Committee on the Environment

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Who we are

The Committee on the Environment (COTE®) is an AIA Knowledge Community working for architects, allied professionals, and the public to achieve climate action and climate justice through design. We believe that design excellence is the foundation of a healthy, sustainable, and equitable future. Our work promotes design strategies that empower all AIA members to realize the best social and environmental outcomes with the clients and the communities they serve.

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Engage in our advocacy efforts. Enjoy our latest on COTE news (and follow us on Twitter).

To learn about the Framework for Design Excellence (formerly the COTE Top Ten Measures), click here.

Did you miss the 2021 Top Ten Toast, download a recording here.

Check out COTE's history and timeline. 

A big thank you to our partners: 
Founding partner: Building Green
Premier partners: Kingspan, Sherwin-Williams
Sustaining partners: GAF Roofing, KawneerLucifer Lighting Company, ROCKWOOL
Green partners: AutodeskEPIC MetalsHKSThornton Tomasetti, Skanska
Allied partners: TLC Engineering

GAF x COTE: Looking at the Future

This 2019 video was compiled by GAF, a COTE sponsor. 

Is there a Tesla Moment in Real Estate?

  • 1.  Is there a Tesla Moment in Real Estate?

    Posted 10-22-2021 09:12 AM


     "If there is anything that we know now, it is that "normal" just doesn't work for far too many people," Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,  ULI panel  moderator "Build Back Better: The Mandate and the Opportunity."

    In what the Economist calls "the first big energy shock of the green era" with its skyrocketing natural gas prices in Europe, fistfights over petrol in England, electricity shut offs in China and ever climbing gas prices in the US, little seems normal. Let alone the floods, fires, heat records and melting polar ice sheets. To make things worse, fossil fuels appear to be on the uptick while renewable energy remains woefully short of meeting the growing demand for electricity. The Economist wrote about the policy situation, right before the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow:

    The thermometer of the Climate Action Tracker shows that current
    warming of 1.2 C is dangerously close to the Paris goal of 1.5C and
    that with current pledges we would get 2.4C warming and with
    current policies even 2.9C warming, a level that most scientists
    consider beyond many climate tipping points. (CAT)

    Yet from investors' perspective, policy is baffling. Many countries have net-zero pledges but no plan of how to get there and have yet to square with the public that bills and taxes need to rise. [...] The ideal answer is a global carbon price that relentlessly lowers emissions, helps firms judge which projects would make money, and raises tax revenues to support the energy transition's losers. Yet pricing schemes cover only a fifth of all emissions. The message from the shock is that leaders at cop26 must move beyond pledges and tackle the fine print of how the transition will work. All the more so if they meet under light bulbs powered by coal." (Economist title story)

    The good news at ULI: ESG

    A good piece of climate news would be certainly welcome right now, even just a glimmer of hope. It came from an unexpected side: The real estate industry, the contributor of 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions! In many countries, real estate is the single largest contributor category. Good news in this category certainly is not only more than welcome but also urgently needed.


    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD