Sustainability

AIA empowers architects to design a world that allows people, communities, and our planet to thrive

Josey Pavilion

THE JOSEY PAVILION IS A 2016 COTE TOP TEN RECIPIENT. THE PROJECT FIRM LAKE|FLATO HAS RECEIVED 10 COTE TOP TEN AWARDS, ALL IN THE PAST DECADE.

What is sustainability?

Sustainability is about positioning current and future generations for prosperity by reducing buildings’ impact on the environment, restoring our natural resources and creating safe and vibrant communities.  When architecture is sustainable, it performs to its highest design potential: producing not consuming; providing resilient structures and communities that withstand the onslaughts of both natural and man-made disasters; and fostering opportunities for health and well-being.

Why is sustainability important?

Sustainability is a key element of the architecture profession’s approach to design in the 21st century as it tackles the compounding global challenges of resource availability, water quality and increasing pollution. It is part of an architect’s approach to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.  Community sustainability goals are fulfilled in large part by an architect’s ability to create practical solutions to the challenges posed by climate change, population growth and the pursuit of more connected, healthier communities.

AIA's commitment to sustainability

We have a long history promoting sustainability in architecture. From the publication of Environmental Design: Research and Practice in 1971 to the creation of the Committee on the Environment, COTE, in 1990 and connections to the Historic Resources Committee established in 1857, the Institute has long been a leader in sustainable design. Our commitment to a better built environment continues in our current programs and planning for what’s to come.

How To

Understanding resilience

Defines mitigation, resilience and adaption; clarifying the characteristics of each strategy as well as hazard, risk, and vulnerability.

Design & Health Research Consortium

Members of the AIA Design & Health Research Consortium are expected to improve the usefulness and quality of research linking design to health outcomes through deliberative partnership with other entities.

Commentary

AIA commentary on climate change mitigation

The following commentary relates to AIA's Public Policies and Position Statements on Sustainability, specifically Category II: The Practice, Public Policy IIC: Architects Are Environmentally Responsible, Position Statements 1-6.

Report

AIA 2030 Commitment Progress Report

An overview of the progress that projects and firms are making towards greater energy efficiency and the profession's 2030 targets.

Disaster Assistance Handbook

The third edition of this handbook will help you understand your role in preparing for and responding to disasters.

Where we stand: climate change

AIA asserts that architects play a vital role in combating climate change. We accept these challenges. We call on policymakers to join with us in this effort, and we uphold the following principles.

Sustainability

Nearly 800 architecture firms call on EPA to preserve key design programs

Letter sent to Administrator Pruitt makes business case against EPA cuts

Materials

What all architects need to know about materials transparency

The AIA has produced a white paper, created by materials specialists but aimed at all architects, that emphasizes the necessity for materials transparency.

2017 COTE Top Ten

See this year’s recipients of the COTE Top Ten Award, the industry’s premier program celebrating sustainable design excellence.

Image credits

Josey Pavilion

Casey Dunn