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AIA, COTE Report Findings from Sustainable Design Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In order to examine how the architectural community is evolving in regard to sustainable design practices, the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment undertook an in-depth study of nearly 200 COTE Top Ten Award projects, including healthcare, encompassing almost 20 years. Military Medical Hospital in San Antonio, Texas was among the most recent Top Ten Award winners.

The findings have been compiled in a report, Lessons from the Leading Edge, that reviewed a variety of performance measures, including energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor environmental quality to evaluate how the projects demonstrate COTE’s mission to “enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment.” The research represents the most comprehensive study of the COTE Top Ten program to date.

Recommendations for architecture and design industry include:

  • Embrace design before technology to improve both performance and quality
  • Study best practices for higher performance at lower costs
  • Pursue post-occupancy evaluations as standard practice to understand better how actual performance aligns with design intent
  • Promote more ambitious adaptive reuse projects to preserve existing building stock and conserve resources more extensively
  • Drive greater awareness of the health impact of building materials and need for better indoor air quality

Lessons from the Leading Edge is being released in advance of the 2016 Top Ten Green Project awards, to be announced on Earth Day, April 22.

A special session on the report will occur at the national AIA convention on May 26.

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Posted April 12, 2016

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