The Committee on the Environment (COTE) is an AIA Virginia 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.

Are you interested in JOINING the AIA VA COTE?  Coordination meetings are held virtually on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.  Contact for more information.

Virginia Committee on the Environment Steering Committee

AIA Richmond:
Rebecca Aarons-Sydnor
Sarah Grier Barber

AIA Northern Virginia:
Joseph McCoy
Cat Smith
Lauren Sughrue

AIA Central Virginia:
William Abrahamson (Chair)

Andrew McKinley (Co-chair)

The AIA’s Blueprint for Better website has resources for designers and members of the public interested in climate action and advancing climate justice. Check out AIA’s Knowledge Community website and resources here!

Check out our webinar which was recorded on Sept. 23, 2021, featuring an overview of the 2030 Challenge and a panel discussion about making the business case for investing in high-performance buildings with clients.

Below are a few recommended resources:

Climate Action Message Book
Learn how to communicate the value of sustainable, resilient design with clients, stakeholders, and civic leaders.

The ROI of High-Performance Design
Use these talking points in your conversations with clients, potential clients, civic leaders and others to make the case about the value of sustainable design.

Materials Pledge Starter Guide
Discover practical tips that can help you talk to clients about materials transparency and selecting better materials.

How Architects Can Improve America’s Infrastructure
This is a pivotal moment for our nation’s infrastructure, and one group of experts can help us rebuild to succeed: Architects.

TEOP for Architects
How architects can drive high-performance office fit-out projects.

The Building Decarbonization Practice Guide
A zero-carbon future for the built environment.

Creating a Sustainability Action Plan
This guide was created to help you develop a Sustainability Action Plan for your firm, regardless of where you are starting.

Deep Energy Retrofits RFP Guide
Find proven best practice language to use during the RFP process to get the most value out of a deep retrofit.

Architect’s Guide to Building Performance
Optimize building performance beyond energy by integrating simulation into your design process.

Healthier Materials Protocol
Get a stepwise method for setting healthy materials goals and criteria definitions, product selection, tracking, and specification.

Architect’s Primer on Renewable Energy
Meet your client’s goals while contributing to a more sustainable, distributed electric grid with this starter guide.

Renovate, Retrofit, Reuse
Uncover tremendous opportunities in existing building stock including energy efficiency and social and economic benefits.

Guide to Engaging With Civic Leaders
Position yourself as a trusted advisor to civic leaders at local, state, and federal levels.

Design for Adaptability, Deconstruction, & Reuse
Design buildings that last with this practice guide packed with strategies, case studies, and pitfalls to avoid.

2030 By The Numbers
See the progress architects and firms made toward a carbon-neutral future in 2019 through the AIA 2030 Commitment