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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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Founding sponsors: Building Green
Premier sponsors: Sherwin-Williams, Stantec
Sustaining sponsors: GAF Roofing, Milliken, Andersen Windows,
BlueScope Buildings
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Allied sponsors: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

July Climate Action Events

By Lisa M. Ferretto AIA posted 21 days ago


JULY Climate Action + Equity Events!

A listing of events, webinars, deadlines, etc. that may be of interest to those working for Climate Action and Equity! To return to the full monthly list, click here.


National Definition of a Zero Emissions Building Announced - On June 6, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a National Definition of a Zero Emissions Building to advance public and private sector efforts to decarbonize the buildings sector, which is responsible for more than one-third of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. A standardized definition for zero emissions buildings will help advance next-generation clean energy solutions, drive innovation, and tackle the climate crisis, while supporting workforce development. 

The 92nd Annual U.S. Conference of Mayors - AIA…led a delegation to the 92nd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors  (USCM), June 20-23, delivering the message that architects and mayors should be partners for progress.  The USCM listened, passing a policy resolution supporting and encouraging America’s mayors to work with AIA to reimagine downtown revitalization, design and build more livable and diverse cities that are equitable and economically powerful.

Show Up for Stripes Day - June 21 was the seventh annual "Show Your Stripes Day"– an event dedicated to growing global awareness about human-caused climate change, its cascading impacts to our health and our homes, and what we as a society can do to ensure a sustainable future for the people and places we love.

Jun 26, 2 pm ET, R2E2 Playbook: A Comprehensive Guide for Equitable Energy Retrofits in Affordable Housing 

Residential Retrofits for Energy Equity (R2E2) Playbook is a tool for community-based organizations, state and local governments, and others seeking to establish, improve, or expand energy upgrade programs for low- and moderate-income housing in their communities. R2E2 is a partnership of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Elevate, Emerald Cities Collaborative, and HR&A Advisors.

Jun 27, 2pm ET,  2030 Commitment 101: Signing On & Getting Started

This new signatory webinar (or for anyone who wants a refresher) will help put you on a path of continuous improvement to elevate your practice and deliver carbon-neutral building by 2030. We'll go over the what it means to be a 2030 signatory including a walk through the Design Data Exchange (DDx) and an overview of how to get your firm's Sustainability Action Plan started. 


Jul 1, Deadline extended- Green Schools Conference (GSC) Call for Proposals and the Call for Reviewers

The 14th annual in-person GSC will convene hundreds of champions for sustainable schools to focus on educating, connecting and inspiring one another. Each year, the GSC offers attendees opportunities to explore interdisciplinary green schools content in general and breakout sessions, collaborate to address specific challenges with peers in workshops and facilitated networking events, exchange best practices, and enhance green school initiatives nationwide.

Jul 1, 6 - 8:30pm GMT+1, How do we accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings?

With a collective urgency to accelerate decarbonisation in our built environment, national targets and business commitments are supporting change. However, we critically need to turn these plans into action and realise significant carbon reductions in our towns and cities.  Join this panel discussion to hear from experts on the action, tools and processes needed for a future, collaborative and empowered, design and construction industry. The session will be led by Grimshaw and will mark the launch of the decarbonisation platform Minoro.

Jul 9, 2 pm ET  Getting started with the 2030 Commitment: A path toward carbon-neutral buildings

Not yet a 2030 Commitment signatory? Join this introductory webinar and learn more about the program, what it entails to be a 2030 signatory, and how to best utilize this community of over 1,300 signatory architecture and design firms working towards reaching net zero. 

Jul 9, 1 pm ET, Fostering Collaboration for Climate Adaptation and Decarbonization in the Built Environment

NIBS. In a time characterized by rising climate extremes, this session underscores the significance of bridging the gap between the public and private sectors to effectively prepare for climate challenges. Led by experts from Arcadis, the session will delve into two key aspects of climate action: climate mitigation, which focuses on energy conservation and sustainable operational practices, and climate adaptation, which emphasizes readiness for extreme weather.

Jul 9, 2 pm ET, Accelerating Community Solar Opportunities for Nonprofits  

Join the DOE Office of State and Community Energy Program (SCEP) and Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) for an informational webinar about community solar opportunities for nonprofits. This will include nonprofit success stories for how to leverage two DOE opportunities: The National Community Solar Partnership, and the  Community Power Accelerator

Jul 10, Call for Communities to Join the Energy Transitions Initiatives Partnership Project  

The U.S. DOE invites remote and island communities aiming to address their energy resilience challenges to apply to the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP). Communities will create and pursue energy resilience projects defined by their local priorities and goals, using technical assistance from strategic energy analysts at DOE national laboratories and regional partner organizations. Applications are open through July 10. Visit the ETIPP application page to learn more.

Jul 10 + 24, 12 pm ET, EPA EJSCREEN 2.3 Trainings

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will update EJScreen, the Agency's publicly available environmental justice (EJ) screening and mapping tool. The updated version, makes important improvements to better meet the needs of users, including new environmental indicators and map layers, interface improvements, and updated demographic and environmental data. Training: July 10th at 12pm EST – Click here to join.  Training: July 24th at 12pm EST – Click here to join.  Office Hours August 21 at 12pm EST – Click here to join

Jul 11, United Nations World Population Day

Jul 12, 5 pm ET, Application Deadline – AIA Climate Action volunteer leadership position

At AIA, our members are passionate about the change that good design can promote in creating a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable built environment. Apply to join one of our national committees dedicated to supporting climate action and design excellence throughout the profession. Appointments will begin in January 2025. See below for our committee opportunities.

Jul 12, Application Deadline -  Sho-Ping Chin Women's Leadership Summit Grant

In honor of Sho-Ping Chin, FAIA, we are thrilled to offer a grant opportunity for recipients to attend the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit. Sho-Ping was a principal at Payette and in 2009 the founding leader of the inaugural AIA Women’s Leadership Summit.  The memorial fund established in her name is focused on funding the development of future women leaders in architecture.

Jul 12, multiple deadlines from SCEP, DOE Office of State and Community Energy Programs

  • ·      DOE’s Energy Auditor Training (EAT) Grant Program, eligible states to train individuals who can conduct energy audits, or surveys, of commercial and residential buildings. … advise on how to reduce energy usage, promote energy efficiency, and offer energy savings to the customer.
  • ·      Training for Residential Energy Contractor (TREC) Competitive Grant, also known as the State-Based Home Energy Efficiency Contractor Training Grants, will deploy innovative, effective, and equitable workforce development programs to train workers to make homes healthier and more energy efficient.
  • Direct Technical Assistance Opportunity for State Energy Offices. DOE’s SCEP State Energy Program (SEP) is offering direct technical assistance (TA) to states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Topics include Strategic Energy Planning, Transmission and Distribution Planning, Project and Program Financing, and Modeling and Analytics

Jul 15, Deadline for comment on the ANSI standard for Integrative Process

Download draft version 3 here. Comments via email to 
Aug 6, 1:30 pm ET, National public meeting.  RSVP,  this link to join.

Jul 16, 23, 30; 11 am ET, Better Buildings Summer Webinars

Better Buildings Webinars take on the most pressing topics facing energy professionals, with DOE and National Lab experts leading the conversations on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative new ways to approach decarbonization and energy performance.

·         Jul 16, There's a heat pump for that: multifamily decarbonization solutions

·         Jul 23, Financing the future: innovative solutions for decarbonization

·         Jul 30, Building owner spotlight: doe's smarter smaller buildings campaign

Jul 16, 2 pm ET, EPA National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call

The purpose of these calls is to inform the community and other stakeholders about EPA's EJ work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with EJ advocates. Free and open to the public. upcoming calls on Aug 20 and Sep 17th.   Tentative Agenda: Community Spotlight, Inflation Reduction Act Roadshow Update, EJScreen 2.3 Update and Demonstration; External Civil Rights Update; Community Change Grants Technical Assistance and Resources

Jul 17-18, AIA’s Architects in Action Conference

AIA’s premier state and local advocacy event. Participants will learn about recruiting, inspiring, and training advocates, hear from thought-provoking speakers on emerging policy issues, and engage with colleagues doing innovative work across the country. This conference is a virtual event, and open to all AIA members and chapter staff who are interested in advocacy training and policy issues impacting architects at the state or local level.

Jul 24, 11 am ET, Net-Zero Buildings: Cost-Effective and Sustainable for New Construction

FEMP, Federal Energy Management Program.  This training will cover federal sustainable and net-zero emissions buildings goals and requirements, the path to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions, and net-zero buildings life cycle costs.

Jul 25, 12 – 3 pm ET. Building Electrification: A Passive House Symposium

Passive House Network.  Electrification leveraged by Passive House performance lowers the burden on the utilities and preserves affordability while dramatically improving resilience and equitable outcomes. Electrification x Passive House is the winning formula, and this symposium explores the guts of it all

Jul 30, 10 - 5 pm ET, 2024 Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum In person and online

EESI and the House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses invite you to join us for the 27th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum (EXPO 2024). Top-level speakers will showcase technologies and solutions that reduce carbon emissions, save households money, improve the economy, build resilience, and protect our security interests. RSVP here

 Jul 31, Building Capacity through REDI in the U.S. Gulf South Region 

DOE’s Office of Energy Justice and Equity (EJE) Regional Energy Democracy Initiative (REDI) is a groundbreaking program aimed at empowering communities in the U.S. Gulf South region. With a commitment of $5 million, the REDI pilot aims to provide capacity building and technical assistance for communities in this region to maximize the benefits derived from the clean energy investments made by DOE.

Jul 31, Deadline, USGBC LEED Equity and Resilience Working Groups

USGBC seeks innovative sustainability professionals, environmental justice advocates, and experts in the design, construction and operations of buildings and communities to serve on LEED working groups. We are seeking diverse applicants with unique perspectives from around the globe to fill the vacant positions.