Enter the 2022 AIA COTE Top Ten Awards by January 13

The Committee on the Environment presents the COTE Top Ten Awards, the industry’s best-known award program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, ten innovative projects are recognized for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance.

Until 2017, the COTE Top Ten award recognized ten projects based largely on predicted performance, while award recipients from previous years were eligible to submit post-occupancy data and narratives to be recognized with a single COTE Top Ten Plus award. In 2017, these separate tracks were merged: The ‘Plus’ designation will denotes projects with exemplary actual performance and post-occupancy lessons. There will be only ten award recipients total, but any number of the ten may receive the COTE Top Ten Plus designation. Previous COTE Top Ten award recipients are ineligible to submit. Please review our 2022 COTE Top Ten Call For Submissions to review the entry criteria.

Do you need extra guidance on how to use the SuperSpreadsheet? Watch the recording of our COTE SuperSpreadsheet tutorial discussing the processes and documentation of this tool that supports a successful submission.

Closes: January 13, 2022 by 5 pm ET



  • Any US-licensed architect may enter.
  • On team projects, the architect submitting the entry doesn’t have to be the head of the team.
  • Submitting firms must have signed the AIA 2030 Commitment.


  • Completed new buildings, renovations, restorations, interior architecture, and urban/regional plans are eligible.
  • Projects may be located anywhere in the world.
  • Projects must have been completed at least three months prior to the submission deadline, with no additional age-related restrictions.
  • You may submit multiple entries.

Each entry will be judged on how successful the project was in meeting its individual requirements, with particular emphasis on design excellence. Projects will be evaluated on a broad and inclusive definition of design quality that includes performance, aesthetics, community connection and resilience. and stewardship of the natural environment The Top Ten program was founded on the idea that sustainability is essential to design excellence, and vice versa. Therefore, a key criterion for judging projects is the integration of compelling design and sustainable performance.

For a detailed list of all submission criteria and guidelines, download 2022 COTE Top Ten Call For Submissions.

Submission Details

COTE Top Ten Measures:

Measure 1: Design for Integration: What’s the big idea? How does the project demonstrate the intersection of design excellence and sustainable performance?

Measure 2: Design for Equitable Communities: How does this project make the most of its surrounding community, integrate with it. and give back?

Measure 3: Design for Ecosystems. How does this project respond, connect, and contribute to the surrounding ecosystem?

Measure 4: Design for Water: How does the project use water wisely and handle rainfall responsibly?

Measure 5: Design for Economy: How does the design show that higher performance can be cost-effective?

Measure 6: Design for Energy: How much energy does the project use, is any of that energy generated on-site from renewable sources, and what’s the net carbon impact?

Measure 7: Design for Well-being: How does the design promote the comfort and health of those who spend time in it?

Measure 8: Design for Resources: How were the decisions about the materials used based on an understanding of their impact. especially carbon impact?

Measure 9: Design for Change: How does the project design anticipate adapting to new uses, adapt to climate change, and support resilient recovery from disasters?

Measure 10: Design for Discovery: What lessons for better design have been learned through the process of project design, construction, and occupancy?

Fees: $500 for members and $850 for non-members

Digital images and drawings: Each project should be illustrated by at least 13 and no more than 18 digital images. Please include a minimum one image per measure, as well as site plan, a typical floor plan, and a rendering. Emphasis should be placed on graphics that best inform the jurors about the innovative sustainable design solutions that have been developed. Include the appropriate credit and caption for each while not mentioning architect or firm. Ideal images should be in JPEG format, minimum dimensions 2400x1350px.


Margaret Cavenagh, AIAChair, Studio Gang, Chicago, IL

Angela Brooks, FAIA, Brooks & Scarpa, San Francisco, CA

Nakita Reed, AIA, NOMA, Quinn Evans, Washington, DC

Z Smith, FAIA, Eskew Dumez Ripple, New Orleans, LA

Donald King, FAIA, The Nehemiah Initiative, UW College of Built Environments, Seattle, WA

2021 recipients

Arizona State University Hayden Library Reinvention, Ayers Saint Gross, Tempe, Arizona

Civitas, archimania, Memphis, TN

Lafayette College Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center, Payette, Easton, Pennsylvania

Market One, Neumann Monson Architects, Des Moines, Iowa

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT.nano, HGA,  Cambridge, Massachusetts

Microsoft Silicon Valley Campus, WRNS Studio, Mountain View, California

Rainier Beach Clinic, Mahlum, Seattle, Washington

Ryerson University Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, Perkins&Will, Toronto, Ontario, CA

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Lord Aeck Sargent in collaboration with The Miller Hull Partnership, Atlanta, Georgia

University of Washington, Life Sciences Building, Perkins&Will, Seattle, Washington

2021 recipients >

Past recipients

2020 recipients >

2019 recipients >

2018 recipients >

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1997-2009 recipients >

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