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By Chris Hammer and Jennifer Tsau Chris Hammer, author of the forthcoming blog, Building Behavior, and Jennifer Tsau, CEO of Keewi, an energy management tool company, spoke last fall at AIA COTE ® East Bay monthly meeting about behavioral research and a tool of interest to the design and energy communities.  Many health issues that have a behavioral component have competed for public attention in recent decades--think of seatbelts, drunk driving, smoking, and exercise. Recently there's been an explosion of behavior change efforts (such as efforts to encourage retirement savings) even at the public policy level. In the AEC and energy ...
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By Kira Gould, Allied AIA Betsy del Monte, FAIA, LEED BD+C, brings to our Knowledge Community deep experience and commitment to the challenges of all types of clients and firms . She is a consultant (with the Cameron MacAllister Group) and an educator (adjunct professor in the Master's Degree in Sustainability and Development program at the Southern Methodist University Lyle School of Engineering). Her 30-plus year experience in architecture (she was Director of Sustainability and Principal in Architecture at the Beck Group) and research and teaching has made her a go-to expert on design strategies for sustainability and resilience. Leading architecture ...
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By Mike Davis, FAIA With the change in leadership – and membership – in the US House of Representatives, the publication of the much-discussed “ Green New Deal ”, and Speaker Pelosi’s reconvening of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis , AIA COTE ® Advocacy is energized by new opportunities to advance our advocacy agenda in 2019. While our opposition to policies that weaken federal environmental protections and greenhouse gas reductions continues, we have also been focused on maximizing the advocacy possibilities created by the Administration’s release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). As the Senate Minority Leader, Senator ...
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The staff of Payette; Image: Warren Jagger By Kira Gould, Allied AIA Congratulations to Payette on receiving the AIA Architecture Firm Award for 2019. Payette’s nomination for this award was supported by both AIA Committee on the Environment and AIA Committee on Design -- the first time that these two Knowledge Communities co-nominated a firm for this honor. And it was a natural fit for both: Payette has carved a unique leadership position by defining design excellence and building performance as one and the same. George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health; winner of the AIA COTE® Top Ten Award (2017) and AIA Interior ...
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Happy New Year COTE ® Colleagues! 2019 is off to a wild start with daily reminders of the critical importance of our work and the urgency for action and exponential change required to achieve a sustainable future. I am honored to be the 26th COTE ® Chair and look forward to collaborating this year with the dedicated COTE ® members across the country in meeting this greatest challenge of our time. I would like to begin my first newsletter by recognizing the incredible leadership of our past Chair Angela Brooks and all of the members of the distinguished COTE ® Advisory Group (AG). Angie will be continuing to serve on the AG this year bringing ...
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By Carl Elefante, FAIA, 2018 AIA President AIA COTE ® Colleagues, While I’m not with you in Chicago, I’m very much with you in spirit. The desire to elevate sustainability, green building and climate change is what motivated me to give three years to AIA pursuing and serving as President. I believe 2018 will be noted as the year architects recognized that it is up to us to address the intractable issues confronting our communities. Thanks for all the things you are doing in your practices, through AIA COTE ® , and in partnership with other sustainability and green building supporters like USGBC. Your commitment and amazing architecture give ...
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Image: Quito, Ecuador - United Nations Habitat III Conference on the New Urban Agenda By Phil Bona, AIA In a time of rapid change, generational transitions, and significant global population growth, attainable housing remains a fundamental need and expectation of the human experience. As such, the world’s housing crisis and its impacts on social equity is one of the most difficult challenges facing leaders and policymakers. Habitat III was the third convening of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. It took place in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016 and was attended by all member states of the United Nations ...
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By Larry Strain, FAIA In 2006, Ed Mazria woke up the design community by pointing out that buildings were responsible for a much larger portion of GHG emissions than we had previously been aware of. The current UN Environment Report puts it at close to 40-28 percent from building operations and 11 percent from the emissions embodied in making buildings. Architecture 2030 created the 2030 Challenge that laid out a road map to get to zero emissions. In the beginning, the 2030 Challenge focused on reducing operational energy and associated GHG emissions--the AIA 2030 Commitment is about reducing the operational energy and carbon emissions of our buildings. ...
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By @Michael R. Davis FAIA Looking back at AIA COTE ® federal advocacy efforts in 2018, most of our work was writing and delivering statements of opposition to planned EPA and Administration actions that we believed were diametrically opposed to AIA COTE ® ’s principles. We opposed the EPA’s “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” (a rollback of the Clean Power Plan), the “Significant New Use Rule” that proposed new avenues for approving the use of asbestos, the proposed de-regulation of hydrofluorocarbon leakage from refrigerant systems, and the elimination of the words “climate change” from FEMA’s strategic planning documents. We also worked with the AIA President ...
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Dear COTE ® Colleagues, My final newsletter of the year is dedicated to the amazing COTE ®  advisory board, the incoming 2019 Chair Marsha Maytum and Mary Ann Lazarus, past chair. The best part of collaborating with this amazing group of people is the friendships I have made. We have accomplished so much this year and built a momentum that will continue for years to come. My hope is that we will continue to be linked with the depth of knowledge and expertise that exists within the AIA COTE ® network of past, present and future members! It is with a sense of urgency that I summarize my thoughts for you on the recently released Fourth National ...
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San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz shares her views on coming together for cities affected by major hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz (pictured) at her Closing Plenary Keynote in Greenbuild 2018. (image courtesy Pierpont Communications)   A year after hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017 and claimed more than 3,057 lives, its cities remain haunted by disrupted lives of survivors, unlivable spaces, and lack of light. It’s never easy to bounce back after a natural disaster of this magnitude. Just look at the effects of similar storms resulting from extreme climate like category 5 typhoon Haiyan ...
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By @Kira L. Gould Anyone who read about the latest U.N. reports on the climate science predictions can be forgiven for feeling as though her week’s work amounted to decoupage on deck chairs. It was harrowing and disturbing. There’s been a lot of that on all fronts lately.   So in October, a gentle reminder: Please exercise your right to vote next month. And consider voting with our changing climate in mind. As Paul Hawken reminded us recently, reversing global warming is actually possible. Architects and allied professionals have the tools and the wherewithal for the innovation that can get us there. But we must be sure that those in ...
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AIA Asheville’s will host their fourth annual Where Building Science Meets Climate Science conference on November 1-2, 2018. Image: AIA Asheville By Scott Shuford  With the cost of repairs and rebuilding soaring into the billions in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, communities across the Southeast are urgently seeking ways to mitigate against future extreme weather events. Some solutions will be presented at the AIA Asheville’s fourth annual Where Building Science Meets Climate Science conference in Asheville, NC on November 1 and 2, 2018. The theme of this year’s conference convened by AIA Asheville COTE and CASE Consultants International ...
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By @Taylor C. Walker AIA and @Corey Z. Squire AIA   Buildings are becoming increasingly complex, but the timeframe to design and document them is shorter than ever. A constant barrage of information often demotes sustainability to just one of many competing priorities that projects teams struggle to fully incorporate into their work. This is no different in our practices . The process we took to develop the AIA COTE Top Ten Toolkit (now in Phase 1 Draft stage) is very similar to the process we use to integrate sustainability at our own firms. It’s based on building a collective understanding of each measure, and applying a mix of technical ...
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Goody Clancy became the first JUST organization in the city of Boston. Image: Goody Clancy By Randolph Meiklejohn, AIA  In mid-2018, design and planning firm Goody Clancy became the first JUST organization in the city of Boston, and what had begun as a research and policy-writing project came out into the open in our workplace, as we started learning together how to be a better company. Developed by the International Living Future Institute, the JUST program focuses on social equity and employee engagement, and it invites an organization to self-assess and to share data on twenty-two metrics. Goody Clancy’s “JUST label”—think nutrition label—now ...
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Dear COTE Colleagues, For me, Autumn symbolizes changes and an awareness of the future (to get prepared for the coming winter!)  A perfect time to embrace changes our profession must make to become more diverse. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, "The only constant is change ." Our lack of diversity is one problem our problem-solving profession has not solved and it is intrinsically linked to sustainable communities and firms. As of last year, within the AIA, diversity in leadership remained low, a gender pay gap persists. Only 28.6 percent of architects are women and 2.1 percent are black. These are dismal metrics . A bright ...
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By @Michael R. Davis FAIA In their September 2018 meeting, the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Architects approved a number of amendments to AIA’s Code of Ethics . Among them were changes that make sustainable design more explicitly an ethical imperative for all AIA Members. The newly adopted version of Canon VI, Obligations to the Environment, describes sustainable design in more specific, compelling, and actionable language and helps frame the topic as the defining challenge for Architecture today. It includes separate Ethical Standards for energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction, water conservation, building ...
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By @Corey Z. Squire AIA and @Helena Zambrano AIA All professions tend to be a bit insular. Doctors have lunch with other doctors, lawyers marry other lawyers, and architects have a tendency of living in a world of their own making. “Outside the Circle” was a lecture series that was designed to introduce the architecture community a range of ideas, problems, and solutions, that relate to the built environment, but have been tangential to the major concerns of our profession. Presented by the San Antonio AIA COTE from fall 2017 through spring 2018, the series was a major success for our chapter and can serve a template for COTE chapters around the country. ...
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Dear COTE colleagues:  A shift is underway, both at AIA and far beyond, toward new policies and initiatives that will bring us closer to adapting to our changing climate. The Global Climate Action Summit convened in September in San Francisco and engaged people all over the world. An AIA delegation including COTE leaders participated throughout the week. Cities will shape our future and the goal outlined by the World Green Building Council at COP 21 in Paris in 2015 was that by 2050 all buildings will only use as much energy as they generate. Advocacy in all forms was high on the agenda and a sense of urgency that policy changes must happen ...
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As a part of AIA’s continued dedication to sustainability and carbon neutrality, we are sending a delegation to the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco September 12-14. Those attending on AIA’s behalf include: 2018 President Carl Elefante, FAIA Dave Collins, FAIA, Principal at The Preview Group Jessie Cornelius, Senior Director of Media Strategy at AIA Betsy del Monte, FAIA, Principal Consultant at Cameron MacAllister Group Sarah Dodge, Senior Vice-President of Advocacy & Relationships at AIA Jill Gotthelf, AIA, Principal at Walter Sedovic Architects Kara Kempski, Manager of Federal Relations at AIA Marsha Maytum, FAIA, Principal ...
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