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.

Enjoy our latest on COTE news (and follow us on X and LinkedIn). 

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
Sustaining sponsors: GAF Roofing, Milliken, Andersen Windows,
BlueScope Buildings
Green sponsors: EPIC Metals
Allied sponsors: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

March Climate Action Events!

By Lisa M. Ferretto AIA posted 02-23-2024 03:38 PM


End of February:

Feb 26- NIBS Building Innovation Deadline for Speaker Submission - Extension

Feb 26, 12 pm ET, Cultural Expression Through Mass Timber—The Village SF Wellness Center

Feb 27, 11 am ET, Informational Webinar - Building Envelope Innovation Prize

Feb 27 - Mar 1, 2024 AIA Leadership Summit (DC)

Feb 27, 11 am ET, DOE Buildings Webinar Series - Illuminating impact: integrated lighting campaign gives back to the community

Feb 28, 12pm ET, AIASF COTE Book Talk: Experiential Design Strategies (Virtual)

Feb 29, 3 pm ET; AIA 2030 Commitment reporting season - "Ask us anything" sessions. 


Mar 1, LEED v4 Energy Update

The buildings we build and operate today will have impacts that last for generations. This means that while looking ahead to LEED v5, the current versions of LEED must also move forward to address the climate crisis. This understanding has led to a proposed update to energy requirements in LEED v4 that is now approved through the USGBC member ballot process.  Beginning on March 1, 2024, all new registering projects will be required to use the updated language. Note: this date has been extended from Jan. 1, 2024.

Mar 4, Fifth National Climate Assessment Webinar - Economics and Supply Chains

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is hosting a series of webinars dedicated to the Fifth National Climate Assessment. Please join to learn more about each chapter, ask questions, and hear directly from the chapter authors.

Mar 5, 11 am ET, DOE Buildings Webinar Series - Getting a handle on clean hydrogen

Join this webinar to explore the clean hydrogen landscape, learn about industry applications of clean hydrogen, and hear how DOE is accelerating market transformation.

Mar 5, Launch of the 2023 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR).

An online press conference launch of the 2023 edition of the GlobalABC flagship report: Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction (Buildings-GSR). This year's Buildings-GSR will review the buildings and construction status in terms of key data/trends as well as the decarbonization actions and activities taking place across the sector, will provide recommendations for policy actions, and will include two topical deep dive chapters on “Adaptation and resilient construction methods” and “Innovations in business cases (renovation and construction industry)”.  

Mar 5-7, Green Schools 2024 Conference (NM)

The Green Schools Conference (GSC) brings together everyone involved in creating and advocating for green schools, with a focus on those leading their schools and school systems toward whole school sustainability. Now in its 14th year, the three-day event provides a platform for the green schools community that inspires and facilitates the progress of the green schools movement. GSC is presented by the Center for Green Schools in partnership with the Green Schools National Network.

Mar 7-8, Global Forum on Buildings and Climate (Paris)

This groundbreaking event is by invitation only and will bring together ministers, national and sub-national governments, various actors of the value chain, and international organisations engaged in the decarbonisation and resilience of the buildings sector.

Mar 8, International Women’s Day – 2024 Theme:  Invest in women: Accelerate progress

Achieving gender equality and women’s well-being in all aspects of life is more crucial than ever if we want to create prosperous economies and a healthy planet. However, we are facing a key challenge: the alarming $360 billion annual deficit in gender-equality measures by 2030.

Mar 8, Nomination Deadline – NIBS Beyond Green High-Performance Building and Community Award

This award recognizes the initiatives that shape, inform, and catalyze the high-performance building market, as well as the real-world application of high-performance design and construction practices. Winners announced at Building Innovation - May 22-24, 2024.

Mar 11–13, 2024, Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024.

In collaboration with the City of Miami Beach and a diverse group of partner institutions in and beyond South Florida, the Aspen Institute is enlisting global and local policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, young leaders, influencers, and engaged members of the public to participate in Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024. This multi-day event will take place March 11–13, 2024, and will feature main stages both in and outdoors, breakout and roundtable sessions, tours of local and historic resilience points of interest, as well as fashion, food, art, and music activities. Aspen Ideas: Climate is designed to offer the public a chance to interact, learn, and collaborate with thinkers and do-ers whose actions are critical to addressing our collective future around the realities of a changing climate.

Mar 12, 2 pm ET, AIA 2030 Commitment reporting season Open Office Hours - How to submit your portfolio

As your firm is preparing to report your 2023 portfolio, join us for a series of Open Office Hours to go through specific questions and topics. 

Mar 14-16, AIAISC’24 - AIA International Spring Conference

Decarbonizing Construction: From Material Production to Preservative Adaptive Reuse

Mar 14-16, Disrupters on the Edge – ACSA 2024 Annual Meeting (Vancouver, BC)

As we reach the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, we find ourselves well past the point of debating climate crisis, social inequity, resource scarcity, decolonization, and fair access to housing and health care. Architects and designers must rise to the task of addressing these urgencies. With the world’s population over 8 billion and heading towards 10 billion in the next few decades, it is imperative that we challenge the status quo to find effective solutions. As we look ahead to the next 25 years, we must ask ourselves, how have disruptors inspired us to address these urgencies with renewed purpose? What can outliers and the traditionally marginalized teach us about breaking away from customary approaches? & most importantly, how can we (re)organize our efforts & ourselves to implement more effective action in the next quarter century?

Mar 15, Fifth National Climate Assessment Webinar - Land Cover and Land Use Change

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is hosting a series of webinars dedicated to the Fifth National Climate Assessment. Please join to learn more about each chapter, ask questions, and hear directly from the chapter authors.

Mar 18–20, Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST6) Conference, (Austin, TX).

This exciting event is hosted by the National Institute of Building Sciences Building Enclosure Technology and Environment Council (BETEC).  BEST6 is the premier source for cutting edge information and networking for industry professionals focused on building enclosure science and technology.  The BEST6 theme is “The Next Generation of Building Technology.” It will focus on the impact of climate change on building enclosures, new techniques in building design and construction, durability, and sustainability.

Mar 19, 11:06 pm ET, Spring Equinox

In 2024, the equinox happens on March 19 at 11:06 P.M. EDT… the astronomical beginning of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumn season in the Southern Hemisphere.

Mar 20, 2 pm ET; AIA 2030 Commitment reporting season - "Ask us anything" sessions. 

a less structured hour long Open Office Hour. We ask when signing up, to submit a general question or issue you want to discuss. 

March 20, 2 pm ET. Part 2 Webinar: Managing Federal Funds

Environmental Protection Network in collaboration with Atma Connect, invites you to a webinar about Managing Federal Funds. This event is part of a two-part series and will feature stories of environmental justice leaders’ successful management of federal funding. for part 2 in this series.

Mar 20-21, AIA’s Safety Assessment Program (SAP) Evaluator Training 2024

After disaster strikes, local building inspectors often struggle with the volume of buildings that must be evaluated for safety. There simply aren’t enough trained city inspectors. Architects with the knowledge and expertise to evaluate buildings can help. Join us to become a certified Building Evaluator through AIA’s Safety Assessment Program Evaluator Training. You’ll learn how to evaluate homes, buildings, and infrastructure after a disaster, including conducting a rapid building assessment of structures affected by earthquakes, wind, and water, and completing damage assessment forms

Mar 21, 1 pm ET, Monthly DOE Program, Energy Code Enforcement Challenges and Opportunities in Rural Communities

Please join the DOE Building Energy Codes Program for the 2023-2024 Energy Code Webinar Series! This monthly webinar series… will provide an opportunity to learn, discuss, and engage on timely and important energy code topics throughout the year.

Mar 21, Webinar -Zero Energy Design Designation (ZEDD) Application

Informational webinar. 2024 application for this three-year designation will open in April 2024.  Buildings play a significant role in reaching the White House’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, so it is critical that building professionals are prepared to design and construct high-efficiency, low-carbon buildings powered by renewables. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Design Designation recognizes post-secondary academic programs that prepare students for 21st century building careers. 

Mar 21, 2 pm ET, Webinar Green Workforce Connect: A New Hub for Clean Energy Job Growth

National Clean Energy Workforce Alliance. Weatherization jobs are vital for our transition to a clean energy future, … The central hub of this work is Green Workforce Connect, a new platform that connects job seekers and contractors to weatherization employers, and will expand to be a resource for other clean energy technologies

Mar 21-30, DC’s 32nd Annual Environmental Film Festival

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital’s mission is to inform and inspire our community through the power of film to incite change and take action so that we can preserve our planet for generations to come.

Mar 26, 12 pm ET, AIA 2030 Commitment reporting season Open Office Hours - Last minute questions

As your firm is preparing to report your 2023 portfolio, join us for a series of Open Office Hours to go through specific questions and topics. 

Mar 26, 10 am – 6 pm, Design for Freedom Summit (Grace Farms)

Join us for the 3rd annual Design for Freedom Summit — a momentous day of action and awareness. Hear from leading experts across sectors who are working to eradicate forced and child labor from the built environment. Since holding the first annual summit in 2021, Grace Farms has welcomed more than 800 attendees representing industry professionals and university students united in the fight against forced labor in the building materials supply chain.

Mar 29, Application Deadline Young Black Climate Leaders Youth Futures Fund

People’s Climate Innovation Center works nationally to build capacity for and deploy community-driven solutions to climate change rooted in racial justice. They launched the next round of the Young Black Climate Leaders (YBCL) Youth Futures Fund.. providing financial awards to young Black climate leaders who are advocating for and transforming their communities toward racial and environmental justice.

Mar 31, AIA 2030 Commitment – Reporting Submission Deadline        

The latest climate data tells us that reducing carbon emissions is not enough. To make the biggest impact, we must all commit to net zero emissions by 2030—a path that requires strong, immediate action. Since the built environment creates a staggering 40% of the world's emissions, architects, engineers, and owners play a key role. More than 1,300 firms have already committed to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030.