Corey Squire, AIA-CHK, says he fell into COTE. If that’s true, then it’s the best kind of accident, and he seems quite at home. He served as chair of the AIA San Antonio chapter of COTE for three years, and this year joined the Advisory Group of the national committee. Squire is Sustainability Manager with Lake Flato Architects (LINK) in San Antonio, where he does technical analysis and simulations for projects in design as well as Post Occupancy Evaluations (a subject about which he has written).
“COTE is the organization I connect with most deeply,” he says. “I closely align with the COTE mission. I think this group is poised for strong forward movement.” He’s thrilled to be in a community where COTE has a long history.
While getting his undergraduate degree in environmental science from Oberlin, Squire’s favorite place to study was near the school’s Living Machine. “I liked being there where it smelled like vegetation, rather than building materials.” That made an impression, and it wasn’t the only thing: He was taken with the correlation of the water movement in the large open space; they pressure was related to the amount of energy harvested on the solar panel right outside. “That direct indoor/outdoor connection was powerful,” he says. After college, Squire went to New Orleans to help with Hurricane Katrina relief, which included some rebuilding work. He wound up at Tulane to study architecture. “I thought that architecture would be the biggest impact I could have from a sustainability perspective.” Z Smith, FAIA, of Eskew + Dumez + Ripple (and a previous COTE advisory group member) was Squire’s professor.
Now that Squire is part of the Advisory Group, he is helping to lead the development of the Top Ten Toolkit, which the group envisions as a master list of resources for practitioners, with informed
perspective on the tools and websites from the Committee on the Environment. As Squire is well aware, there is a lot of information available on many
and building science topics; gathering some of the best resources and filtering those with some context could be powerful for architects; this will be something that can grow and change over time. “For example,” Squire says, “We will post one or a few of the best resources on Life Cycle Analysis, with a few sentences about why we think each is strong. “There is no reason for every firm to reinvent things in-house. We need access to quality information, and it needs to be organized in a way that makes sense for how we design projects. The Top Ten framework is ideal.”
The “accident” of COTE has turned out to be positive for Squire personally as well as professionally. He met Helena Zambrano, who is an architect and Overland Partner’s Sustainability Director, at one his first COTE meetings in San Antonio more than three years ago. Early this year, they were married. She has also co-chaired San Antonio COTE and next year will lead the COTE Top Ten Technical Review Committee. Perhaps his personal pursuits also help position Squire for the nature of sustainability work: As a repeat marathoner (he recently finished the weather-brutal Boston Marathon), he knows that this is not for the faint of heart.