COTE Top Ten for Students 2018

Themed "Innovation 2030," 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, sponsored by View Dynamic Glass, will recognize ten exceptional studio projects that successfully integrate adaptive, resilient, and carbon-neutral strategies, along with COTE’s ten measures of sustainability within their comprehensive design solutions.
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In the news: Hurricane Harvey reinforces need for cities to plan for disaster resiliency

By Jon Penndorf, FAIA (Washington Post)

When a community is decimated by a 1,000-year weather event, with multiple feet of rain deposited on streets, parking lots and roofs, there is no way to plan where to put the water. The water must go somewhere.

Architects, designers and urban planners have been urging communities to plan for crisis-level weather events for years. Previous storms such as hurricanes Katrina and Sandy provided devastating and long-lasting effects from which we glean lessons on preparedness and construction, but no one can safely and legitimately plan for a rain and wind event that has a 1-in-1,000 chance of occurring. Instead, communities need to understand that events like Hurricane Harvey are the true definition of climate change. Read more >

New report reveals high-performance lessons for all firms

Did you know that 17 firms have received three or more COTE Top Ten Awards? Of those firms, 59 percent have also been recognized as AIA Firm Award winners, the AIA's highest honor given to architecture firms. A majority are also recognized annually in the Architecture 50 rating. So what do these high-performance firms have in common? COTE's latest report, The Habits of High-Performance Firms, gives a much-needed understanding of the key firm characteristics that drive success across frequent COTE Top Ten recipients. These findings are valuable for any firm and are especially relevant now with AIA's commitment to achieving a more equitable, sustainable, healthy, and resilient built environment. Download the report >

COTE Resources

COTE Top Ten Measures of Design: A tool for your firm
Our Top Ten Measures are not just criteria for awarding projects, but an open-ended framework for defining design excellence.
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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 Top Ten Call for Entries and Measures of Sustainable Design

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

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COTE Top Ten


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We invite you to join in COTE's mission of promoting cuttcutting-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.

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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!