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.

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

A big thank you to our partners: 
Founding partner: Building Green
Premier partners: Sherwin-Williams
Sustaining partners: GAF Roofing, Milliken, ROCKWOOL, Andersen Windows
Green partners: EPIC Metals, Compass Datacenters
Allied partners: TLC Engineering, Sierra Pacific Windows

  • 1.  The Next Economy

    Posted 05-03-2023 02:29 PM

    Rotterdam (3) - The Next Economy 

     Baltimore (pop 600,000) and Rotterdam (pop 650,000) are sister cities, a relationship curated by the Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee and  various activities of individuals and organizations.

    Recently I was invited to participate in a student and faculty architecture trip to Rotterdam. This is the last in a series of articles. In the two previous articles  I  covered transportation and architecture
    The value of exchange:
    Take a dozen undergraduate, graduate and recent graduate architecture students, load them on a plane and tour them for eight days through a foreign city, equip them with bicycles, introduce them to celebrity and non-celebrity architects, have them visit architecture schools and peers and invite them to dinner and studio conversations and surprises, insights and learning will be plentiful on all sides: Organizers, hosts and guests.
    Actual physical exchange is important even in a global world where anybody can talk to anybody via video phone call any time, where any lecture can be broadcast around the globe via live webinars and news travel around the world in seconds. And as we found out, two comparable cities have such different trajectories. The Dutch know this and regularly send their ambassador classic sailing ship Stad Amsterdam half way around the world to dock in the Baltimore Harbor to host Baltimore business people, politicians and this year also the students on this bit of movable Dutch territory. Even in a global culture that is seen as homogenized in many ways, in travel foreign life reveals itself as different in so many details that it is difficult to describe them all. 
    De Rotterdam towers, home of city government (OMA)
    A get-together three weeks after the Rotterdam trip, when students met back home at Morgan University, illustrated the value of travel beautifully. Describing their impressions, feelings and memories, they provided joyful testimony of how the journey had opened their eyes, widened their horizons and unlocked their....

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
    2023 RUDC Symposium