Steps Towards Sustainability

Introducing the COTE Intensives

By Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Faculty Posted on October 16, 2014

AIA Pittsburgh, with its Committee on the Environment (COTE), is presenting a new series entitled COTE Intensives. These lectures/workshops are designed to dive deeply into various sustainability topics of interest. We’ve listened as our members told us the sustainability topics that are of interest to them, focused our efforts, and are now able to present a program that delivers this content.

You may be aware that the AIA Pittsburgh COTE delivered the AIA+2030 Series from May 2013 to April 2014. This content-rich series described how to demand, design, deliver, and operate energy efficient and net-zero buildings. The approach for every session has been to seek and deliver expert content, and then view the principles through the lens of case studies, occasional exercises, and tours. This 40-hour series explored high performance buildings from the arc of site design, passive design, HVAC, lighting, equipment, renewables, and operational considerations. In Spring 2014, COTE also provided programming for the Building Performance track that was presented at Build Pittsburgh.

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If you attended the AIA+2030 series or Build Pittsburgh, then you know the high quality and relevance of the programs that the COTE assembles, not to mention all the CEUs. This same expertise and rigor is being applied to the creation of the new COTE Intensives series. The topics that have been chosen are central and pertinent to the sustainability discussion and to developing this expertise, all with a critical blend of theory and practice.

The Business Case for High Performance Design

The first COTE Intensive, taking place on Thursday, October 30, is entitled “The Business Case for High Performance Design.” Presenters Dr. Robert Sroufe, of Duquesne University, and Michael Carnahan, of Scalo Solar, will discuss financial decision-making for sustainable design strategies in projects. The delivery cycle of design, construction, and operation will be explored in order to lend perspective in prioritizing sustainability measures. Financing structures, tax implications, depreciation, incentives, rating systems, and renewable energy strategies will be covered by concepts in lecture as well as in regional and national case studies. The resources and tools available to assist with the design and development of high performance building will be presented as well. Attendees will be eligible for 4 LUs (HSW).

It’s well known that sustainable projects have more success when discussed early. The second COTE Intensive will be entitled “Managing Workflow: A Roadmap to High Performance Design,” and will discuss when in the process to introduce and evaluate sustainable design concepts. The session will take place Thursday, December 4 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Finally, we have learned the importance of building envelopes. The third COTE Intensive entitled “Innovative Strategies for High Performance Envelopes” will discuss the far-reaching implications of well-designed and built building envelopes, with their ramifications for climate, comfort, and building performance. The session will take place Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

Mark your calendar and register here.

Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Faculty, is the AIA Pittsburgh Chair of the Committee on the Environment.

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