News Analysis

What’s the Secret to High Performance?

A new report identifies common habits of the firms that produce the best-designed and most sustainable projects.

The AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) recently published “The Habits of High-Performance Firms,” a report outlining the key traits of “high-performance firms”—firms that have been awarded an AIA COTE Top Ten Award three or more times over the past 20 years. Researchers found that these repeat winners succeed by multiple measures of successful design; including the fact the average energy use reduction of their projects in 2015 was 51%.

As a follow-up to last year’s “Lessons from the Leading Edge report,” AIA research intern Sandra Montalbo, and Lance Hosey, FAIA, studied ten high-performance firms to identify the qualities that distinguish these firms from the rest of the profession. Beyond commonalities related to firm age, size, and location, the study found similarities related to aspects of firm make-up, culture, and process that are uncommon or rare in the industry.

Published May 2, 2017