2019 submissions are open for COTE® Top Ten

COTE® Top Ten is the industry's best-known awards program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, ten innovative projects are recognized for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance. COTE® Top Ten Awards highlight the highest achievements in both design intent and actual performance across the triple bottom line of social, economic, and environmental value.
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The AIA COTE® Top Ten Toolkit

The toolkit is a resource, accessible to all architects, that closes the information gap to designing high performing, equitable, beautiful buildings. It is designed to provide relevant, general guidance to architects incorporating deep green principles from the beginning of every project. Check it out >

COTE® Top Ten for Students 2019

The program challenges undergraduate and graduate students, working individually or in teams, to submit projects that use a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The competition will recognize ten exceptional studio projects that successfully integrate adaptive, resilient, and carbon-neutral strategies, along with the COTE® Top Ten Measures of Sustainability within their comprehensive design solutions.
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COTE newsletter

View the most recent issue of our monthly newsletter:

New resource: ZERO Code

The ZERO Code is Architecture 2030's national and international building energy standard for new building construction that integrates cost-effective energy efficiency standards with on-site and/or off-site renewable energy, resulting in zero-net-carbon buildings.
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Upcoming events

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Latest Blogs

  • 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 ... more

  • 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 ... more

  • 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 ... more

COTE® Resources

Video: Demystifying the COTE Top Ten Awards
What does it take to enter COTE® Top Ten? Hear from two firms with successful track records in the program. They will share insight into processes and documentation that support a successful COTE® Top Ten submission. Watch the recording >

Carbon Leadership Forum Life Cycle Assessment guideline specification 
These provide sample verbiage for LCA requirements for the following sections: Concrete Reinforcing, Post Tensioning, Concrete, Masonry, Structural Steel, Steel Decking, Cold Formed Metal and Rough Carpentry.

Report:The Habits of High-Performance Firms

Architect’s guide to integrating energy modeling in the design process

Report:Lessons from the Leading Edge

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 and 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® 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

About us

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!

COTE® partners

Founding Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor

Sustaining Sponsors

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Allied Sponsors

We invite you to join in COTE's mission of promoting cutting-edge sustainability and the integration of design, high performance, and practice. Our over 11,000 members are design and construction professionals who care deeply about the impact the built environment has on the natural, and who are willing to continue to learn about innovative design techniques, products, and systems that can enhance design.

Promotion of your company will include advertisement on the AIA COTE website, monthly newsletters, social media, and special events reaching professionals interested in your products or services.

Download the sponsorship prospectus >