The 2018-2019 COTE Top Ten for Students Competition: Innovation 2030 recognizes design proposals that best combine design excellence and environmental performance.

A faculty sponsor is required to enroll students by completing an online registration form (available at by December 5, 2018. Complete an online form for your entire studio or for each individual student or team of students participating. Students or teams wishing to enter the competition on their own must have a faculty sponsor, who should complete the form. There is no entry or submission fee to participate in the competition. Please add the email address competitions@acsa-arch.orgto your address book to ensure that you receive all emails regarding your participation in the competition.

During registration the faculty will have the ability to add students, add teams, assign students to teams, and add additional faculty. Registration is required by December 5, 2018, but can be changed, edited and added to until a student begins their final submission.

The administration of the competition at each institution is left to the discretion of the faculty within the guidelines set forth in this document. Work should have been completed in a design studio or related class within the 2018 calendar year. Design work completed before 2018 will not be accepted.

Each faculty sponsor may develop an internal system to evaluate the students’ work using the criteria set forth in this Competition Program and the Curriculum Addendum. The evaluation process should be an integral part of the design process, encouraging students to scrutinize their work in a manner similar to that of the jury.The final result of the design process will be a submission of four presentation boards and a narrative describing the design solution and approach to the each of the ten sustainability measures.

All boards are required to be uploaded through the ACSA website in Portable Document Format (PDF) or image (JPEG) files.  Participants should keep  in mind that, due to the large number of entries, preliminary review does not allow for the hanging end- to-end display of presentation boards. Accordingly, participants should not use text or graphics that cross over from board to board.

Project authorship must remain anonymous. The names of student participants, their schools, or faculty sponsors, must NOT appear on the boards, narrative/abstract or project title. If authorship is revealed on any submission materials the entry will be disqualified.

Students are required to upload final submissions through the ACSA Competition website at www.acsa- by 11:59 pm, Pacific Time, on January 16, 2019. If the Submission is from a team of students all student team members will have the ability to upload the digital files.

Once the final submit button is pressed no additional edits, uploads, or changes can be made. Once the final submission is uploaded and submitted each student will receive a confirmation email notification. You may “save” your submission and return to complete.

Please note: 
the submission is not complete until the “complete this submission” button has been pressed. For team projects: each member of team projects may submit the final project.

Winning projects will be required to submit high- resolution original files/ images for use in competition publications and exhibit materials. By uploading your files, you agree that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) have the rights to use your winning submission, images and materials in a summary publication, online and in promotional and exhibition resources. AIA and ACSA will attribute authorship of the winning design to you, your team, faculty, and institutional affiliation. Additionally, you hereby warrant that the submission is original and that you are the student author(s) of the design submission.

Program updates, including information on jury members as they are confirmed, may be found on the ACSA web site at Additional questions on the competition program and submissions should be addressed to:

          Allison Smith
ACSA, Programs Manager
tel: 202-785-2324
     Eric W. Ellis
ACSA, Director of Operations and Programs
tel: 202-785-2324


The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, theacademy, and the public— design practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. AIA COTE serves as the community and voice on behalf of AIA architects regarding sustainable design. The founding of the AIA COTE in 1990 grew from a series of conversations and debates that date back twenty years. Today AIA COTE celebrates a robust definition of sustainability that frames the process of sustainable design as one that includes the full range of human settlement and ecological issues. Since 1997 the AIA COTE Top Ten Awards program has honored professionals for practices that integrate built and natural systems and enhance both the design quality and environmental performance of the built environment. Information on the awards program and the AIA COTE Measures of Sustainable Design can be found at 
Leading Architectural Education and Research
The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture is a nonprofit, membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. The school membership in ACSA has grown from 10 charter members to over 250 schools in several membership categories. These include full membership for all accredited programs in the United States and government-sanctioned schools in Canada, candidate membership for schools seeking accreditation, and affiliate membership for schools for two- year and international programs. Through these schools, over 5,000 architecture faculty members are represented. In addition, over 500 supporting members composed of architecture firms, product associations and individuals add to the breadth of interest and support of ACSA goals. ACSA provides a major forum for ideas on the leading edge of architectural thought. Issues that will affect the architectural profession in the future are being examined today in ACSA member schools. 
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BuildingGreen helps architects, designers and other sustainability professionals make their projects greener and healthier.
Since 1985, BuildingGreen has been the trusted source on healthy and sustainable design and construction strategies. We support building professionals with membership websites here at and at, and with customized consulting and training services. 
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