The COTE (Committee on the Environment) Top Ten Awards is the industry’s best-known award program for sustainable design excellence.
INTRODUCTIONArchitects play a crucial role in addressing both the causes and effects of climate change through the design of the built environment. Innovative design thinking is key to producing architecture that meets human needs for both function and delight, adapts to climate change projections, continues to support the health and well being of inhabitants despite natural and human-caused disasters, and minimizes contributions to further climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. Preparing today’s architecture students to envision and create a climate adaptive, resilient, and carbon-neutral future must be an essential component and driving force for design discourse.
This year’s collaboration with Architecture 2030 – INNOVATION 2030 – is a design-and-ideas competition focused on addressing and designing for the future impacts of climate change.
Given their long lifespan, new buildings must be designed to address solutions to climate change and to respond to its projected impacts, well into the second half of the 21st Century and beyond. As with the COTE Top Ten award for built work by design professionals, COTE Top Ten for Students allows designs to be characterized in terms of 10 measures ranging from Community to Water to Wellness. But this year’s competition places special prominence on three key aspects of responsive design:
- Energy and Emissions: design for zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in building operations and minimize embodied carbon for building materials and construction.
- Adaptation: research and address projected climate change impacts (increased temperatures, heat island effect, heat waves, sea level rise, drought, flooding, extreme weather, food production, etc.) and population shifts at the project site or context.
- Resilience: enable continued habitability and rapid recovery after shock events, natural disasters, absence of power, or other projected climatic interruptions.
ABOUT THE COMPETITION
The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE), in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), is pleased to announce the fourth annual AIA COTE Top Ten for Students, offered this year in collaboration with Architecture 2030 as INNOVATION 2030. The program challenges students, working individually or in teams, to submit projects that use a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The competition will recognize ten exceptional studio projects that seamlessly integrate adaptive, resilient, and strategies for moving towards carbon-neutral operation within their broader design concepts.
CRITERIA FOR JUDGING
Successful responses should demonstrate design moving towards carbon-neutral operation through a creative and innovative integration of design strategies such as daylighting, passive heating and cooling, materials, water, energy generation, and other sustainable systems, through a cohesive and beautiful architectural understanding. Issues to consider include community enhancement, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, impact on health and wellness, approach to environmental quality, materials and construction, adaptation, long-life considerations, and feedback loops. Entries will also be judged for the success with which the project has met its individual requirements, with particular emphasis on design excellence.