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.

Expand your positive impact:
Engage in our advocacy efforts. Enjoy our last newsletter (and follow us on Twitter).

To learn about the Framework for Design Excellence (formerly the COTE Top Ten Measures), click here.

If you missed the 2020 Top Ten Toast, download a recording here

A big thank you to our partners: 
Founding partner: Building Green
Sustaining partners: Lucifer Lighting Company, Kingspan
Green partners: AutodeskEPIC MetalsHKS,  ROCKWOOL, WRNSSkanska, Thornton Thomasseti
Allied partners: BNIM, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, LMN David Baker Architects, Integral

Supporting partners: Humanscale, Mahlum, BPKC, Opsis

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

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

Seeing the Future: Winners of the COTE Top Ten for Students Competition

By Marsha A. Maytum FAIA posted 06-11-2020 05:05 PM


On May 21ACSA and AIA announced this year’s winning student competition entries selected from studio projects from 47 architecture schools throughout the United States and Canada. During the 2019-2020 school year, more than 600 students submitted entries to the competition which “recognizes 10 exceptional studio projects that demonstrate designs moving towards carbon-neutral operation through creative and innovative integration of design strategies ... and sustainable systems.”  

Established by AIA COTE in 2013, this annual competition was created to inspire the next generation of architectsto transform studio culture, and to promote design excellence through a holistic and integrated approach to achieve high performing, equitable and beautiful buildings. The 10 winning projects represent the diversity of architectural schools across the US and Canada and diversity of project types ranging from high rise for Charlotte, N.C.; a cultural center in the Maldives; housing for the unhoused in Portland, Ore., and a reimagined riverfront mixed-use project in Louisville, Ken.. This year included winners from architecture schools whose teams have not previously won, such as the University of California, Berkeley, and Iowa State University. There were also winning teams from architecture schools who have won in the past such as Clemson University, Montana State University and California College of the Arts.  

Although the typical celebration for the student winners at the AIA Conference and the summer internship program are not possible this year due to COVID-19, the winners will be recognized in the architectural press and are participating in a remote mentorship program with sponsoring architectural firms over the summer.  

AIA COTE is currently updating the competition program to align with the AIA Framework for Design Excellence and will launch the 2020-2021 COTE Top Ten Student Competition brief in August in time for the Fall 2020 term with updated Curriculum Guide, Studio Case Studies and Teaching Modules. 

We would like to thank our incredible jury this year; Elgin Cleckley, of the University of Virginia; Carly Coulson, AIA, of Coulson; Tom Kundig, FAIA, of Olson Kundig; Adrian Parr, of the University of Texas at Arlington, and Michael Horan, of Clemson University, a past winner and our student juror. Congratulations to the 2020 Competition winners and thank you to all of the student and faculty participants. It is inspiring to see the next generation of architects committed to climate action and empowered to create a carbon positive, equitable, healthy and resilient future.  

 Bazaar 324  Students: Anannya Das & Connor Mougin  Faculty: Ulrike Passe  School: Iowa State University

Bazaar 324

Students: Anannya Das & Connor Mougin

Faculty: Ulrike Passe

School: Iowa State University




06-24-2020 12:54 PM

@Kimble Hobbs AIA- you can click on the "project details" link in the ACSA page to see the full submission for each of the 10 student competition winners.​

06-18-2020 05:42 PM

Would love to see the student work.

Is there a link to the 47 winning projects or is the press release it?