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How the AIA's Committee on the Environment Can Ensure Its Own Obsolescence

10:30 - 8 July, 2016
How the AIA's Committee on the Environment Can Ensure Its Own Obsolescence, The Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, designed by SERA Architects with Cutler Anderson Architects, the 2016 AIA/Cote Top Ten Plus Winner. Image © Nic Lehoux
The Edith Green – Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, designed by SERA Architects with Cutler Anderson Architects, the 2016 AIA/Cote Top Ten Plus Winner. Image © Nic Lehoux

This article by Kira Gould was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Case for COTE's Obsolescence."

Recently the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment published, for the first time, a comprehensive report about the winners from the debut year (1997) through 2015: “Lessons from the Leading Edge.” Its lead author, a current COTE advisory board member, Lance Hosey, set out to review two decades of Top Ten winners as a group to see how performance is changing over time, how the winners size up (scale, cost, type), and more.

The result is a compelling report. It reveals that these high-performing projects skew small. That performance gains and metrics, particularly real-time performance metrics, are improving each year. That the leading projects tend to be expensive. On average, they come in at $537 per square foot. “The cost data shows us that we need more compelling examples of lower-cost, higher performance projects,” Hosey says. Clearly, more exemplars at greater scale, type, and cost variation would be beneficial to both the profession and the market.

AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2016

08:00 - 27 April, 2016
AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2016, The J. Craig Venter Institute; San Diego
/ ZGF Architects LLP. Image © Nick Merrick
The J. Craig Venter Institute; San Diego
/ ZGF Architects LLP. Image © Nick Merrick

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten sustainable architecture and ecological design projects for 2016.

Now in its 20th year, the COTE Top Ten Awards program honors projects that protect and enhance the environment through an integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology.

A recently released study, entitled Lessons from the Leading Edge, reports that design projects recognized through this program are “outpacing the industry by virtually every standard of performance.”

The 2016 COTE Top Ten Green Projects are:

AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2015

09:00 - 23 April, 2015
AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects of 2015, E+ Highland Street Townhouses / Interface Studio Architects and Urbanica Design. Image © Sam Oberter
E+ Highland Street Townhouses / Interface Studio Architects and Urbanica Design. Image © Sam Oberter

Ten projects have been named the top examples of sustainable and ecological design by the AIA and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) for the year 2015. Now in its 19th edition, the COTE Top Ten Awards program recognizes projects that adhere to the highest integration of natural systems and technology to produce spaces that positively impact their surroundings and minimize their environmental footprints.

All of the projects will be honored at the 2015 AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in Atlanta. See this year's top ten sustainable designs, after the break.

New Orleans BioInnovation Center / Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. Image © Timothy Hursley University Center / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Image © James Ewing Sweetwater Spectrum Community / Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. Image © Tim Griffith Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse / Overland Partners. Image © Dror Baldinger +21

AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects in U.S.

01:00 - 22 April, 2014
AIA Names Top 10 Most Sustainable Projects in U.S., 
Sustainability Treehouse; Glen Jean, West Virginia / Mithun with BNIM © Joe Fletcher


Sustainability Treehouse; Glen Jean, West Virginia / Mithun with BNIM © Joe Fletcher


In honor of Earth Day, we have complied a preview of the top ten most sustainable exemplars of U.S. architecture selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE). Each project featured will be honored with a COTE Top Ten Award for “sustainable design excellence” at the 2014 National Convention in Chicago. View them all, after the break...

AIA Selects the 2012 COTE Top Ten Green Projects

13:00 - 24 April, 2012
University of Minnesota Duluth – Bagley Classroom Building / Salmela Architect © Paul Crosby
University of Minnesota Duluth – Bagley Classroom Building / Salmela Architect © Paul Crosby

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) have selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions. Now in its 16th year, the COTE Top Ten Green Projects program is one of the profession’s best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence.

The highlighted projects are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They have made a positive contribution to their communities, improved comfort for building occupants and reduced environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

All the projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition, next month in Washington, D.C. Continue after the break to review the top ten green projects.