Redefining Sustainable Design: The New AIA COTE Measures

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) is the oldest U.S. program dedicated to sustainable design. In 1997, COTE introduced its annual Top Ten Awards, “the profession's best known recognition program for sustainable design excellence” (AIA), to celebrate exemplary projects and give the industry guidance on how to integrate green building principles. In 2015, to mark its 25th anniversary, COTE embarked on a landmark research initiative to study the first two decades of Top Ten, published in 2016 as Lessons from the Leading Edge. Part of the research was to revisit the program’s criteria of evaluation, known as the COTE Measures of Sustainable Design. The result of this effort was to overhaul the program with a completely new set of principles and metrics. The 2017 Top Ten Awards are the first year to use new criteria such as economic impact and more robust metrics for health and resilience. In this presentation, three members of the COTE Advisory Group will present the new criteria and engage the audience in a lively discussion about what defines sustainable design.

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A Model Zoning Code for Resilient Communities

This course will provide learners with an understanding of how land use codes impact resiliency through barriers and incentives. It will help you gain an understanding of the positive impact on health and productivity from codes promoting resiliency, review case studies detailing principals of natural ventilation, daylighting and onsite energy production.

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Beyond ADA: Multigenerational Public Restroom Design (Print Course)

Multigenerational design is a growing trend in architecture and interior design. As the United States becomes increasingly diverse, facilities must accommodate by becoming more inclusive.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design were developed to outline the baseline requirements needed to make a facility accessible to people with disabilities. Although adhering to the minimum requirements of ADA can improve accessibility, exceeding these requirements to achieve multigenerational design maximizes accessibility and inclusivity.


Multigenerational design merges a number of social issues, design philosophies, and facility considerations including universal design, accessibility, specialized equipment, maintenance, sustainability, privacy, health and safety, hygiene and aging in place.

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Clarifying Product Transparencies - Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental and Health Product Declarations (Print Course)

The best route to a sustainable building is knowing what’s in the materials used to build it, but questions remain among manufacturers and buyers about how to evaluate and compare the environmental profiles of similar building products and materials.

Product transparency reports like Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations and Declare labels help meet this challenge.

This course will discuss how these tools collectively provide information about the environmental performance and impact of products and offer an objective means of comparing similar products.

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The Business Case for Building with Wood (Print Course)

Increasingly, building owners and design professionals are turning to wood construction to satisfy all of these industry, market, and regulatory demands and challenges. Long valued as a building material for its performance and cost advantages, today’s building owners are choosing wood to satisfy these and other value propositions, from environmental sustainability and resilience to creating distinctive buildings that appeal to the next generation of employees and apartment dwellers, all while meeting tight budgets and construction timelines.

This course looks at how wood construction can contribute to process efficiency, sustainability, and marketability.

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Wood and Evolving Codes: The 2018 IBC and Emerging Wood Technologies (Print Course)

Increasingly, designers, builders, and building owners are turning to one of our oldest building materials: wood. Valued for its versatility, low carbon footprint, and aesthetic qualities, not to mention its cost performance, wood has long been a preferred choice for constructing durable structures that are resilient in the face of hazardous conditions.

This course will look at how recent innovations and subsequent code changes are expanding the use of structural wood in nonresidential buildings.

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LEED Pilot Credit: Integrative Analysis of Building Materials

In the materials selection process, builders seek to balance numerous product performance attributes, including durability, aesthetics and health, safety and environmental impacts. Transparency and life cycle thinking are central components of a robust materials selection process, one that enables builders to choose the most appropriate materials for their project.

The U.S. Green Building Council now offers an innovative LEED pilot credit, Integrative Analysis of Building Materials, to encourage building project teams to evaluate products and materials using available life cycle information to identify those that have positive environmental, health and safety impacts. The credit informs project team decisions by providing access to information shared by building materials manufacturers on their product’s life cycle impacts.

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Welded Wire Reinforcement used in Cast-in-Place Concrete Construction

There are many advantages to using welded wire reinforcement in cast-in-place concrete construction. By using welded wire reinforcement on a project, contractors can save significantly on reinforcement placement time and costs associated with labor force allocation without compromising the designer’s structural intent.

By the end of this course, you will understand the value of welded wire reinforcement in cast-in-place concrete construction and how to bring it into the design process effectively. This information will provide you with a keen understanding of the downstream detailing methodology leveraged by the fabricator.

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Pathway to Resilience (Print Course)

Over the past several decades, there has been a continuous increase in human and economic loss from disaster events. The rise in disasters and their consequences is related to a rise in people’s vulnerability, induced by human development. However, examples of resiliency planning and more stringent building code requirements still lag. This article will offer a view on emerging risks and opportunities as human and economic losses from disasters increase, with the overarching goal of supporting and advancing resilience in future construction of buildings and critical infrastructure.

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Enabling Innovation through Offsite Construction (Print Course)

Offsite construction can be an entry point for innovation that simplifies onsite assembly, provides cost savings, and offers superior performance.

The sector has already implemented just-in-time job site production, reduced cycle time and inventory, and optimized vendor-managed processes.

Offsite construction will evolve to increasingly integrated assemblies to further reduce site labor and utilize advanced automation. Significant innovation in offsite construction is finally pushing a large portion of the construction process from the jobsite into manufacturing plants.

This course will cover what that innovation is and why the construction industry is ripe for change.

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