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Our favorite day of the year is here: Earth Day. AIA COTE Top Ten winners have historically been announced on this day, however this year, they will be announced with the design awards at the AIA Conference in June. Instead, on this important day of awareness for environmental protection, we celebrate the impact and legacy of the AIA COTE Top Ten award. How it All Began The Committee on the Environment (COTE) began when a Critical Planet Rescue (CPR) measure was presented by AIA Kansas City leaders, including Bob Berkebile and Kirk Gastinger, at the 1989 AIA convention in St. Louis. The measure called for the AIA to take action to address environmental ...
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MAY 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 full monthly list, click here . May 6, AIA Women’s Leadership Summit - Calls for Proposals Opens The call for proposals will open May 6 and close June 14. Women’s Leadership Summit, October 8-10, 2024, founded by AIA, exists to support and empower women on their leadership journeys and break down the barriers. This premier event brings together the industry’s largest network of diverse women in architecture, design, and the allied building industries ...
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Booth Hansen’s award-winning Solar House By Andersen Windows & Doors When an empty-nester couple decided to build a new home, they had a few ideas in mind. One, they wanted to remain in their current neighborhood. Two, they wanted more natural light and outdoor connections. And three , they wanted an all-electric home. Here’s how Booth Hansen designed a Chicago modern home that delivers on all three wishes — aka, the Solar House. H2: Creative reuse helps overcome zoning restrictions The homeowners purchased an existing house ...
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AIA Policy Update: A Step Forward in Environmental Responsibility By AIA Committee on the Environment Leadership Group The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has recently made significant updates to its policy statements , underscoring the evolving role of architects in addressing climate change and environmental justice. These updates, approved by the AIA Board of Directors, emphasize the association's commitment to making a positive impact on our planet through responsible design practices. Background of the Update The AIA's policy statements serve as a public declaration of the values and beliefs held by the association. These statements ...
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Building Reuse for Climate Action: A New AIA Practice Guide By Kelsey Wotila, AIA AIA has recently released a new practice guide: Today's Buildings for Tomorrow: Guide to Building Reuse for Climate Action . It is designed to be an essential and practical resource tailored for architects engaged in the renovation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. Its core objective is to equip architects with practical insights to make informed decisions that maximize positive outcomes. This guide serves as a compass for navigating the complexities of building renovation projects, highlighting the logic in approaching a project (what questions should a designer ...
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NOTE: COTE will host an interview with Lloyd Alter on June 11. Registration coming soon. As a fan of Lloyd Alter 's writing, I knew his new book would be provocative. Like Living the 1.5 Degree Lifestyle and his excellent Substack , I expected The Story of Upfront Carbon to help me see the world in new ways. What I didn’t expect: it would be such a delight to read. The book is honest and practical, making complicated subjects accessible using simple, everyday examples. It’s not written for architects, but nonetheless offers rich systems-level thinking about decarbonizing the built environment. This is a sophisticated ...
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COTE Network Update

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COTE Network Update By Bunny Tucker, AIA, CPHD The COTE Network will host its second quarterly call of the year on Tuesday May 7, 2024 at 2:00 pm ET. The discussion, titled “New Chapters, Old Chapters, and Everything In Between” will focus on the work taking place in various regions. Join us for case studies from AIA South Carolina COTE ( Mason Malsegna ), AIA Indiana COTE ( Daniel Overbey, Joe Yount, Reva Derhammer ), AIA San Antonio COTE ( Benjamin Rosas, Sandra Montalbo) , and AIA Philly COTE ( Roshni Krishnan, Katherine Urbaniak, Danielle Fleischmann). Group discussions will focus on big questions that COTE Chapters are facing: How to increase ...
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I lived in the Washington, DC region for 25 years. I am humbled to admit that during all those years, I never visited any of my elected federal officials in person…and they all worked less than 6 miles from my home. It took a move to Atlanta, GA, and my new incoming chair role on the National AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Leadership Group to get me to Capitol Hill to advocate for what I care about. AIA’s Hill Day is part of the National AIA’s Annual Leadership Summit, formerly known as Grassroots. It is an opportunity for architects and allied professionals in leadership roles within the AIA to come together, network and, most importantly, learn ...
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When architects engage in disaster recovery efforts, technical expertise gets the most attention for how we can contribute to the process. This is no accident; AIA's Safety Assessment Program (SAP) prepares architects to participate in rapid building assessment in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. These efforts are vital to helping local governments understand the magnitude of a disaster, where to prioritize their efforts, and determine if residents can return to their homes. I don't think it's a stretch to say that every architect participating in disaster recovery immediately thinks ...
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JOIN COTE: Apply this spring for the national Leadership Group If you have been in the COTE community for a while, or are new to our tent, perhaps it’s time to think about applying to the national Leadership Group of COTE, an AIA Knowledge Community (since 1990). What does the COTE Leadership Group do? This group of 12 people shape and shepherd tend to COTE’s flagship programs, the COTE Top Ten Awards (since 1997) and the AIA/ACSA COTE Top Ten for Students Competition … as well as guiding knowledge development, collaborating with other climate groups at AIA (2030 Working Group, materials groups, the Resilience and Adaptation Group, and ...
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By Karen Robichaud , Strategic Communications Consultant Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 AIA / ASCA COTE Top Ten for Students Competition ! Last August, ACSA and AIA announced the 2023 entries from the student competition , selected from studio projects from architecture schools throughout the United States and Canada. Like in years past, this crop of awardees submitted a stellar array of projects, from a cancer support center aimed at addressing health disparities of Native American communities to a reef research and teaching facility and several others. What struck me about the entries and the jury comments, was that what makes ...
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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 ...
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COTE’s Guide to AIA24: June 5-8 in Washington, DC The AIA Conference on Architecture ( AIA24 ) is coming up soon! The COTE Leadership Group and many COTE volunteers and members of the COTE Network of chapters are looking forward to the conference as an opportunity to connect and learn with many of you in the COTE community who may be planning to attend. There are some changes this year, about which you may have heard. The 2024 chair of COTE, Michelle Amt, FAIA, mentioned in her chair letter in COTE news (March/April 2024) that, in addition to COTE Top Ten winners not being announced on Earth Day (as they have been since ...
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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 full monthly list, click here . AIAU An Introduction to the AIA Framework for Design Excellence (Free till end of 2024!) Propel your practice’s success with the AIA Framework for Design Excellence—the defining 10 principles of design excellence in the 21st century. In this introductory course, you will learn the origin, evolution, and significance of each of the framework’s principles and examine how they advance progress toward a zero-carbon, ...
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Climate Action + Equity Events A listing of events, webinars, deadlines, etc. that may be of interest to those working for Climate Action and Equity! 2024 > May > April > March > February > January
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COTE Newsletter Archive 2024 Jan/Feb Newsletter Mar/Apr Newsletter May/Jun Newsletter Jul/Aug Newsletter Sep/Oct Newsletter Nov/Dec Newsletter 2023 Jan/Feb Newsletter Mar/Apr Newsletter May/Jun Newsletter Jul/Aug Newsletter Sep/Oct Newsletter Nov/Dec Newsletter
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It’s estimated that built environments are responsible for roughly 42% of annual CO2 emissions. Let’s consider that number: Across both building operations and embodied carbon of four leading building and infrastructure materials, the emissions from the building industry can account for over a third of what is expected annually worldwide. And while that number is difficult to grapple with, it also presents an opportunity. What if we considered the good our industry could do in advancing carbon-emission reductions? What if we emphasized the collective impact material choices could have? At Milliken, we stand FOR HUMANKIND in every ...
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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" ...
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By: Jesse Walton, AIA and David Arkin, AIA THE PROGRAM Kicking off the new year as Co-Chairs of the AIA 2030 Working Group , we are filled with hope by the progress made by signatories of the AIA 2030 Commitment and how our collective work is redefining what good architecture can do for the planet. You may be thinking, “How is this possible? Aren’t these folks reading the news about climate change and how 2023 was the warmest year on record ?” Yes , of course we are. But we are also keenly aware of the progress architects are making and the specific measurable signs of hope amongst the disastrous headlines. ...
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