Committee on the Environment

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

Check out COTE's history and timeline. 

Starting a local COTE or sustainability group and need some guidance? Check out the AIA COTE Network Resources here.

A big thank you to our 2024 sponsors: 
Founding sponsors: Building Green
Premier sponsors: Sherwin-Williams, Stantec
Sustaining sponsors: GAF Roofing, Milliken, Andersen Windows,
BlueScope Buildings
Green sponsors: EPIC Metals
Allied sponsors: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

  • 1.  Potential Speakers on Making a Business Case for Sustainable Architecture

    Posted 11 days ago

    The AIA Columbus, Ohio COTE chapter is looking for a virtual speaker on making a business case for sustainable architecture. In particular, we're looking for tools like calculating ROI to present to owners to try to encourage better choices. Does anyone have any recommendations of someone who might be willing to join us virtually for a lunch (noon-1pm ET) presentation?

    Erin Reilly-Sanders, PhD, AIA
    Schooley Caldwell Associates
    AIA Columbus, Ohio Board Member

  • 2.  RE: Potential Speakers on Making a Business Case for Sustainable Architecture

    Posted 9 days ago

    Hi Erin,

    I have a prepared deck titled "Decarbonization by Design" which I think gets at the core that you are looking for though there are no "calculators" but what it does do is reframe sustainability in different ways so that our practitioners can talk about strategies sometimes without even saying the work sustainability. It's also content that will be in my book that I am currently writing on the topic.

    Anthony Brower FAIA
    Burbank CA

  • 3.  RE: Potential Speakers on Making a Business Case for Sustainable Architecture

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Erin 
    I am working on a project of a Twin Tower in Vietnam , where we use calculations in ROI and typologies selection/ programming (as well as sustainability methods and localization) to achieve the project business goals . 

    The project just finished phase 1 , which is called  "Advance Strategy" consultancy. Although this case is in VIetnam , the methodology is pretty much based on what I learnt from a firm I worked for in Seattle. 

    As we think there is no sustainable building without  sustainable business ,  Our firm effort is to align the building with the actual usage and actual needs of the local area and market. Does this case match with what you are looking for? 
    If it does , please contact me via email """

    Best regards
    Tan Bui

  • 4.  RE: Potential Speakers on Making a Business Case for Sustainable Architecture

    Posted 4 days ago

    Hi Erin,

    I have given numerous presentations locally (Chicago, Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, and others) and nationally (three Architectural Record one hour seminars - Sustainability, Resilience and Carbon, numerious national AIA conference presentations, etc.) as well as internally for the national SFx committee numerous times.  I was the past national co-chair of the 2030 Commitment Working Group and served on the Committee on Climate Action and Design Excellence and the Sustainability Leadership Group.  I am currently on the national ExCom of the SFx committee. 

    If you would like, I would like to speak to you about what you are exactly looking for.  I can be reached at 847 864-9650.

    Nathan Kipnis FAIA
    Kipnis Architecture + Planning
    Evanston IL

  • 5.  RE: Potential Speakers on Making a Business Case for Sustainable Architecture

    Posted 3 days ago

    Hey Erin,

    We have a Case Study for the first Zero Energy School in the State of Florida, Neocity Academy. We have told the in-depth story in a few conferences already. The project had to be built for the same cost/student station as mandated by Florida State Funding.

    Great results. We are achieving $113,000 savings every year. Lots of intelligent strategies to think about cost, cost shifting, cost savings... The district had never done a project like that one.

    It is also a phenomenal learning environment. Neocity is also ranked #4 academically in Florida HS's.  .

    Let me know if that is something you would find interesting. you can reach me at

    Tomas Jimenez-Eliaeson, AIA

    Design Partner I Little

    Tomas' Jimenez-Eliaeson AIA
    Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
    Charlotte NC

  • 6.  RE: Potential Speakers on Making a Business Case for Sustainable Architecture

    Posted 3 days ago

    You all have been fantastic with so many recommendations and offers to help- I really appreciate it. Our next committee meeting isn't until July 8 so I won't be able to respond individually until after I know more about what our group is interested in but I wanted to let you know that I'm grateful and impressed at the expertise that's available.
    In a long term, bigger picture, I'm wondering if there would be good value in setting up a speaker exchange database where COTE community members can list topics that either have presentations on or are interested in developing to share between chapters.

    Erin Reilly-Sanders AIA
    Schooley Caldwell Associates
    Hilliard OH