
This is free and we encourage to you sign up ahead of time so that we know how many tables to host.


AIA’s Climate Action by Design Networking Reception, presented by COTE / Event EV219
THU 6 June: 5:30-730pm / Marriott Marquis Atrium / $80
Speakers: Michelle Amt, FAIA, Kimberly Dowdell, FAIA, NOMA, and others
We will come together to celebrate climate action across the AIA as well the COTE community and COTE Network of chapters. We will not be toasting this year’s Top Ten winners (they will be revealed publicly at the Gala the next day). 


As always, the COTE community will be will represented at many AIA24 sessions, too. To help you find those, we’ve compiled a (representative) list of sessions and events that include COTE community members. Other tips:




Session WE311 / The AIA Guide to Building Reuse for Climate Action
WED 5 June: 130-3pm (1.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 209
Speakers: Z Smith, FAIA, EskewDumezRipple; Kelsey Wotila, AIA, Foresight Management; Nakita Reed, AIA, NOMA, Quinn Evans; Helena Zambrano, AIA, Mahlum


Session WE409 / Water: The Carbon Case for On-Site Collection and Reuse
WED 5 June: 330-4pm (0.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 209
Speaker: Erica Weeks, AIA, Hastings Architecture


Session WE105 / Envelope Transitions Detailing Workshop: Where Systems Meet
WED 5 June: 930am-12pm (2.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 209
Speakers: Bradford Prestbo, FAIA; Will Babbington, Felipe Francisco, Chris O’Hara, all with Studio NYL


Session WE302 / Changing Enclosures for a Changing Climate
WED 5 June: 130-4pm (2.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 147
Speakers: David Altenhofen, AIA, RWDI; Eddy Santosa, AIA, Mott MacDonald; Will Babbington, Studio NYL


Tour ET123 / Stead Park: D.C.’s First Net-Zero Community Center
WED 5 June: 1-3pm (2 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Convention Center Departure / $
Speakers: Joe Celentano, AIA; Michael Spory, AIA, both of VMDO Architects



Event EV203 / COTE Open Forum: Climate Advocacy & Market Transformation
THU 6 June: 11am-1230pm (no LUs) / Room 144
Speakers: Dan Stine, AIA, Lake|Flato Architects; Robin Puttock, AIA, Kennesaw State University
Breakout Tables: Advocacy, Resilience, the Framework, Climate Action/Climate Justice, and more
This is free and we encourage to you sign up ahead of time so that we know how many tables to host.


Event EV209 / Material Health: Materials Pledge Open Forum
THU 6 June: 11am-1230pm (no LUs)
Alas, this coincides with the COTE Open Forum, so we won’t have a Materials breakout at COTE Open Forum.


Workshop / Next Gen: Framework for Design Excellence Workshop
THU 6 June: 245-4pm / Next Gen Lounge: Booth 2861
Speaker: Robin Puttock, FAIA, Kennesaw State University


Event EV219 / AIA’s Climate Action by Design Networking Reception, presented by COTE
THU 6 Jun: 530-730pm / Marriott Marquis Atrium
Speakers: Michelle Amt, FAIA, of VMDO; Kimberly Dowdell, FAIA, NOMA, HOK; and others 


Session TH108 / Building Alignment: The Role of Project Certifications to Drive Impact
THU 6 June: 2-330pm (1.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 209
Speakers: Annie Bevan, mindful MATERIALS; Wes Sullens, LEED Fellow, USGBC; Whitney Gray, Delos; Melissa Morancy, Assoc. AIA, AIA Climate Action Pledge Programs


Session TH409 / Convincing Conversations: How to Talk to Clients about Climate Resilience
THU 6 June: 4-5pm (1 LU/HSW/RIBA) / Room 207B
Speakers: Heather Appel, Assoc. AIA, Mill Creek Residential Trust; Lindsay Brugger, AIA, Urban Land Institute


Session TH215 / Visualizing Net Zero Energy, 2030 Data and Tableau
THU 6 June: 4-5pm (1 LU/HSW/RIBA) / Room 209
Speaker: Jesse Walton, AIA, Mahlum


Session TH302 / Foundation to Action: Putting the Common Materials Framework into Action
THU 6 June: 4-5pm  (1 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 146A
Speakers: Lona Rerick, AIA, ZGF; Jack Dinning, LEED AP, WELL AP, Brightworks; Nadav Malin, Hon. AIA, Building Green; Mary Dickinson; Annie Bevan, mindful MATERIALS




Session FR208 / Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast
FRI 7 June: 2-330pm (1.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 143
Speakers: Ellen Mitchell, LPA; Keith Hempel, LPA; Dan Stine, Lake|Flato Architects; Ashley Mulhall, Orcutt|Winslow


Tour ET213 / Teaching Schools: Arlington’s Net-Zero-Energy Schools
FRI 7 June: 1-430pm (2.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Convention Center Departure / $
Speakers: VMDO project leaders


Session FR401 / Getting to Net-Zero: A Case Study of Arlington Public Schools
FRI 7 June: 4-5pm (1 LU/HSW/RIBA) / Room 146B
Speakers: Wyck Knox, FAIA, and Michelle Amt, FAIA, both of VMDO Architects


Event EV310 / On the Cutting Edge: Building Performance Knowledge Community Forum
FRI 7 June: 1000-1130 (no LUs) / Room 143


Event EV306 / Connection & Community Building: AIA 2030 Commitment Open Forum
FRI 7 June: 11am-1230pm  (no LUs) / Room 145


Tour ET204 / Walking Tour: Resilient Federal Triangle in a Changing Environment
FRI 7 June: 1015am-1245pm  (2 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Convention Center Departure / $
Speakers: Phetmano Phannavong, PE, AECOM; Daniel Bass, RA, FEMA


Session FR210 / Determined: The Power of Storytelling for Climate Action
FRI 7 June: 2-3:30pm (1.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 146A
Speakers: Allison Anderson, FAIA, unabridged Architecture; Amber Lombardo, AIA Memphis; Matt Wallace, AIA, Lake|Flato Architects; Kathleen Lane, AIA Climate Action/Design Excellence 


Session FR409 / The Climate Change Liability Storm: Is Your Practice Prepared?
FRI 7 June: 4-5pm  (1 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 147
Speakers: Michael Eliason, AIA, Larch Lab; Monte Paulsen, Climate Ready Buildings Group




Session SA103 / Scenario Planning for Climate Resilience: A Design Charrette
SAT 8 June: 10am-1230pm (2.5 LUs/HSW/RIBA) / Room 207A
Speakers: Patrick Cipriano, LEED GA, graduate student at the University of Minnesota College of Design; Ariane Laxo, Allied AIA, HGA; Richard Graves, FAIA, U of MN Center for Sustainable Building Research; Heidi Roop, PhD, University of MN Climate Adaptation Partnership


Session SA206 / Lahaina Wildfire Lessons: What Planners & Architects Need to Know
SAT 8 June: 10-11am (1 LU/HSW/RIBA) / Room 147
Speakers: Dean Sakamoto, FAIA, Dean Sakamoto Architects/SHADE; Karl Kim, PhD, National Disaster Preparedness Training Center



If sessions are missing, please email and we will add them to the list.