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, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Net Zero + Community Positive: Justice by Design
Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 12:00 - 1:30 PDT
A just design process requires constant evaluation and evolution. In this panel discussion and workshop, Quinlin Messenger, Gregory Fischer and Kirstin Weeks of JUST Design and JUST Collaborate will share their journey toward a truly empowering design process – one that prioritizes environmental and social justice, and recognizes their interdependence.
The discussion will be anchored in East Palo Alto, a community with a history of struggle for civil rights and environmental justice. The presenters will describe two new education building projects that highlight the JUST team’s engagement and design process, its outcomes, and its continued evolution and lessons learned. The session will also include interactive opportunities for participants to brainstorm and reflect on their own projects and process in the context of justice by design.
Themes to be explored include:
- How are climate, environment, equity, and justice connected?
- How can our design process include, empower, and build community capacity?
- What building design elements are most impactful to inclusion, equity, and justice?
The Carbon Question: What do interiors have to do with it?
Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 12:00 - 1:00 PDT
With global climate change growing in severity and urgency, architects and engineers have been grappling with the embodied carbon of new buildings for years. Because most building foundation and structural systems are such carbon hogs, the impact of an interior fit-out for a new building appears as a blip – no need for designers to bother themselves with LCAs or other carbon footprint calculations. Take a deeper look: most of the global building stock already exists, and renovations never stop. New buildings exist for 25 – 50 years. Consider how many interior renovations occur within that lifespan. Interior products, from flooring to furniture, have major impacts on global warming. Take control and lead your clients to do less harm, starting now!VIEW RECORDING
A+C Festival: Authors Showcase | A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety" by Sarah Jaquette Ray
Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 12:00 - 1:00 PDT
Sarah Jaquette Ray, Ph.D., Professor and Chair in Environmental Studies Department at Humboldt State University, talks about her book "A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety" with Kyle Pickett, Director for Leadership and Market Development at New Building’s Institute.
Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice. A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation—and perhaps the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time.VIEW RECORDING
KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL: Electrifying Commercial Kitchens
Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 12:00 - 1:00 pm PDT
As commercial and educational institutions look for electrification strategies to reduce their carbon footprint, the kitchen is the final frontier. Abandoning natural gas appliances can result in reduced energy bills, healthier work conditions, enhanced safety, and increased performance and throughput. But the lure of the gas flame endures.
This panel session will debunk perceived barriers to kitchen electrification, including energy use, equipment availability and effectiveness, menu concerns, and staff happiness. Learn from a chef, an architect, and an engineer how to rewire commercial and institutional facilities by installing healthier, energy efficient, all-electric kitchens.
The Great Reset, Series Event 3: Advocacy and Design Leadership
Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 5:30 - 6:30 pm PDT
How can individual practitioners take the initiative to help deliver building projects that make a difference?
Three skilled design professionals respond to these questions with a short presentation, followed by a moderated 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.
Efficient, All-electric Building Retrofits
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 12:30 - 1:30 pm PDT
Decarbonizing the built environment requires significant action to electrify fossil fuel systems that support heating, hot water, and cooking services in our vast existing building stock. Architects working on building renovation or tenant improvement projects are well positioned to advocate for and accelerate the pace of building electrification, especially on smaller scale projects that comprise the mass market.
This session will educate attendees on technical paths and processes to implement efficient electrification as part of renovation scopes of work in small to medium size residential and commercial projects. Leaders from the RMI’s REALIZE project, which is piloting modular, zero carbon retrofits of existing affordable housing, will speak about challenges of electrification retrofits and opportunities to standardize implementation of these projects.
Thanks to the generous support of Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects through silver-level sponsor of this program, this program is free and open to all.
The Great Reset, Series Event 2: Research and Technology
Thursday, October 14, 2021, 5:30 - 6:30 pm PDT
How are design professionals supporting industry integration of climate and resilience strategies through research and development of new technologies?
Four skilled design professionals respond to these questions with a short presentation, followed by a moderated 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.
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.
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.
Keynote + Introduction | May 24, 2021 Pt.1 Structural | June 7, 2021 Pt. 2 Enclosure | June 21, 2021 Pt. 3 Interiors | July 12, 2021 Pt. 4 Building Systems | July 19, 2021 Pt. 5 Tomorrow's Materials | August 2, 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. Berkeley, San 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.
For more information and questions please enter information here and a committee member will respond to you.