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.

Expand your positive impact:
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. 

Design the Future podcast: Katie Ackerly, AIA

  • 1.  Design the Future podcast: Katie Ackerly, AIA

    Posted 09-27-2021 09:53 AM
      |   view attached
    There are people who ask big questions about how we deliver meaningful impact for client, community, and society ... and there are people who translate those into daily action. Katie Ackerly, a principal at David Baker Architects and the firm's sustainable design lead, does both. (I think this is a superpower!)
    She is committed to elevating the critical importance of high-performance, equitable housing as the essential core of a successful, resilient future. Lindsay Baker and I dug into both the big questions and the daily actions with Katie for the #DesigntheFuture podcast.

    "What is the value of housing to society?" she asks. "And why is it so expensive to build? If we can tackle the construction market, that would go a long way toward increasing the performance and resilience of homes for people and communities." In addition to the many things that are usually associated with climate-responsive housing, she says, such as energy, water, materials, waste, and ecological impact, she says, "we should also be talking about many layers of human experience. What about home improves the ability for people have a stable, thriving life? What allows them to be safe and well?"

    We explored the challenges that go along with sustainable design being a silo, or a subculture, and efforts to deconstruct those. One pathway, she suggests, is to develop a common literacy about sustainability and housing.
    Listen on our site -- -- or on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you to our producer, Amber Artrip!
    #climateaction #housing #sustainability

    Kira Gould
    Kira Gould CONNECT
    Oakland CA