AIA empowers architects to design a world that allows people, communities, and our planet to thrive.  Its members work to advance our nation’s quality of life and protect the public’s health, safety and welfare.  While AIA has a long history promoting sustainability in architecture, in 2019, AIA took several actions to inspire sustainable, resilient, and inclusive design in all projects.  At the AIA Conference 2019, Betsy del Monte, FAIA, presented Resolution 19-11: Resolution for Urgent and Sustained Climate Action, which garnered a favorable vote of 93% of the constituents present and which was ratified by the AIA Board of Directors.  To support this resolution, AIA is developing the Framework for Design Excellence, made up of 10 dimensions, formerly known as the COTE Top Ten.  It organizes our thinking, facilitates conversations with our clients and the communities we serve, and sets meaningful goals and targets for climate action.

These sessions will be led by designers for designers.  Each session will start with networking over drinks and snacks, followed by a short presentation and case study to facilitate the ultimate goal of a conversation about how to explore these topics with clients.


Reuse, adaptability, and resilience are essential to sustainable design, which seeks to maintain and enhance usability, functionality, and value over time. Describe how the project is designed to facilitate adaptation for other uses and/or how an existing building was repurposed. What other uses could this building easily accommodate in 50 to 100 years? In what ways did the design process consider climate change over the life of the building? Describe the project’s resilience measures: How does the design anticipate restoring or adapting function in the face of stress or shock, such as natural disasters, blackouts, etc.? How does the project address passive survivability (providing habitable conditions in case of the loss of utility power)?

Sustainable design strategies and best practices evolve over time through documented performance and shared knowledge of lessons learned. Has the building performed in ways that matched expectations during design? Post-occupancy evaluation can include monitoring thermal and daylight conditions, and energy and water consumption; surveys of occupant comfort; and studies of how the building is actually occupied and used. What lessons for better design have been learned through the process of project design, construction, and occupancy, and how have these been incorporated in subsequent projects? Describe ways the lessons have been shared with a larger audience (publications, lectures, etc.) and how the project may have influenced industry practices. Describe the processes used to maintain long-term relationships between the design team and those occupying and operating the building; identify how both the users and designers benefited.

Come be part of the conversation and be better prepared to take part in the solution.