Practice guides & tools

AIA Framework for Design Excellence
Understand the ten important measures you need to set meaningful project goals and targets for climate action.
Guide to Engaging With Civic Leaders
Position yourself as a trusted advisor to civic leaders at local, state, and federal levels.
Architect’s Guide to Building Performance
Optimize building performance beyond energy by integrating simulation into your design process.
Understanding Resilience Guide
This document defines mitigation, resilience, adaptation, sustainability and regenerative design, clarifying the characteristics of each strategy as well as the nuances of hazard, risk, and vulnerability.
Architect’s Primer on Renewable Energy
Meet your client's goals while contributing to a more sustainable, distributed electric grid with this starter guide.
Deep Energy Retrofits RFP Guide
Find proven best practice language to use during the RFP process to get the most value out of a deep retrofit.
Guides for Equitable Practice
These guides are a vital part of AIA’s long-term commitment to lead efforts that ensure the profession of architecture is as diverse as the nation we serve.
Embodied Carbon Toolkit
Provides an overview and the necessary steps to reduce embodied carbon in your projects.
Healthier Materials Protocol
Get a stepwise method for setting healthy materials goals and criteria definitions, product selection, tracking, and specification.
Renovate, Retrofit, Reuse
Uncover tremendous opportunities in existing building stock including energy efficiency and social and economic benefits.
Design for Adaptability, Deconstruction, & Reuse
Design buildings that last with this practice guide packed with strategies, case studies, and pitfalls to avoid.
AIA Climate Action Plan
Explore AIA’s multistep plan to establish actionable steps and provide architects with tools and resources to achieve zero carbon.
COTE® Super Spreadsheet
Calculate and evaluate project performance metrics and benchmarking easily with this downloadable tool.
2030 by the Numbers
See the progress architects and firms made toward a carbon-neutral future in 2019 through the AIA 2030 Commitment.
TEOP for Architects: How to Drive High-Performance Office Fit-outs
Explore the 10-step process architects and clients are using to create energy-efficient leased spaces.

Talking points

The ROI of High Performance Design
Use these talking points in your conversations with clients, potential clients, civic leaders and others to make the case about the value of sustainable design.
21st Century City Architect
Whether your city’s primary challenges include energy conservation and resilience, housing affordability, or historic preservation and smart growth, a City Architect can help you envision and achieve the future you desire.
Climate Action Message Book
Learn how to communicate the value of sustainable, resilient design with clients, stakeholders, and civic leaders.
How Architects Can Improve America’s Infrastructure
This is a pivotal moment for our nation’s infrastructure, and one group of experts can help us rebuild to succeed: Architects.
How to Talk to Clients About Materials Transparency
Discover practical tips that can help you talk to clients about materials transparency and selecting better materials.

Courses & certificate programs

Courses that fight climate change
These AIAU-exclusive certificate programs and courses will help you achieve dramatic reductions in building carbon emissions.
Resilience and Adaptation Certificate
This exclusive multi-course series covers hazard mitigation, community resilience, and adaptation. Take all courses to learn best practices for mitigating risk for hazards, shocks, and stresses and adapting to changing conditions.
Embodied Carbon 101 series
Capture embodied carbon in your design projects with AIAU’s new 12-course series.
Materials Certificate Program
Learn how to make the best product decisions for projects, people, and the environment.
AIA+2030 Certificate
Meet the 2030 goals through design strategies, efficient technologies and systems, and renewable energy resources.
AIAU Courses
Master new skills in sustainable design with individual courses by leading architects and firms.


Energy Transparency
Leverage the shifting energy landscape to improve building performance and build better client relationships.
Materials Transparency & Risk
Understand how to engage with legal and practice questions about materials and product contents.