AIA KnowledgeNet Facebook Twitter YouTube


The COTE Top Ten Awards is the industry’s best-known awards program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, 10 innovative projects earn the prize for setting the standard in design and sustainability. COTE Top Ten has changed for for 2017. We have completely revamped the measures of sustainable design and highlighted issues like wellness, resilience, and economy that have gained prominence.The new measures and metrics emphasize the importance of actual performance in addition to design intent.

Learn more & submit >
Download an in-depth guide to the new measures >

Webinar: New Measures for Success

In this session, Committee on the Environment Advisory Group members take you through each of the new measures in detail and explain how this will impact your application. 

Download the presentation >


View Past Recipients

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


COTE Scholar Program

Since 2008, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) and the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) proudly partnered to offer the AIA/COTE Research Scholarship. This program asks one selected student to conduct research and studies on a particular topic related to sustainable design – both at the building and community scale.

Realizing Next-Generation Green: Project Delivery and Cost Management Strategies for High-Performance Buildings
Sara Tepfer, M. Arch, AIA/AIAS 2013 COTE Scholar

AIA 2030 Commitment Case Studies: Studying the Experience of Participant Firms
Megan Turner, AIA/AIAS 2012 COTE Scholar

Deep Green Renovation: Broad Scale Strategies for Achieving Deep Energy Savings in Existing Buildings
Catharine Killien, AIA/AIAS 2011 COTE Scholar

Low Carbon Communities: An Analysis of the State of Low-Carbon Community Design
Tyler Blazer, AIA/AIAS 2010 COTE Scholar

Performance by Design: An Energy Analysis of AIA/COTE Top Ten Projects
Nathan Brown, AIA/AIAS 2009 COTE Scholar

Hydrology & Water Conservation
Brad Zuger, M. Arch, AIA/AIAS 2008 COTE Scholar

COTE Resources

Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan
Prepared by AIA resident Fellow Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA

The Carbon Neutral Design Project
A joint effort by the AIA, members of COTE, and the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) to produce educational adn resource materials for carbon neutral design. 

Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education
Funded by a planning grant from the Tides Foundation’s Kendeda Sustainability Fund, the AIA COTE's report, Ecology and Design: Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education, provides a look at the degree to which ecological literacy and sustainability are playing a role in American architecture education.

COTE Measures of Sustainable Design

Program Supporters

Founding Sponsor:

Presenting Sponsor:


Sustaining Sponsor:

Event Sponsor:

 Green Sponsor:

Allied Sponsor:

About COTE

The Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, the academy, and the public—design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. COTE serves as the community and voice on behalf of AIA architects regarding sustainable design.

View the COTE Timeline for major accomplishments throughout the years starting in 1990! 

Upcoming Events

Latest Discussions

  • We are excited that people are so interested in the results of the call for issues survey! AIA's Advocacy staff will share the results by the end of January. We will be sure to include a new post...

  • Thanks for this suggestion. We heard that the AIA advocacy folks are going to get back to us on this excellent question and we'll definitely look at an article as well in the COTE newsletter. Great...

  • I hope so. I'm talking to the folks at AIA Government Relations about that now. Stay tuned! - MD Michael R. Davis , FAIA, LEED AP President Bergmeyer 51...

Latest Blogs

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    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... more

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    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... more

  • Posted in: Committee on the Environment

    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... more