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

Design the Future Podcast: Janice Barnes

By Kira L. Gould Hon. AIA posted 04-11-2024 12:48 PM


For our latest episode, we (Lindsay Baker and Kira Gould) had a conversation with Janice Barnes, Ph.D. She is founder of Climate Adaptation Partners. She uses her training in architecture and organizational behavior to help clients understand risks and evaluate adaptation pathways and link these to design and financing options. She works at the intersection of climate change, design, and public health and uses the inviting question “how might we?” to frame her work.

We talked with Janice about her advocacy and education work, her current client and project work, and more. "Climate adaptation," she says, "is part of design. We have a professional obligation to consider climate projections, explore what those mean, and then decide what you are going to do about that.”

Janice uses a musical metaphor to talk about team collaboration. She says that she plays rhythm guitar and brings unconventional bandmates to the session. “In this way, I have found that I can contribute design thinking and bring climate science experts and epidemiologists to the table. What we come up with together is so much better -- a system of solutions that do multiple things for stakeholders, ecosystem, and community.”

Listen at or on your favorite podcast platform. Please consider leaving a review on Apple; it helps people find us.

related links:

AMA Climate and Health Emergency Declaration 

New York State Climate Impact Assessment (with Perry Sheffield & others) 

New York City Panel on Climate Change 

National Academies Community-Driven Relocation Consensus Study