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Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA, has been a sustainable design leader for many years. He has served on the Maine AIA board of directors, he chaired Maine’s COTE chapter for many years—which included organizing a regional leadership summit — and he has worked within the USGBC as well. He is no stranger to AIA COTE, having worked with the team in the 1990s on such efforts as the Greening of the White House. Joining the national AIA COTE Advisory Group at this time feels, he says, like coming full circle. Hubbard is coming back to the AIA, at a time when he believes that architecture needs to take a stronger leadership role in sustainable design. He feels energized to ...
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Happy New Year COTE members! I am honored to assume the 25th chair of the AIA Committee on the Environment Advisory Group and follow in the footsteps of Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA. Under Mary Ann’s leadership, COTE accomplished much during a period when we witnessed a tumultuous national political climate and a changing environmental climate. These achievements include publishing The Habits of High-Performance Firms, collaborating with Architecture 2030 to expand COTE Top Ten for students  and to include paid summer internships, sending letters to DOE and EPA Senate Hearing Committees, and visiting Capitol Hill for follow up. Expanding our advocacy work, we created ...
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We are looking forward to working with our newest COTE Advisory Group members who bring diverse perspectives and wisdom: Vikram Sami, Olson Kundig’s Director of Building Performance, Corey Squire, AIA, Lake | Flato Architects Sustainability Coordinator, Julie Hiromoto, AIA, New York Office Director and Vice President at HKS and Gunnar Hubbard, FAIA, Thornton Tomasetti’s Sustainability practice leader and principal. Recognizing our growing local COTE components and increased need for communication, we introduce two COTE strategists: Communications Ambassador Kira Gould, Allied AIA and Advocacy Ambassador Mike Davis, FAIA. I would like to thank and recognize ...
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MH house, designed by COULSON, has a 90 percent PEUI reduction without any renewable energy system. Image: COULSON NOAA just announced that 2017 was a record year for cost impacts in the US due to extreme weather events and set a new record for cumulative costs. At the same time, there's a growing scientific understanding of the contribution of climate change to these events which indicates this could become a new normal . That’s one reason why this report from the National Institute of Building Sciences, " Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report ” is so very valuable to architects. It shares a careful analysis involving many federal ...
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Image: Emily Coleman-Wolf Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is uniquely qualified to provide a collaborative environment between climate scientists and other groups. Over the last 66 years, climate data from all over the world has been gathered and stored at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville. Currently, the City is home to the headquarters of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Numerous climate scientists call Asheville their home, which has allowed Asheville, often called “Climate City”, to tap into an incredible wealth ...
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Image: Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, © Robert Benson Photography The AIA COTE Top Ten awards are among the most prestigious in the profession. The program rewards projects that demonstrate design excellence and high performing buildings. The Top Ten consists of ten measures that assess projects on water, energy, wellness and more. The rigor of the award sets it apart from many other industry awards and submitting may seem daunting. There are clear benefits if your project earns recognition like national attention and press opportunities. However, there are a number of benefits to simply submitting, ...
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How DPR’s Living Labs are pioneering net-zero energy building certification by Yumi Clevenger, DPR Construction In the ever-evolving sustainable design and construction arena, many owners and project teams are setting their sights on a goal that seemed improbable just a short time ago: creating commercial buildings that produce as much or more energy as they consume each year, known as net-zero energy buildings. In total, DPR has built four International Living Future Institute (ILFI) net-zero certified projects—the David and Lucile Packard Foundation corporate headquarters, as well as three award-winning net-zero DPR offices in Phoenix, ...
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The AIA COTE Advisory Group (known as the AG) is a group currently of 11 AIA members representing different constituencies (firm sizes, regions, etc.). The group works towards COTE’s mission to “advance, disseminate, and advocate…design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment.” Task areas include awards, advocacy, communications, and research. COTE is one of the oldest AIA Knowledge Committees originally founded in 1990 by Bob Berkebile as an outcome of the energy movement. COTE’s signature Top Ten Awards program was started shortly after that in 1995. ...
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vonderauvisuals (Flickr) | License: goo.gl/WkS2Rl By Heather Holdridge, Assoc. AIA and Greg Mella, FAIA, Co-Chairs, AIA 2030 Working Group With the announcement last month of the impending US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank the participating signatories of the 2030 Commitment . Like the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Commitment was created specifically to respond to scientific projections on greenhouse gas reductions needed to prevent 2-degree Celsius climate change—meaning that signing on to and actively participating in the 2030 Commitment is a direct way to support the climate accord’s goals. ...
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AIA COTE 2017 Forum

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By Karen Robichaud Thank you to everyone who joined us last month at the COTE Forum! For those who weren’t able to join us, we hosted a number of rapid-fire roundtable discussions, ranging from social media advocacy to the resilience working group to the 2030 Commitment to a Mini Hackathon. Our two-hour session was filled with lively conversations, none more so than our Mini Hackathon focused on hacking for change in regards to the proposed 2018 Federal Budget. "I was really enthusiastic about this event because it provided a chance for newcomers to the concept of resilient design to sit with experts who were drawn to the topic. We had energetic, ...
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A few months ago the newly formed COTE Advocacy committee drafted a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and requested signatures of support from architecture and design firms. The letter framed the importance of programs — Energy Star and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in particular — not just in their work preserving the environment and resources but also citing them as critical for the practice of sustainable design and construction. The letter, addressed to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and coordinated through the advocacy team at the American Institute of Architects (AIA), received a wonderful amount of support—775 ...
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Hello COTE Community! In all of the happenings of the month you may have missed this one item. On June 22, 2016, President Obama said “Here in America, folks should have the confidence to know that the laundry detergent we buy isn’t going to make us sick, the mattresses our babies sleep on aren’t going to harm them” and signed the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act ( LCSA ) into law. This provided, for the first time in decades, a much-needed reform to the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The original Act was meant to have the EPA assure Americans that the products we buy and ...
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Scientists predict that extreme meteorological events are becoming more frequent and destructive. For instance late last year, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm recorded in the world so far, decimated central island cities in the Philippines. Recent data sourced from the Japanese Meteorological Agency indicated extreme weather occurrences across the globe. These pose critical challenges to our current and future rebuilding programs in cities where extreme weather has become the new “benchmark for disaster prevention,” as suggested during a congress meeting in the Philippines by the UN Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation ...
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Read original article here . (Image by SXC) Our bodies are covered in skin that helps protect and regulate our internal temperature levels. In a similar fashion, a building’s envelope protects its internal functions and acts as a transitional space from outside. But unlike our skin, which is predetermined for us by Nature, a building’s facade can be changeable and designed to custom specifications. The challenge for architects is: How do we go beyond the perception that building facades are merely two-dimensional surfaces? Just like our bodies, imagine if buildings had beneficial micro-organisms in their ducts and pipes that could ...
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Reflecting on one of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Repositioning themes, “Innovate” inspires ideas on building a better world. It brings to mind a new blog series called “ Building as Unusual ” by Geekie-Award-winning digital media platform Earth 2 Hub . It involves insights that are influencing the discourse of architecture and the built environment: “In an era of rapid scientific and technological advancement, the radical ideas of yesteryear are becoming the reality of the present. 3D printing, adaptive architecture, biomimetics, synthetic biology and living technologies are challenging and driving new aesthetics, ...
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( View original article at the Coverings Blog ) Ceramic tile has been a popular building material for over 4,000 years. It played a prominent role in the history of building construction from the oldest pyramids in Egypt to the tile mosaics of Spain. We have seen century old buildings inlaid with it, proving its longevity and strength. Gruell Parc Trencadis by Antonio Gaudi (image by lloydi.com) Catalan modernist architect Antonio Gaudi leveraged tile in an unconventional method in the Güell Parc project where Trencadis was ubiquitous. Trencadis (or Pique Assiette ) is a mosaic technique that utilizes broken tile chards, which ...
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This Water

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This Wa
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Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_architect
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(read related article from Inhabitat ) (view original article here ) Kingspan Insulated Panels North America , a global manufacturer of insulated metal panels for building construction, announced today the launch of Generation Kingspan™, a contest for architecture students. The contest encourages U.S. and Canadian students to create an innovative, Net-Zero Energy, and low-impact environmentally designed building using Kingspan’s Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs) and reflecting Kingspan’s sustainable corporate philosophy. The contest starts August 1, 2012, and will culminate with a Grand Prize winner selection in November at the Greenbuild ...
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( read original article here ) by Merwin Videna Coverings — The Ultimate Tile + Stone Experience — has invited Michael P Johnson, Michael P Johnson Design Studio and Lira Luis, AIA, RIBA, LEED AP BD+C, ALLL to be speakers at its annual conference and exposition coming to Orlando, Florida, April 17-20, 2012. Michael and Lira’s session entitled Tile: From Decorative to Sustainable will address ways to achieve a sustainable building by using tile beyond the decorative. About Michael P. Johnson Modern art is modern because it is critical. Michael’s deep care for a solid, modern, ethical architecture is rooted in and ...
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