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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A big thank you to our partners: 
Founding partner: Building Green
Premier partners: Kingspan, Sherwin-Williams
Sustaining partners: GAF Roofing, KawneerLucifer Lighting Company, ROCKWOOL
Green partners: AutodeskEPIC MetalsHKSThornton Tomasetti, Skanska
Allied partners: TLC Engineering

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

This 2019 video was compiled by GAF, a COTE sponsor. 

Launching with a Few Tailwinds

By Marc Mondor AIA posted 06-24-2021 03:29 PM


The AIA Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence (CCADE) has been busy with initiatives both internal and external to the Institute.  CCADE is a new board committee established this year comprised of a variety of national subject matter experts working to better integrate the Institute’s climate action goals into all of the Institute’s committees and ongoing work.  Within AIA, this work will create an alignment to ensure that we are speaking with one voice regarding climate action and what constitutes design excellence.  Outwardly, CCADE is identifying potential partnerships with mission aligned organizations, that will help us develop meaningful shared content and leverage communication efforts across multiple groups of stakeholders. 

We are bolstered by some current tailwinds with national and global actions reflecting the immediacy of addressing climate change.  Within the last few weeks, we have seen the supreme court of Holland compel Royal Dutch Shell to work towards meaningful climate action goals.  We have also seen broad pronouncements towards carbon reduction and even net-zero at the G7 Summit in England.  Closer to home, a shareholder revolt shook up the ExxonMobil board and the XL Pipeline has been shelved.  The new administration is fervently working on the coordination and review of Climate Action Plans for each federal agency as a part of EO 14008: Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.  And while an American infrastructure bill is currently being discussed, all parties agree that infrastructure improvement is necessary, with implications for building, transportation and clean energy systems. The global pandemic has highlighted many issues, including historic racial and gender disparities, and how the built environment can amplify or mitigate these differences. This creates an opportunity to emphasize that healthy and vibrant places are for all people. 

These developments validate our direction.  We will describe in subsequent articles how carbon reduction is good business, improves health outcomes, improves equity and improves asset value, and the roles that architects can take in leading this charge.  We will also promote our findings, initiatives and developments as they evolve.  Architects are uniquely poised to assist with these efforts at small and large scales, as we have the skill sets to design more efficient community, transportation, energy and land use systems in much the same way that we design more efficient spaces and buildings. 


Marc Mondor, AIA
Liz York, FAIA, Chair
Nathan Kipnis, FAIA
Carlton Hart, AIA
and the entire CCADE

1 comment


06-24-2021 10:35 PM

Carlton Hart, AIA and Julie Hiromoto, FAIA, members of the CCADE, contributed to this article as well.