AIA empowers architects to design a world that allows people, communities, and our planet to thrive
Why is sustainability important?
Sustainability is a key element of the architecture profession’s approach to design in the 21st century as it tackles the compounding global challenges of resource availability, water quality and increasing pollution. It is part of an architect’s approach to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public. Community sustainability goals are fulfilled in large part by an architect’s ability to create practical solutions to the challenges posed by climate change, population growth and the pursuit of more connected, healthier communities.
AIA's commitment to sustainability
We have a long history promoting sustainability in architecture. From the publication of Environmental Design: Research and Practice in 1971 to the creation of the Committee on the Environment, COTE, in 1990 and connections to the Historic Resources Committee established in 1857, the Institute has long been a leader in sustainable design. Our commitment to a better built environment continues in our current programs and planning for what’s to come.
last updated June 12, 2018.
Where we stand: climate change
AIA asserts that architects play a vital role in combating climate change. We accept these challenges. We call on policymakers to join with us in this effort, and we uphold the following principles.
The COTE® Top Ten Toolkit
a resource, accessible to all architects, that closes the information gap to designing high performing, equitable, beautiful buildings
Four ways architects can fight climate change
We have less than 12 years to slow down global warming. Here’s what you can do.
AIA 2030 Commitment by the numbers
An overview of the progress that projects and firms are making towards greater energy efficiency and the profession's 2030 targets.
COTE® Top Ten Awards
The COTE (Committee on the Environment) Top Ten Awards is the industry’s best-known awards program for sustainable design excellence.
Prioritizing the future
The Sustainability Leadership Opportunity Scan charted a path forward for AIA to implement strategies to address each of the four priority areas; to support bold action at the member, component, and national levels; and to expand sustainability partnerships, advocacy, and educational programs.
Addressing global climate change through AIA’s 2030 Commitment
As the world's urban population grows, American architects must expand their influence and preach the value of a performance-based design process.
Healthier Materials Protocol
The new AIA Healthier Materials Protocol was created to provide clear, practical methods and tools to navigate materials and effectively translate awareness to practice.
AIA Resilience and Adaptation Online Series
Do you want to integrate resilience into the design services your firm offers? The Resilience and Adaptation series is your answer.
Norton Sound Regional Hospital
This medical and wellness center in northwest Alaska integrates state-of-the-art medical technology within a calming, culturally relevant environment.
Design & Health Research Consortium
Members of the AIA Design & Health Research Consortium are expected to improve the usefulness and quality of research linking design to health outcomes through deliberative partnership with other entities.
What all architects need to know about materials transparency
The AIA has produced a white paper, created by materials specialists but aimed at all architects, that emphasizes the necessity for materials transparency.
Disaster Assistance Handbook
The third edition of this handbook will help you understand your role in preparing for and responding to disasters.
Driving client value and cost savings through energy modeling
Energy modeling can be used to find the most cost-effective options for the design of both passive and active systems, making tradeoffs to achieve cost savings.