CannonDesign Director of Sustainability Rand Ekman is featured prominently in a new Architect piece that details the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) and its current efforts. Ekman is currently the COTE Chair and has been involved with COTE both locally and nationally for the last 15 years.
Key quotes from Ekman and excerpts from the article include:
Ekman on COTE’s Driving Mission
One of the things that is remarkable about COTE is the shared purpose and a shared mission. A committee changes, people come and go, the chair changes, but the purpose and the mission remain pretty much the same.
COTE’s most prominent program is the Top Ten, an annual batch of honors granted to projects that find what its members see as a sweet spot between design that pushes the envelope technologically, environmentally, and from an ecological whole-systems perspective, and great architectural design that could win in any standard awards program.
More recently, COTE has introduced the Top Ten for Students and Top Ten Plus awards. The student awards are a joint design competition with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture that develops and recognizes sustainable student work. Top Ten Plus, however, is a step in a slightly different direction. While the Top Ten Awards predict performance, the Top Ten Plus award examines the actual operation performance and output of a project that was previously honored.
Ekman On Integration and Uniting the Profession
What we’ve recently discovered is more of a focus on sustainability and performance happening everywhere and no longer owned by COTE. We’ve changed the relationship from COTE being a specific committee with a topic, to being fully embedded and fully engaged across many areas of the profession. This feels like progress.