We are excited to announce the launch of a statewide Committee on the Environment, otherwise known as AIA PA COTE.
Nearly all that architects do touches the environment, so this is an opportunity to leverage the work of our profession. From planning to design to construction, then to operations and the entire project life cycle, our work has an enormous impact on our environment. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have COTEs, so we plan to build upon that work and bring it to the scale of Pennsylvania.
What does the COTE do?
COTE advocates for construction and planning that pursues energy efficiency, walkable communities, renewable energy, clean air and high quality construction. These are all part of our Health, Safety and Welfare mandate.
If Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have their own COTEs, why do we need another one?
There is a lot of land between Pennsylvania’s two large cities, so we would like to broaden the reach of these ideas. Also, the laws and regulations that guide our profession are made at the state level. This will give us an opportunity to match up more directly.
Why not call it an Energy Committee?
COTE looks at a lot more than energy. Sustainable design currently also looks at interior environments, productivity, passive infrastructure, air quality and walkability. Frameworks such as LEED, WELL and Energy Star and Passive House are helpful in providing guidance.
What will AIA PA COTE do?
Members will be kept aware of current legislation, for instance, building codes, energy codes, renewable energy, where much is going on right now. We will create opportunities for shared knowledge, case studies and educating legislators. The main goal will be to help all involved in the built environment to understand, seek and deliver buildings that create higher value.
We feel this is a very opportune time to launch. Aside from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, we also have friends at national COTE who are willing to provide advice as we undertake these efforts. Carl Elefante FAIA, National AIA President, and Mary Ann Lazarus FAIA, Chair of National COTE, are excited to see us get started.
Our kickoff meeting will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 28.
If you are interested in joining us, please contact Amal Mahrouki, Director of Legislative Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717.236.4055 ext. 105
Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Fellow, USGBC Faculty
Acting Chair, AIA PA COTE
Chair, AIA PA Government Affairs Committee
Appointee, PA Climate Change Advisory Committee
BOD, AIA Pennsylvania and AIA Pittsburgh