Committee on the Environment

COTE serves as the voice of AIA architects on sustainable design, building sciences and performance. As advocates to the profession, building industry, academy, and public, COTE advances design practices that integrate built and natural systems, and that enhance both the quality and environmental performance of the built environment.

Follow the AIA COTE Advocacy Network to act on urgent issues through the federal level. And connect with our San Francisco chapter leadership below.


Third Tuesday of each month, 12:30 - 1:30 PM
Download the calendar item with Zoom join details


Mark Kelly

Charlie Stott

Event Archive

The Great Reset, Series Event 1: Tools for Design Process
Monday, July 12, 2021, 12:30 - 1:30 pm PDT

How can Architects most effectively engage Clients and Design Teams to integrate climate and resilience strategies during the design phase?

Three skilled design professionals respond to this question with a short presentation, followed by a roundtable discussion and audience Q&A. Join us to hear how these practitioners from a variety of firm sizes and backgrounds adopt new approaches while they adapt to design in the Climate Age.

Thanks to the generous support of David Baker Architects and JENSEN Architects through a joint gold-level sponsor of the Great Reset series, this program is free and open to all.



Healthy Materials Series

After a year of Covid-19, environmental crises, and calls for social justice, ‘Healthy Materials’ could not be more important. We have seen the air polluted with carbon from the extraction of raw materials. We have seen manufacturing plants release toxic by-products into the air and water, compromising neighborhoods predominantly of color. We have seen contagions spread through our buildings, ill-equipped to suppress such viruses and bacteria. We have seen fires burn toxicity into our air, poisoning our firefighters and neighbors. Now is the time to reimagine the products of our built environment.

Local AIA COTE, CLF, and USGBC chapters in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, present the Healthy Materials Series, a 6-part program starting in May 2021 and continuing through August 2021. This series explores new and old materials while discussing methods for analyzing material health as it relates to our society, environment, and equity. Each 90-minute episode will showcase research projects and case studies using healthy materials presented by our selected panelists. Following the presentations, we will discuss the obstacles and opportunities to implement these materials into our design process.

View recordings:

Keynote + Introduction | May 24, 2021 Pt.1 Structural | June 7, 2021 Pt. 2 Enclosure | June 21, 2021


Reach Codes / Gas Bans / Electrification: What Architects Need to Know
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30 pm PDT

A growing number of California cities have passed gas bans in new construction to help fight climate change and improve occupant health. BerkeleySan Jose, and San Francisco now require new buildings to be fully electrified with limited exceptions.

This panel conversation includes energy consultant Gina Rodda, architect Cate Leger, and sustainability consultant Amy Rider, who will answer major questions about all-electric design considerations when pursuing projects in California cities with Gas Bans and Reach Codes. Using single family residential examples, we review questions such as: “Why all-electric?”; “How to keep up with the regs?”; “What are the design considerations?”; “Where can I find resources?” and “What about the environment?” Audience Q&A is welcomed during the presentation.

Thanks to the generous support of Energy Code Ace, this program is free and open to the public.



The Shifting Landscape of Mass Timber
Thursday, August 27, 2020, 12:00 - 1:30 pm PDT

Join industry experts for a lunchtime webinar focusing on Mass Timber. Get the latest insights on design, construction, responsible sourcing and carbon tracking for this emerging technology. Event hosted by AIASF COTE in collaboration with The Wood Products Council.

As the design and construction industries shift their efforts toward zero embodied carbon, Mass Timber stands out as a revolutionary solution. Building with mass timber not only acts as a carbon sink when compared to concrete and steel construction, it also offers biophilic appeals and potential construction cost and time savings. It might even be a key solution to the west coast housing crisis! Join us in conversation with a panel of design, construction and industry experts who will share their project experience and insights about this new technology, and help designers specify and source mass timber in alignment with the technology’s zero/positive carbon intent, while upholding responsible forestry stewardship. A Q&A session will wrap up the event.


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