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Please read the instructions below and then click here to enter a project to the 2019 AIA Chesapeake Bay Excellence in Design Awards!


Through its Annual Design Awards Program, AIA Chesapeake Bay Chapter recognizes excellence in architecture throughout the Chesapeake Bay Region.  The purpose of the awards program is to encourage and recognize distinguished architectural achievement and to honor the architects, clients, and consultants who work together to improve the built environment and for their role in shaping the quality of life through design excellence.


The Awards Program is open to AIA Chesapeake Bay members for projects located anywhere in the world. For a project to be considered eligible for an award, the sole proprietor or principal of the submitting firm must be an assigned member of the AIA Chesapeake Bay Chapter as of the entry deadline of September 6, 2019. New structures, additions, and projects involving significant changes to existing buildings, regardless of location, whose construction was completed after January 1, 2014, may be submitted. Projects must be completed and built. Projects that have previously won an AIACBC award are ineligible. However, a project which had ONLY won a People’s Choice Award at a previous event is eligible for re-submission.

In addition, any AIA member architect located outside of the CBC area who wishes to submit a project may do so as long as the project location itself is within the CBC area (Anne Arundel, Calvert, St. Mary's, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset counties).


  •  Friday, September 6, 2019:  Submission Forms, Material Uploads and Entry Fees are due by 11:59:59pm EDT.  Entry fee payments may be made by credit card in the awards submission portal when the project is ready for final submission. Check payments, payable to AIA Chesapeake Bay, must be received at the AIA Chesapeake Bay Office (86 Maryland Ave., Annapolis, MD 21401) by the submission deadline.
  • September 30-October 4, 2019 (To Be Confirmed): Jury Review by AIA Grand Rapids
  • October 7-11, 2019: Award Winners Notified
  • Friday, November 8, 2019: Design Awards Gala, Historic Inns of Annapolis, Governor Calvert House. 6-9pm.


  • AIA Chesapeake Bay Member:  $150 per project
  • AIA Member of other chapter:   $250 per project

Multiple projects can be submitted, each at the applicable entry fee. Payment is required at time of submission. There is no separate deadline for payment and project submission. Registration fees are non-refundable; however, upon request fees may be deferred to the following year’s program.


A project may be submitted in any one of the following categories:

  • Residential:          New Construction
  • Residential:          Renovation/Addition
  • Non-Residential:  New Construction
  • Non-ResidentialRenovation/Addition


A panel of distinguished architects from AIA Grand Rapids will review project entries for design excellence. Three levels of awards shall be considered by the jury: Honor, Merit, and Citation, of which Honor is the highest distinction. No minimum or maximum number of awards will be required of the jury.

At the jury’s discretion, the following awards may also be considered in addition to Honor, Merit and Citation awards:

  • Preservation Award
  • Sustainable Design Award

An “award winning project” shall demonstrate a high level of design resolution.  A project which also advances the contemporary understanding of design by proposing new approaches to the development of architectural form should also be awarded. Entries shall be weighed individually, not in comparison with each other. Awards may be given in as many or as few projects as are deemed worthy to receive recognition and as the Jury believes are justified by the quality of the submissions. All entries will be judged using the following criteria:

  • DESIGN EXCELLENCE: How well does the design elevate the human experience while addressing the project’s practical needs?
  • SUSTAINABLE DESIGN / RESILIENCY: How well does the design take a progressive approach to advancing the missions of sustainability and/or resiliency?
  • COMMUNITY IMPACT: How well does the design provide significant improvement to its social or physical setting?


The Winners of 2019 Design Awards will be notified prior to the Design Awards Gala in November. Award winners will be announced and award certificates presented to the Architect at the Design Awards Gala. Additional award certificates may be provided when requested via email to aiachesapeakebay@gmail.com, and will be printed and mailed after the Design Awards Gala. Notification will indicate that the project/firm will be receiving an award but will NOT indicate the award level prior to the event. Architect winners are requested to notify their Client, General Contractor/Construction Manager and Consultants that the project will be receiving an award, and are encouraged to invite them to the awards celebration. Winners are asked to refrain from publicizing their award until after the awards ceremony

After being notified of the jury’s decision, all winners shall produce and provide one display board for each winning project prior to the Design Awards Gala. Boards are to be delivered to the AIA Chapter House at 86 Maryland Avenue, Annapolis, no later than Tuesday, November 5, and will be on display at the awards gala. Alternatively, boards delivered directly to the event venue no later than 6:00 pm on the day of the gala will be displayed during the reception. Board requirements and template formats will be provided to each winner. Display boards will become the property of AIA Chesapeake Bay for one year for the purpose of display throughout the chapter region, after which time the entrant must claim the board at the chapter house in Annapolis. 

AIA Chesapeake Bay will promote the winning projects on the AIACBC website and social media platforms, Maryland AIA Chapters Design Awards Gallery website, and in Maryland AIA Chapter publications. A Press Release will be sent to the local media.


The annual AIA Chesapeake Bay Excellence in Design Awards Gala will be held on Friday, November 8, 2019, from 6-9 PM at Historic Inns of Annapolis Governor Calvert House, 58 State Circle, Annapolis, Maryland. Please check the AIACBC website in the coming months for additional information.


Please complete 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.

To complete your submission, you must:

1.    Complete the SUBMISSION FORM in the awards submission portal by Friday, September 6, 2019, 11:59:59 pm EDT

2.    Upload the PROJECT PDF, PRESENTATION PDF and IMAGE FILES to the submission portal and finalize by Friday, September 6, 2019, 11:59:59 pm EDT

3.    Make full payment of ENTRY FEES within submission portal (once project is finalized) or by mail to be received by Friday, September 6, 2019, 11:59:59 pm EDT

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 submission 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" when you are ready to finalize your submission on the last page of the submission forms.

Each entry shall be accompanied by an entry fee to cover jury and program expenses with all documents and images submitted as outlined in the specific requirements below. AIA Chesapeake Bay and/or the Jury reserves the right to disqualify any entry not submitted in the manner specified. 

A complete project submission includes the following and must be finalized within the online submission portal with full payment by Friday, September 6, 2019, 11:59:59 pm EDT:

1.    Completion of the online SUBMISSION FORM

2.    IMAGE FILES (3-8 digital images with caption and image credit for each image)

3.    PROJECT/JURY PDF (10MB, 11 pages max)

4.    PRESENTATION PDF (6MB, 3 pages max)

5.    Full payment of Entry Fee


Your design entry must be prepared and formatted as described below for submission through the online submission portal.

If you've previously submitted a project, you have an account and will be able to login with those credentials. If you have not, you will automatically establish an account when you create an entry application for the first time. Please review detailed instructions on the portal home page if you experience any technological issues using the portal.

All submission forms, file uploads and payment of fees will be handled through the online submission portal. 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 submission deadline.

Once an entry is completed for a project, that entire project submission may then be submitted to another Maryland chapter awards program without any re-entry or re-uploading. Simply check the box: "I Want to Submit This Project to Another Chapter Awards Program" on the last page of the submission, 'Entry Uploads,' when you are ready to finalize your initial submission.

Conceal all references to the architecture firm name or design team members on all materials submitted for jury review. Identification of authorship within the Project/Jury PDF will disqualify the submission. Project PDFs must be in landscape orientation with a page size of 8 1/2" x 11", 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.
  • A PRESENTATION PDF presentation file for public presentation purposes. May include references to architecture design firm/team and client.

PROJECT/JURY PDF (10MB, 11 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 11 pages. At your discretion, submit individual images on separate pages, or arrange multiple elements in a layout on a single page. 
  • Each page must be 8 1/2" x 11" in landscape orientation, and developed as a PDF presentation file. An easy way to produce your PDF presentation file is to create your presentation in PowerPoint and then save the file as a PDF. The jury will view your submission on computer screens and through screen projection.
  • Use this naming convention for the Project/Jury presentation file: JPDF_ProjectName.pdf
  • Please remember you must conceal references to the architecture firm or team members in the PDF submitted for jury review. Identification of project authorship within the Project/Jury PDF, including the file naming convention and photo credit, will disqualify the submission.
First Page: Project Description and Introduction
  • 8 1/2" x 11" landscape orientation (all pages)
  • Combination of text and images, 12 pt. minimum font size, 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)
  • Project Summary 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. This summary is intended for publication.

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 while maintaining 8 1/2" x 11" 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 identifying 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.

 Optional Last Page (11): Supplemental Information to the Jury

This page is for optional information you may wish to share with the jury only. Include additional project information that is not already covered in the Jury PDF. Examples may include technical information that may be useful to the jury such as: project requirements and restrictions; project outcomes and results; historic preservation considerations; energy considerations; construction costs; and project size in square feet. This is your opportunity to creatively talk about your project if previous fields did not allow enough room, or if there are unique considerations not previously addressed. 

IMAGE FILES (3–8 images, JPG)

Provide no more than 8 images in JPG format (10MB max per image) for use in the presentation of entrants, awards and publications. The Jury will not see these files. List 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 8'x10” 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 6” x 9” at 150 dpi for horizontal images, and a maximum of 6” x 7.5” at 150 dpi for vertical images.

PRESENTATION PDF (6MB, 3 pages max)

Select three images that best represent your project. Selected images of all entries will be displayed during the cocktail reception, and images of award-winning entries will be displayed during the Awards Ceremony.

Prepare Presentation PDF in the following format:

  • The total size of PDF—all three pages combined—may not exceed 6MB of data.
  • Three pages maximum.
  • 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



To enter a project to the 2019 AIA Chesapeake Bay Excellence in Design Awards, CLICK HERE

Frequently Asked Questions

 ​I’m not a member of AIA Chesapeake Bay, but a member of my project team is. Can I submit at the lower “member rate?” Yes you can; the AIA Chesapeake Bay member should be listed as the eligible entrant. 

 I will be submitting three projects. Should I complete three registration forms? Yes, you will need to complete three separate entry applications.

 Can I include the project name in the Project/Jury PDF? Yes, you may—just make sure you don’t identify the submitting firm or designer. Submissions are to remain anonymous.

 What happens if I exceed the 10MB file limit? You will be asked once to reduce the size of the file and resubmit your project.

 How will I know my submission has been received? Upon submitting your entry, you will receive a confirmation e-mail message containing your submission details.

 What should I do if I did not receive a confirmation e-mail containing my submission details? First, check your junk mail folder - the most likely problem is that your spam filter sent the e-mail there. If you don't find it in your junk mail folder, please contact the chapter program administrator for assistance.

 Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session? No. You can start your submission and come back to finish it before the applicable program deadline date by 11:59:59pm EDT.

 Can I revise my submission after I've hit the "Save and Finalize" button? Yes, provided your request is made and changes are complete by the entry deadline. You will need to ask the program's administrator to open your submission to allow you to make the change yourself through the portal.

 Can we submit a few days late? No. In the interest of fairness to all participants, no late entries will be accepted.

 How will our PDF be viewed? Jurors will view projects on both small (laptops) and large screens. As long as your images are web-ready (150 dpi), there will be no loss of fidelity.

Please direct additional questions to Melinda Kay, Executive Director, AIA Chesapeake Bay: aiachesapeakebay@gmail.com OR 410.268.3534