Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

Practicing ArchitectureAwards

Page Tools

Reed Insight and Community


Institute Honor Awards for Interior Architecture

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, 2009.

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.

2016 Call for Entries

View the 2016 Call for Entries

2016 Deadline & Entry Fee

The deadline for 2016 submissions has passed. Please check back in the Spring of 2016 for information on the 2017 program.

A non-refundable entry fee of $425 for members and $850 for non-members must be paid online.

2016 Jury


Rand Elliott, FAIA (Chair)
Elliott + Associates Architects
Oklahoma City

Ruth Baleiko, AIA
The Miller Hull Partnership LLP

Barbara Bestor, AIA
Bestor Architecture
Los Angeles

James Slade, AIA
Slade Architecture
New York City

Lisa Smeltzer
State of Louisiana Facility Planning & Control
Baton Rouge

Submission Preview

Carefully review the 2016 AIA Institute Honor Awards for Interior 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, incomplete, or withdrawn.

Submission Criteria

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 expectations set with our “Public Policy: Architects are Environmentally Responsible” Position statement on page 18. As well they are encouraged to meet the AIA 2030 Commitment, which currently call for a minimum 70% 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 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 website, use the Architecture 2030 Challenge Targets.

    • EUI in kBtu/sf/yr excluding on-site renewable energy contribution (predicted is acceptable if actual is not available)

    • EUI in kBtu/sf/yr including on-site renewable energy contribution (predicted is acceptable if actual is not available; carbon offsets will not be counted)

    • Predicted % regional energy reduction per Energy Star Target Finder

    Light Power Density (LPD) in watts/sf identified as either whole-building or space-by-space compliance

Community Connectivity: A brief summary of community and public transit connectivity, plus metrics.

Water: A brief summary of water use strategies, including storm and waste water management and potable water use, plus metrics.

    • Predicted annual regulated potable water use, gallons/sf/yr

    • % regulated potable water reduction from baseline

Materials: Describe specific material choices that address the needs for indoor environmental quality and diversion of materials from the waste stream including information on advanced healthy product selection processes (i.e. Living Building Challenge Red List compliance) where applicable.

Upload Requirements

    • 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 is 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)

Additional Tips

    • Composite pages are acceptable.

    • Text/notes on images/drawings are allowed.

    • Indicate the scale used on any drawings or plans.

    • Use of the maximum page limit is strongly recommended.

    • 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?
No. You can start your submission and come back to finish it before the deadline date of 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

What if I want to make changes to my entry after I have completed my submission?
You can enter the system at any time to edit or update your submission before the deadline date prior to 5:00 pm, Eastern Time.

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 from to your junk mail. You should change your account settings to accept future e-mail from us. If it did not go into your junk mail folder, please contact for assistance.

Begin Your Submission

The deadline for submission completion was August 21, 2015 before 5:00 PM Eastern.

Questions may be directed to

Past Recipients

2015 Recipients

2014 Recipients

2013 Recipients


Elizabeth Henry
Director, AIA Awards
1735 New York Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20006


Go back to our
Main Awards Page

Contact our

Visit our
Announcement Page


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy