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01.25.19

OPN’s Tate Walker led development of COTE® Top Ten Toolkit

The COTE Top Ten is more accessible to every project now, thanks to a two-year-long effort co-led by OPN’s Sustainability Director Tate Walker.

The COTE Top Ten Toolkit was devised and spearheaded by Walker, AIA, along with with Corey Squire, AIA, of Lake Flato Architects, both members of AIA’s COTE Advisory Group. The toolkit debuted in late 2018. The impetus for the project was the recognition that although the AIA COTE® Top Ten Awards program recognizes only the top performing projects, the COTE® Top Ten Measures should be accessible to all projects and could be used as a framework, not just a benchmark after completion, to guide the design of all projects.

“My challenge was to take it from award criteria to design criteria — criteria that (architects will) have from the beginning of your project,” Walker says.“I really believe the biggest barrier to projects using sustainability practices is not whether people care or not, it’s time-and this toolkit hopefully breaks down that barrier by it being so holistic and tailored.”

Walker and Squire, with the help of 25 subject matter experts, designed the toolkit to provide relevant, general guidance to architects incorporating principles of sustainability in projects. It combines research, best practices, and award winning case studies to support green projects.It will be updated regularly.

“There are programs that push just water sustainability or just progress but COTE is entirely comprehensive. The key was to take all these resources and experts and to simplify them down to key ingredients so that when it comes to practitioners working on projects, they can come to this one locale.”

Walker hopes the COTE Toolkit’s Super Spreadsheet will help design teams quantify project impacts across the spectrum of sustainable measures such as community, ecology, energy, water, resilience, health resources and especially venustas. It serves as the technical side of the framework, ensuring accuracy and consistency, and allowing projects to be evaluated across all COTE measures of sustainable design.

The COTE® Super Spreadsheet is a tool to help design teams quantify project impacts across the spectrum of sustainable measures such as community, ecology, energy, water, resilience, health resources to better understand the metrics that make up the COTE Top Ten Framework. Whether it’s used to analyze a project, learn about performance metrics, or assist in submitting a project for the COTE® Top Ten Award, this tool serves the technical side of the framework, ensuring accuracy and consistency, and allowing projects to be evaluated across all COTE® measures of sustainable design.

Learn more about the Toolkit at a panel discussion at the Living Future unConference 2019 from Walker along with the co-authors of The COTE Top Ten Toolkit  will discuss sustainability practices and how teams can leverage the Toolkit.