The COTE® Top Ten Toolkit
Closing the information gap to designing high performing, equitable, beautiful buildings
Very high performance is often seen as something only available to a few ambitious buildings with the right client, program, or budget. These high performers are important as examples of what is possible, but they will not solve our environmental challenges by themselves. Although the AIA COTE® Top Ten Awards program recognizes only the top performing projects, the COTE® Top Ten Measures and this Toolkit can be used as a framework to guide the design of all projects.
While the measures themselves take the form of questions, patterns for addressing them begin to emerge from winning projects. The Toolkit identifies some of these patterns, and a talented team of subject matter experts curated the most relevant current resources to support them. View the contributors >
The intent is to keep this resource current and to add to it over time. Ultimately, this feedback loop informs refinements to the fundamental measures themselves. Your feedback is incredibly helpful for continuously improving the resource. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Super Spreadsheet
The COTE® Super Spreadsheet is a tool for calculating and understanding the metrics that make up the COTE Top Ten Framework. Whether it’s used to analyses a project, learn about performance metrics, or assist in submitting a project for the COTE® Top Ten Award, this tool serves the technical side of the framework, ensuring accuracy and consistency, and allowing projects to be evaluated across all COTE® measures of sustainable design.
Design for Integration
What is the big idea behind this project—and how did the approach toward sustainability inform the design concept?
Design for Community
How does this project contribute to creating a walkable, human-scaled community inside and outside the property lines?
Design for Ecology
In what ways does the design respond to the ecology of this place?
Design for Water
Sustainable design conserves and improves the quality of water as a precious resource.
Design for Economy
Providing abundance while living within our means is a fundamental challenge of sustainability.
Design for Energy
Sustainable design conserves energy while improving building performance, function, comfort, and enjoyment.
Design for Wellness
Sustainable design supports comfort, health, and wellness for the people who inhabit or visit buildings.
Design for Resources
Sustainable design includes the informed selection of materials and products to reduce product-cycle environmental impacts while enhancing building performance
Design for Change
Reuse, adaptability, and resilience are essential to sustainable design, which seeks to maintain and enhance usability, functionality, and value over time.
Design for Discovery
Has the building performed in ways that matched expectations during design?