The Institute Honor Awards program recognizes achievements for a broad range of architectural activity in order to elevate the general quality of architectural practice, to establish a standard of excellence against which all architects can measure performance, and to inform the public expectations for architectural practice, its breadth, and its value.
Visit our new history page to search for past Honor Award recipients!
All architects licensed in the United States are eligible to submit entries, regardless of project size, budget, style, building type, or location. Entries are welcomed and encouraged from both established and new practitioners and designers and from small firms and large. New construction and renovations/restorations are eligible.
Projects must have been designed by an architect licensed in the United States or in one of its territories at the time of the project’s completion. The project must have been completed since January 1, 2008.
Completed projects are eligible no matter where there are located. The submitting architect may qualify as a member of a design team, whether or not serving as the head of the team. When one architect is not the sole author, all other participants contributing substantially to the design of the project must be given credit as part of the submission, regardless of professional discipline.
Project authorship will remain concealed throughout the deliberations of the jury. If the authorship is revealed on any of the images, plans, or narrative, the entry will be disqualified.
2015 Call for Entries
View the 2015 Call for Entries
2015 Deadline & Entry Fee
The deadline for submissions has passed.
Carefully review the 2015 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Architecture Submission Preview before submitting your payment. You can go back and edit your submission until the deadline once you have started but no refunds will be issued for submissions that are disqualified, late or incomplete.
Each entry in the Institute Honor Awards program is judged for the success with which the project has met its individual requirements. Entries are weighed individually – not in competition with each other.
Projects must exhibit:
Design Achievement, demonstrates exemplary skill and creativity in the resolution and integration of formal, functional and technical requirements, including ecological stewardship and social responsibility that acknowledges and advances social agendas. Projects should reflect a strong sense of place, of ecology and environmental sustainability, of history, and of purpose as an integral part of the demonstrated design excellence.
In addition to design achievement, projects may be exemplary in the following subcategories:
Technical Advancement, includes engineering achievements (structural, mechanical, transportation, computer, etc.) as well as innovative use of materials.
Preservation/Restoration, includes demonstration of exemplary skill, sensitivity and thoroughness in preservation, restoration and/or the alternative or adaptive reuse of existing buildings regardless of their original architectural significance.
Other, in addition to the subcategories selected, project demonstrates significant intentions outside of those detailed above.
For preservation/restoration projects it is especially important to provide the jury with sufficient information to differentiate between the original architects’ work and the newly altered, preserved, or restored work.
Projects are strongly encouraged to meet the energy reduction goals established in the AIA Sustainable Architectural Practice Position Statement and the AIA 2030 Commitment, which currently call for a minimum 60% reduction in energy use from regional baselines.
Project Information: Please describe your project (maximum of 500 words) emphasizing the elements of design achievement as defined in the Judging Criteria. Include project intentions, programing requirements, cost data, and the distinguishing aspects of your resolution.
Sustainable Design Intent and Innovation: Describe (maximum of 500 words) how these strategies are integrated within the project’s overall design goals.
Energy: A brief summary of energy and carbon reduction strategies, plus metrics per Energy Star Target Finder. If the submitted building type is not listed on the Target Finder Web site, use the Architecture 2030 Challenge Targets.
• Predicted EUI in kBtu/sf/yr excluding on-site renewable energy contribution
• Predicted EUI in kBtu/sf/yr including on-site renewable energy contribution (carbon offsets will not be counted)
• Predicted percent (%) regional energy reduction per Energy Star Target Finder
• (Optional) Actual EUI in kBtu/sf/yr including on-site renewable energy contribution (based on 1-yr utility records)
Community Connectivity: A brief summary of community and public transit connectivity, plus metrics.
• Parking spaces per occupant
• WalkScore rating
Water: A brief summary of water use strategies, including storm and waste water management and potable water use, plus metrics.
• Percent (%) precipitation managed on site
• Percent (%) waste water reused on site
• Predicted annual regulated potable water use, gallons/sf/yr
• Percent (%) regulated potable water reduction from baseline
Materials: Documentation of specific material choices to address the needs for indoor environmental quality and diversion of materials from the waste stream.
• Project images must be submitted in a single .PDF file not to exceed 10 MB and 26 pages.
• It is your responsibility to make sure the architect's name and/or firm name is not revealed on any of the images, plans, or narratives. Failure to follow this requirement will automatically disqualify the entry.
• When possible, images should include the building in use and the following in any order to best tell the jury your project's story:
1. Preservation/Restoration Projects (if applicable) may add an additional two pages (not to exceed 28 pages total for the upload) to provide the jury with sufficient information to differentiate between the original architects’ work and the newly altered, preserved, or restored work
2. One image showing each exposed side of the building or environment
3. One additional image showing the context of each exposed side of the building (may be omitted if the project's relationship to its context is defined clearly in other prints)
4. For a group of buildings, one image of the project sufficient to illustrate the complete project, including its relationship to its environs
5. For projects involving exterior alterations, one image of each altered, exposed side together with one image of the same side before alteration (unless evidence is submitted on the unavailability of the latter)
6. At least one interior image for each major functional space
7. Conceptual diagrams, elevations, floor plans, sections, and site plan (including North arrow)
• Composite pages are acceptable.
• Text/notes on images/drawings are allowed.
• Indicate the scale used on any drawings or plans.
• Consistent use of either a horizontal or portrait landscape is encouraged throughout the submission.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I have to start and finish my submission in one session?
What if I want to make changes to my entry after I have completed my submission?
How will I know my submission has been received?
Begin Your Submission
The deadline for the 2015 program has passed. Information for the 2016 program will be posted in the summer of 2015.