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AIABaltimore Excellence in Design Awards

Click here to enter a project to the 2017 AIABaltimore Excellence in Design Awards!

(Student looking for the FAR Scholarship Awards? Click here)

Your design entry must be prepared and formatted as described below:

After creating an entry application, you may begin working on your forms and uploading the required files. You may save your work as you go and return to the site as often as needed, but all submission materials and entry fee payments must be completed and submitted by the deadline.

Once an entry is completed for a particular project, that entire project submission may then be submitted to another chapter awards program without any key re-entry or re-uploads. Simply check the box "I Want to Submit This Submission to Another Category" on the last page of the submission form. 

Schedule 2017

  • Thursday, August 31, 2017:  Submission forms, material uploads and entry fees are due by 11:59 pm EDT. Entry fee payments may be made by credit card in the awards submission portal when the project is ready for final submission.
  • TBD, 2017:  Jury Review
  • Friday, October 13, 2017:  Design Awards Celebration at the University of Baltimore Angelos Law Center.

To complete your submission, you must:

  1. Complete the Submission Form in the awards submission portal by Thursday, August 31, 2017, 11:59 pm EDT.
  2. Upload the Project PDF, Presentation PDF and image files to the submission portal (then Save & Finalize) by Thursday, August 31, 2017, 11:59 pm EDT.
  3. Make full payment of entry fees within submission portal (after project is saved and finalized) or by mail to be received by Thursday, August 31, 2017, 11:59 pm EDT.

Please fill out all requested information in the portal. Required fields are marked with an asterisk. Please be sure the information appears exactly as you wish to see it published and listed on the awards certificates. Check the spelling of names carefully. You may save your work and return to the submission site as often as needed as long as you complete and submit all parts of the project submission, along with payment of entry fees, by the due date.

Please direct questions to Nathan Dennies at ndennies@aiabalt.com or 410.625.2585 x102.

Categories & Awards*

Architectural Design

  • Design Awards
  • Honorable Mentions


  • Commercial/ Industrial
  • Multi-family / Mixed Use
  • K-12 Education
  • Higher Education
  • Cultural / Institutional
  • Healthcare
  • Residential Design Award (See criteria. Judged by a separate jury)
  • Unbuilt Architecture Award (See criteria)
    • Professional (AIA)
    • Emerging Professional (Assoc. AIA)

Special Recognition Awards

  • Excellence in Sustainable + Resilient Design Award (See criteria)
    • Single-Family Residential (Must be submitted to the Residential Design Award category)
    • Commercial/Institutional/Multi-Family
    • Existing Building Renovation/Adaptive Reuse
  • Michael F. Trostel, FAIA, Award for Excellence in a Historic Preservation Project
  • Good Design = Good Business (See criteria)

* Based on the pool of entries, the jury will use its discretion to award in the categories above.

Entrant Eligibility

1.       The applicant must be an AIABaltimore Chapter member and the project can be built anywhere.


2.       The applicant must be an AIA member firm AND the project must be built within the geographical boundaries of AIABaltimore (Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County, Howard County).

Entries must be submitted jointly by the architect and client and must credit all members of the design and construction team. If an architect of a firm is not the sole designer of the project or has been a member of a joint venture team, all participants contributing substantially to the design must be given credit, regardless of professional discipline.

Project Eligibility

Design Awards may be given to built or unbuilt architecture, interior architecture, adaptive reuse, planning, renovation, restoration and urban design projects. Architectural projects eligible for submission include, but are not limited to: details, images of models, building segments and renderings. Format and requirements are the same as those for registered architects. Built and unbuilt projects completed on or after January 1, 2012 are eligible. Unbuilt projects that have received awards in the past may be entered as built projects after completion. 

Submission Fees

  • $125 per regular project entry
  • $45 for Assoc. AIA Unbuilt Project Awards
  • Students: No Charge

Judging Criteria

Judging criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:

Design Resolution which demonstrates skill and sensitivity to formal, functional and technical requirements.

Sustainable Design conserves resources, preserves ecosystems, optimizes comfort, and reduces environmental impact thru high performance, integrated and innovative design, concern for unique cultural heritage, and affordability

Overall Design Excellence: Quality of the built form relative to its program, needs, challenges, and setting. Clarity of the partii. Does it further our understanding of design via new approaches?

At the jury’s discretion, a Grand Design award will be given to a built project judged to be exceptional.

At the jury's discretion, a Michael F. Trostel, FAIA, Award for Excellence in a Historic Preservation award will be given to a project demonstrating exceptional standards in restoration, rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, addition or sensitive new construction in a historic environment.

Special Criteria

Excellence in Sustainable + Resilient Design Award

Residential Design Award

Good Design = Good Business

Unbuilt Architecture Award

Winning Submissions

The Design Awards celebration will take place on October 13, 2017 at the University of Baltimore Angelos Law Center. Throughout the event a slide-show of all entries will be shown.

Winners in each category will be required to create a project board. Winning project boards will be on display at the awards event. More details about board design will be sent to winners. DOWNLOAD BOARD TEMPLATE .PSD / DOWNLOAD BOARD TEMPLATE .JPG

Project Submission Instructions

A complete submission will include:

  1. Completion of the online Submission Form
  2. Image Files of 5-8 digital images with photo file names, captions and image credit for each image
  3. Project/Jury PDF (10MB, 10 pages max)
  4. Presentation PDF (6MB, 3 pages max)
  5. Payment of Entry Fee

Conceal references to the architecture firm on all materials submitted for jury review. Identification of project authorship within the Project/Jury PDF will disqualify the submission.

The project PDFs may not exceed 10MB total (all pages combined) and shall conform to the following requirements:

  • An anonymous Project/Jury PDF presentation file for jury review and evaluation purposes only.
  • Presentation PDF presentation file for public presentation purposes.

Project/Jury PDF Criteria (10MB, 10 pages max)

Entries shall conform to the following page requirements:

  • The total size of each entry—all pages combined—may not exceed 10MB of data.
  • Each submission may contain a maximum of 10 pages. At your discretion, submit individual images on separate pages, or arrange multiple elements in a layout on a page.
  • Each page shall be in PDF format, 8 1/2" x 11" in landscape orientation, and developed as a PDF presentation file. The jury will view your submission on computer screens and through screen projection. An easy way to produce your PDF presentation file is to create your presentation in PowerPoint and then save the file as a PDF.
  • When your pages are ready to submit, arrange the desired sequence of pages in a single .pdf presentation and reduce the file size.
  • Please remember you must conceal references to the architecture firm or team members on all PDFs submitted for jury review. Identification of project authorship within the project PDF, including the file naming convention and photo credit, will disqualify the submission.
  • Use this naming convention for the JURY presentation file: JPDF_ProjectName.pdf

First Page: Project Description and Introduction


  • 8 1/2" x 11" landscape orientation (all pages)
  • Combination of text and images, 12 pt. font minimum, formatted and designed at entrant's discretion.

Project Information:

  • Project Name
  • Project Location (City, State, if applicable)
  • Project Category (a project may be entered in only one category/omit PBOY designations)
  • Project Synopsis describing the "Site," "Program," and "Solution." As part of this synopsis, discuss key design aspects (intent, concepts, and contextual relationships), technical aspects (structure, materials, mechanical systems, etc. where informative), and the social, environmental or other benefits of the project to the public and its users.

Subsequent Pages (2–10): Visuals

Include images along with additional succinct annotation. The format and design of the pages are at the entrant's discretion; all pages should be in landscape orientation.

  • Please include photographs, drawings, floor plans, elevations, sections, renderings and graphic images as necessary to provide a clear understanding of the extent and quality of the finished project. A site plan is required. Photographs should depict the whole project with views of each exposed exterior façade and each room of the project, as appropriate. Exterior views are optional for Interiors projects.
  • Label images with suitable titling and captions. Photographer credit on the images used in the Project/Jury PDF is permitted except those by the firm and/or team members.
  • Renovations, restorations, additions and conversions should present “before” and “after” photographs. For projects involving changes to existing structures, documentation of original conditions is highly recommended. Process sketches that communicate the development of the project and/or its construction are encouraged.
  • Indicate the project’s physical context or site character through graphics and/or imagery.
  • Unbuilt projects should include floor plans, elevations, sections, renderings, graphic images, and/or site plans as necessary to provide a clear understanding of the project. If client-commissioned, include photos of the site location.

IMAGE FILE (5–8 images, JPG)

Provide no more than 8 images in JPG format (10MB max per image) than for use in the presentation of entrants, awards and publications. The Jury will not see these files. List photo file names, captions and photographer or rendering credit for each image. Three of the images are to be of high resolution of the best representation of the project - one thumbnail, one exterior photo and one interior photo. The Thumbnail image can be a repeat of one of the other two, or a different image entirely.The three high res images should be at least 300 dpi and labeled 1) Project Name_thumbnail, 2) Project Name_high res ext and 3) Project Name_high res int. Subsequent images must be at a maximum of 150 dpi for horizontal images, and a maximum of 150 dpi for vertical images.

PRESENTATION PDF (6MB, 3 pages max)

Selected images of all entries will be displayed during the Design Awards Celebration, and images of award-winning entries will be displayed during the Awards Ceremony. To facilitate display of your entry, select three images or pages from your entry that you feel best represent your project.

Send PDF in the following format:

  • Download the PPT Template to prepare your Presentation PDF for the awards slideshow.
  • Three pages maximum.
  • The total size of PDF—all three pages combined—may not exceed 6MB of data.
  • 10” x 7.5”, in landscape orientation and developed as a PDF presentation file.
  • On each page add project title, firm name, firm logos or other identifiers as desired.
  • Use this naming convention for Presentation PDF file: PPDF_Firm Name_ProjectName.pdf


Members of the local print and broadcast media, as well as national architectural journalists, will be invited to the awards presentation. A press release will be provided to the local, state and national media after the event to publicize the award winners. Design award recipients will be featured in a special issue of AIABaltimore’s print newsletter, in the annual AIABaltimore Membership Directory, and on the AIABaltimore website. Members of the award-wining design teams will be invited to present projects at AIABaltimore’s annual public program, Highlighting Local Talent. 

Click here to enter a project to the 2017 AIABaltimore Excellence in Design Awards!