The New England AIA COTE Leadership Summit is a collaboration of AIA COTE (Committees on the Environment) throughout New England (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut) to bring leaders from our region together to collaborate and discuss the biggest obstacles to integrating high-performance, sustainable buildings as a standard practice. 

The COTE Leadership Summits have provided a meaningful space for practitioners who are committed to sustainable design to share strategies and problems in implementing sustainable design. Prior Summits, documented on this website, have addressed creating a sustainability culture and practice within the firm, adopting integrated design to improve project outcomes, working with municipal and regional efforts where sustainability issues optimize at larger than project scale and revising the AIA code of ethics to address sustainability. This year’s summit will further those efforts and look at how architects can play a role through formal and informal partnerships with stakeholders outside the profession.

The 2019 summit will start Thursday evening, June 13, with a panel discussion led by Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, LEED Fellow. Mary Ann will open by reviewing how sustainable design is evolving to address current issues of interest to a broad audience, then lead a panel discussion of leading regional stakeholders who represent grassroots, regulatory and client perspectives on increasing demand for sustainable design outcomes.


Elissa Margolin
Madeleine Mineau
Bruce Becker, FAIA, LEED AP
Scott Maslansky

A networking and cocktail hour will be held prior to the keynote/panel discussion.

Friday, June 14th, is an all day, roll your sleeves up, working session in which firm leaders from throughout New England will bring their experience, techniques and strategies toward outlining how to increase the demand for sustainable architecture in our region. The group breaks out into working groups of approximately 10 people, who then report back to the conference as a whole.


Ellen Watts, AIA, LEED AP
Megan Nedzinski, AIA, LEED AP, CPHC
Bill Maclay, FAIA
Alyssa Murphy, AIA

By the end of the day, participants will have had the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with most conference participants.

The Thursday evening keynote by Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, as well as the Friday workshop sessions will be documented through summary reports (whitepapers) and video. Both posted on AIA chapter websites in an effort to advance the profession, both locally and nationally.


The 2019 Summit will address these questions:

  • How can architects play a part in increasing demand for sustainable architecture, from community, client, and regulatory perspectives?

  • What changes in practice, additional skills, formal and informal partnerships need to be developed to make that happen?

And taking this to the next level:

  • How do we change the ground rules and context within which we practice?                     

  • How can we promote “architecture as critical tool” to meet the critical issues of our day.

  • How can we use new, expanded sustainability roles to drive system changes that will lead to new outcomes?

These expanded roles include:                                                                                  

  • Human Health: Where and how can the growing awareness of the role of the built environment on health/wellness influence these perspectives?                                                                         

  • Social Equity: how can the need to provide "sustainability for all" with a special focus on vulnerable populations play a role?

  • Climate Action: How do local, regional and national commitments to climate action provide opportunities? What about in the private sector?

  • Resilience/Adaptation: How does a growing awareness and action towards climate adaptation and passive survivability contribute to changing the drivers?