As today's architecture students move into the profession, they will inherit a rapidly changing world, both in terms of the physical contexts of their work, and the tools, materials and processes available to create it. Preparing students for this challenging, dynamic future calls for greater integration of innovative ecological design thinking within the design discourse of universities across the country.


The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE), in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), is pleased to announce the second annual AIA COTE Top Ten for Students. The program challenged students to submit projects that use a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems, and technology to provide architectural solutions that protect and enhance the environment. The competition recognizes ten exceptional studio projects that seamlessly integrate innovative, regenerative strategies within their broader design concepts.


Measure 1:   Design and Innovation
Measure 2:   Regional/Community Design
Measure 3:   Land Use and Site Ecology
Measure 4:   Bioclimatic Design
Measure 5:   Light and Air
Measure 6:   Water Cycle
Measure 7:   Energy Flows and Energy Future
Measure 8:   Materials and Construction
Measure 9:   Long Life, Loose Fit
Measure 10: Collective Wisdom and Feedback Loops


       About our competition sponsor – ViewGlass
We are a company on a mission. We believe that View Dynamic Glass will create entirely new possibilities to elevate occupant experience, and change the way we think about architectural design. We will help produce buildings with the expansive views we crave, with abundant natural light, and greater occupant comfort. And conserve energy at the same time. View has assembled a diverse team of entrepreneurs, partners and investors, developing cutting edge technology, that is fueling a dramatic shift in building design...Living buildings that delight occupants and harmonize with the environment. It is precisely this world of possibility that inspires us every day. If you are inspired by this vision we invite you help us bring about the change.

      The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) works to advance, disseminate, and advocate—to the profession, the building industry, the academy, 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 Measure of Sustainable Design can be found at
      Administrative Organization: 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.


  • Jessica Nutz, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • John Quale, University of New Mexico
  • Holly Samuelson, Harvard University
  • Lisa Matthiessen, U.S. Green Building Council 
  • Greg Mella, SmithgroupJJR


The competition had over 600 participants from the following schools:

Academy of Art University
Ball State University
Boston Architectural College
California College of the Arts
California Polytechnic State University
Clemson University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
Kennesaw State University
Lawrence Technological University
Louisiana Tech University
Marywood University
Montana State University
North Carolina State University
Pennsylvania State University
Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico
Prairie View A&M University
Rhode Island School of Design
Southern Illinois University
Syracuse University
Texas A&M University
University Laval
University At Buffalo, SUNY
University of Arizona
University of Florida
University of Idaho
University of Maryland
University of Miami
University of Minnesota
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
University of Texas At San Antonio
University of Washington
Washington State University


The projects will be on view at the American Institute of Architects Annual Convention in Orlando, FL (April 2017) and the 106th ACSA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO (March 2018).