OPN joins AIA in announcing COTE Top Ten’s next chapter

We are excited to join the American Institute of Architects in announcing the formal adoption of the COTE Top Ten.

Launched in 1997, the AIA’s COTE Top Ten is the longest running sustainable design awards program in the our industry. Over the years, the COTE awards have evolved, but its core philosophy has remained the same: beautiful buildings must also perform beautifully.

In tandem with the adoption across the entire organization the framework was renamed the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. This is a big move for the institute. Now the measures are applicable to all members on all projects. There are a host of new tools in development to integrate to findings and accelerate transition. There is a Framework Map, The Common App to incorporate these criteria into awards programs, and the all-powerful superspreadsheet that provides all the calculations behind the criteria.

OPN is proud to support Tate, the AIA and The Framework for Design Excellence. It defines our values, and aligns all architects’ commitments to urgent and sustained climate action, innovation, resilience, and equitable communities.

In 2017,  OPN’s Sustainability Director Tate Walker and Corey Squire, then of Lake Flato Architects, co-led the development of the COTE Toolkit, which democritied the framework of COTE Top Ten Awards by building a set of guidelines, resources, and case studies around the specialized industry knowledge of high performing buildings. The comprehensive resource has been published in Architect, Building Green, Tree-Hugger, and ArchDaily among other places, and has been accessed over 15,000 times online. In 2019, Tate presented the resource to audiences from coast to coast across the United States. Its open source structure has been adapted by architecture firms, universities, cities, states and countries to drive positive design outcomes for beautiful, equitable communities around the world.