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AIA Chesapeake Bay Excellence in Design Awards


Please read the instructions below and then click here to enter a project to the 2017 AIA Chesapeake Bay Excellence in Design Awards!


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

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.

Schedule 2017

  • Friday, September 8, 2017:  Submission Forms, Material Uploads and Entry Fees are due by 11:59pm 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 8.
  • September 29, 2017 (TBV): Jury Review
  • Thursday, November 9, 2017, or Friday, November 10, 2017 (TBD): Design Awards Gala will take place from 6-9 pm at a location to be determined.


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 Chapter 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 AIA/CBC member. New structures, additions, and projects involving significant changes to existing buildings, regardless of location, whose construction was completed after January 1, 2012, may be submitted. 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).


Entry fee is $150 per project. Multiple projects can be submitted, each at $150.  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.


  • Residential
  • Non Residential

Awards and Judging

A panel of distinguished architects will review project entries for design excellence. Three levels of awards shall be given: Honor, Merit, and Citation, of which Honor is the highest distinction. No minimum or maximum number of awards will be required of the jury. Each project will be considered on its own merit. Therefore, projects will not be considered in the limited context of the Chesapeake Bay region but rather within the context of present day design values and the ideals that have shaped the definition of "good" design throughout the years. As always, a host of design issues will inform the jury process. Issues such as innovation, form, construction, utility, response to context and/or an appreciation of the project's environmental impact are some of the factors likely to be considered for each project.

Winning Entries

The Winners of 2017 Design Awards will be notified prior to the Design Gala in order for winner to make arrangements with parties involved with the project to attend the Gala should they wish to.  We encourage those receiving recognition to invite project team members as well as owners, consultants, contractors and other interested parties to attend the Gala and share in the honor of being selected as an award recipient. Notification will indicate that the project/firm will be receiving an award but will NOT indicate the award level prior to the event.

Design Awards Gala

Planning for the 2017 Chesapeake Bay Chapter Design Awards Gala is in progress. The Gala will be held on Thursday, November 9 or Friday, November 10, 2017, from 6-9 PM at a location to be announced. Please check the AIACBC website in the coming weeks for additional information.

To complete your submission, you must:

  1. Complete the SUBMISSION FORM in the awards submission portal by Friday, September 8, 11:59 pm EDT
  2. Upload the PROJECT PDF, PRESENTATION PDF and IMAGE FILES to the submission portal and finalize by Friday, September 8, 11:59 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 8, 11:59 pm EDT

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.

Please direct questions to AIA Chesapeake Bay, at cbcaia@aiachesapeakebay.org, or 410.268.3534.


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 (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 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)

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

Click here to enter a project to the 2017 AIA Chesapeake Bay Excellence in Design Awards!