Knowledge Community

Committee on the Environment (COTE®)

Access recordings and documentation of past COTE workshops and lectures.

Past Meetings and Resources

April COTE Meeting: Embodied Carbon: The Next Frontier in High-Performance Building

April 14, 2023

Victor Olgyay, FAIA shares specific ways that architects can use embodied carbon criteria for designing high-performance buildings at little to no cost premium using simple, market-ready solutions and best practices.

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November COTE Meeting: Kendeda Building – Lessons Learned Since LBC Certification

November 11, 2022

On April 22, 2021, the Kendeda Building was officially designated as the first Living Building in Georgia and one of only 28 in the world. Hear from the Director of the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Shan Arora, as he shares insights and lessons learned over the past 18 months since the Kendeda Building was certified. Topics include the building’s energy and water performance, the building envelope, and the data collected that can influence future building designs.

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October COTE Meeting: Ending Climate Change – A Discussion with Bill McKibben

October 21, 2022

This course provides a comprehensive review of how best to arrest climate change. The objectives are based on the core principles and objectives of was founded in 2008 by a group of university friends in the United States and author Bill McKibben, who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public. The goal was to build a global climate movement. 350 was named after 350 parts per million — the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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August COTE Meeting: Discovering Sustainable Site Design

August 12, 2022

Presented by Lord Aeck Sargent, this session covers broad concepts related to understanding and implementing Sustainable SITES to provide a framework for promoting sustainable site planning and design for all project types, scales, and budgets.

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July COTE Meeting: Embodied Carbon and MEP 2040 Challenge

July 8, 2022

To address the impact of the built environment on climate change, systems engineers have a critical role to play in both operational and embodied carbon and need to embrace a whole-life carbon approach to MEP design. While low operational carbon and passive design measures have been a target for some time, setting low embodied carbon targets for systems is quite new.

As a result, in April 2021, Integral collaborated with the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) systems engineering and designer members to discuss how to galvanize MEP design firms and systems manufacturers to reduce embodied carbon in their projects and products radically. The group was inspired by the Structural Engineering Institute’s SE 2050 Challenge.

Watch this session to learn more about what the commitment entails and how you can inspire your clients and colleagues in the built environment to sign on to this commitment.

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June COTE Meeting: Developing a Sustainability Action Plan and Environmental Policy for Your Firm

June 17, 2022

The session addresses how to develop a Sustainability Action Plan for the firm – a requirement of the AIA 2030 Commitment to combat climate change – which lays out short-, medium- and long-term goals for integrating best sustainability practices within the office, concerning both people and projects.

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May COTE Meeting: The Atlanta BeltLine – Its Past and Future To Be

May 13, 2022

The Atlanta BeltLine is connecting up Atlanta’s neighborhoods and implementing innovative urban environmental sustainability in architecture, landscaping, and engineering design along its 22 miles of new construction. Join Kevin Burke, Director of Design for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI), as he reviews the progress and outcomes from the first 16 years of ABI’s transformative project.

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2030 Commitment Workshop Follow-up Document and Resources

April 21, 2022

COTE hosted a workshop on the 2030 Challenge to help demystify the AIA 2030 Commitment hurdles and highlight the rewards firms have had since signing up.

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View follow-up document and resources »

2030 Commitment survey results

April 8, 2022

COTE conducted an online survey to gauge members’ understanding of and participation in the AIA 2030 Commitment.

View survey results »

Virtual topics

Key info


Frances Hamilton, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Position Open

Bill Abballe, AIA
AIA Advisor

Position Open

Ganesh Nayak, AIA
Educational Coordinator

Sustainable Sites
Chair: Paul McKeever, AIA
Co-chair: Open

Water Efficiency
Chair: Meg Needle, AIA
Co-Chair: Open

Energy & Atmosphere
Chair: Kelly Roberts
Co-chair: Open

Indoor Environmental Quality/Materials & Resources
Chair: Bill Hotch, AIA
Co-chair: Open

Chair: Erich R. Swett
Co-chair: Open

Education & Outreach
Chair: Delton Moore
Co-Chair: Open

To apply for an open position, please contact us here.

Outside resources

ASHRAE seeks to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems design and construction.

Learn more

Southface offers trainings on building performance, health and safety, energy and water, green infrastructure and green building certifications.

Learn more 

The Zero Tool calculates fossil fuel energy consumption for existing buildings and new building designs.

Learn more 

An immediately applicable, high-impact pathway to embodied carbon reductions in the built environment.

Learn more 


Monthly meetings take place on the second Friday of every month from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm. Meetings are currently virtual.