Design Awards 2020

May 15 – September 18, 2020
12:00 am -12:00 am CDT


The Design Awards Committee invites you to participate in the AIA Springfield 2020 Design Awards program. The presentation of the winning projects will be celebrated in September 2020.


Registration for entries is due Monday, June 8, 2020. Entry identification numbers will be issued during the week of June 15, 2020. Entries are due Monday, July 20, 2020. The jury will review submissions in August. Award recognitions will be announced Friday, September 18, 2020.


The entry form may be downloaded here:

The complete entry regulations and submission requirements may be downloaded here:

If either of these links does not work correctly for you, please contact Karen Spence at


The entry regulations are also posted here:



An entry may be any work of architecture if substantially complete (as defined in the AIA documents governing construction) after January 1, 2015.  Un-built projects, designed after January 1, 2015, are also eligible.  All entries will be judged and awarded based on individual merit, not in competition with each other.  

Entries must be located within the AIA Springfield area or designed by an architecture firm or person in the architecture profession residing in the AIA Springfield area.

There is no limit to the number of entries that can be submitted. Previously awarded projects in the AIA Springfield Design Awards Programs are not eligible; however, unbuilt projects previously awarded may be submitted as built work for consideration.

Release of Submission Material

It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure that all submission material, including professional photographs, is cleared for release and use by the entrant and AIA Springfield. Entering a submission constitutes written permission for AIA Springfield to use all information included for the Design Awards program including publication and Chapter archival purposes.


All judging is anonymous. No submission shall include any name of the design team in the Descriptive Data or the PDF Presentation. Firms and/or team member names are to be included on the Concealed Identification form only. Failure to do so may be grounds for disqualification.

Certificates will be prepared for the architects of each entry receiving award(s) and will be presented at the Awards Celebration on September 18, 2020. The Professional Jury is not obligated to present any awards. In addition, the Professional Jury reserves the right to award all award designations; including special awards for a particular project; however, it is not obligated to do so.

The Professional Jury will be chaired by three noted architectural professionals representing a national design perspective.

In addition to the Professional Jury, AIA Springfield will sponsor a Public Jury for Public Recognition Awards. This is an effort to reinforce the mission statement, “to recognize design achievements for architectural projects and to create a public awareness of quality of design and how it impacts our community,” by encouraging the public, the end user, to critique their built environment.  A jury of local people outside the practice of architecture will be assembled to have input on submitted designs.  Public Recognition Awards will be given as determined by the jury.


Please read all submission requirements thoroughly, as AIA Springfield takes steps toward bringing our awards program in alignment with the standards set by AIA National.  

All submissions will be required to be in digital format, in a PDF format with consistent visual size per slide. AIA Springfield reserves the right to review the submission for compliance with the submission requirements. Specific information will be sent to all entrants at the close of Call for Entries.  General information follows:

Concealed Identification and Release

Concealed Identification Sheet with a listing of project name and location, project owner/client, name of submitting firm and firm personnel involved and roles, engineering consultants, other consultants, general contractor, and other credits for the design of the project to be scanned with signatures and saved in PDF format and uploaded to the AIA Springfield FTP site.  This information will be used for credits on awards citations, news releases, and publications.  This file is for the use by the Design Awards Committee only and will be removed from the submission prior to judging.

Release Form (bottom portion of Concealed Identification sheet) with signed releases by the entrant, owner, and the copyright holder or photographer.  For all material included in the entry, the entrant must obtain releases enabling reproduction for the component’s publicity.

Project Attributes

On the first slide of the PDF Presentation (see below), provide the following information in list order:

•             Project Location: (City/County, State, Country)

•             Substantial Completion: (month/year)

•             Design Completion: (month/year if unbuilt)

•             Gross Conditioned Floor Area

•             Number of stories:

•             Building program(s): (CBECS category if applicable)

•             Project climate zone: (ASHRAE, Title 24, or other [specify])

•             Anticipated annual hours of operation: (number)

•             Site area: (SF/Acres)

•             Choose One: (brownfield/not previously developed/previously developed site)

•             Chose One: (urban/suburban/rural)

•             Cost of construction excluding furnishings: (dollars)

•             Anticipated total annual users, including all types (residents, occupants, and visitors: (number)

•             Is the submitting firm a signatory to the AIA 2030 Commitment? (Y/N)

Descriptive Data

A clear, concise synopsis of 300 words or less, to be located on the first page of the PDF presentation (see description below) and uploaded to the AIA Springfield FTP site summarizing principal features that merit recognition in the program. Descriptions should demonstrate a holistic vision for the design as it relates to the AIA Framework for Design Excellence, including: Design for Integration, Design for Equitable Communities, Design for Ecology, Design for Water, Design for Economy, Design for Energy, Design for Wellness, Design for Resources, Design for Change, and/or Design for Discovery.  Although addressing every measure is not required, a compelling design solution should integrate design excellence and sustainable performance. Entrants are encouraged to use the Framework to assist with project narratives.

PDF Presentations

Entrants should include a 1920 X 1080 pixels PDF presentation, landscape oriented.  PDF presentation limited to 12 slides, not including the first slide – Descriptive Data.  Include succinct, descriptive captions on each slide, as required to explain the project. These presentations will be viewed via projection screen, so please be mindful of formatting and resolution, as well as providing enough information for clarity of design intent. Your project will be judged on its comprehensive design, including the quality of the presentation and clarity of the design story.

Graphics may be drawn at any scale and with any medium, and images of models and drawings, are also encouraged. PDFs with embedded audio, video, or other interactive features are not allowed. At least one floor plan drawing shall be provided. A site plan drawing shall also be required for all projects except for those of an interior only nature. There is no minimum number of slides required; however, it is important for each entry to have sufficient information explaining the project, because each entry will be judged based on individual merit.  

PDF Presentations will be retained by the Chapter for future use and publicity.

Judging Criteria

In accordance with our mission statement to recognize the importance of excellence in architecture and in an effort to align with AIA National’s Framework for Design Excellence, each entry will be judged for the success with which the project has met its individual requirements with emphasis on design excellence, which includes aesthetics, performance, community connectivity, resilience and stewardship of the natural environment. Entries will be weighed individually, not in competition with each other.  


In the case of collaborative work among associated architects or firms, the entrant must be able to claim design authorship for the submission, and the collaborating architect/firm shall be granted appropriate credit on the concealed identification form, and provide signature of approval.


Awards are an expression of recognition for superior performance.  They communicate the message that good architecture is to be valued in the community. Since the buildings address a public audience on a daily basis, they should serve to educate, inform and increase the public awareness of the importance of good design.  

When properly publicized, awards contribute to a better understanding of and appreciation for the work architects perform.

AIA Springfield will publish all entries in a design annual. In addition, submissions will be exhibited at local conventions and trade shows as those opportunities present themselves.

All projects submitted are of great value to the users and the community.  Whether or not a project wins an award is not as important as the role it plays in society.  The building will be used for years to come and should be seen for how it affects daily life for the public now, as well as in to the future.

We wish the best of luck to all entrants!

AIA Design Awards Committee

Image credits

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